MOSCOW, May 9. /TASS/. An estimated 300,000 people are taking part in a public rally titled 'The Immortal Regiment' that is moving along Moscow's Tverskaya Street towards Red Square. The participants are carrying the photographs of their family members who fought on the battlefronts of World War II.
A TASS reporter said in an account from Tverskaya Square that the atmosphere at the march is festive and quiet.
The photographs the participants are holding above their heads show the people who died near Moscow in 1941 and in the fierce battles around the town of Rzhev in 1942, who liberated Ukraine from Nazi enslavement and seized Berlin, who worked at factories as teenagers making footwear or medical attendance items for the frontline hospitals, or who died in concentration camps.
A group of people walking ahead of the column is carrying a huge copy of the Banner of Victory.
One can also see flowers, flags and hot air balloons, while many participants have bought navy cut caps and Army field service caps from street vendors. St. George's ribbons, the symbols of military glory and remembrance in Russia can be seen everywhere.
This endless human river is flowing slowly from the Belarussky railway station down Tverskaya-Yamskaya and Tverskaya Streets towards Red Square and the Kremlin.
War veterans from around Russia, the foreigners whose grandfathers fought on the side of the anti-Hitler and who have come from the U.S., Britain, France, the Czech Republic, and Serbia are also walking in the column together with the Russian participants.
The reporter said people from virtually all walks of life from simple workers to famous actors to artists to human rights activists to athletes have come to participate.
The head of the column has already passed Red Square, its end it several kilometers away somewhere between the Berarussky and Dinamo metro stations.
To the dismay of some hopeful people, joining the column anyplace on Tverskaya Street is impossible, as access to it from all the adjoining lanes is sealed off.
More than 2,000 volunteers are escorting the column along the entire route and helping people on metro stations located nearby.
During the march, seven downtown metro stations are closed.
After passing Red Square the column splits ino two. One of them is moving down the Bolshoi Moskroretsky Bridge to the opposite bank of the Moskva River and the other is turning to Moskvoretskaya embankment.
The action is expected to last about two hours.