“This year the Immortal Regiment will march in 26 countries all over the world. Switzerland, Australia, Malta and Qatar have joined our movement,” the regiment coordinators’ press service told TASS.
The press service added that Victory Day – May 9 in Russia, VE Day or May 8 elsewhere – in these countries will be marked with parades and concerts, car rallies and movie screenings.
The Immortal Regiment event, in which participants march with portraits of their relatives who fought in WWII, originated in the Siberian city of Tomsk in 2012. The initiative spread quickly, and in 2013 similar events were held in 120 cities across Russia.
In 2014, Immortal Regiment parades took place in 500 cities in seven countries. Last year, about 12 million people across Russia and abroad joined parades held in memory of the 70th anniversary of the defeat of Nazi Germany. President Vladimir Putin took part in the 2015 Immortal Regiment march carrying a portrait of his father, Vladimir Spiridonovich Putin, who defended St. Petersburg (called Leningrad in Soviet times) from the Nazis during the war.