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SOCHI, May 12. /TASS/. The authorship of the Immortal Regiment initiative has in no way affected Russian President Vladimir Putin’s decision to take part in it, Russian presidential spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters. He did not answer the question whether Putin had been aware of the campaign’s origin.
"This [the authorship of the campaign] played no role whatsoever," he said.
"Without fail, there are many people wishing to assume the authorship," Peskov noted. "I don’t think it’s appropriate to claim the authorship of the popular campaign."
More than 500,000 people took part in the Immortal Regiment action in Moscow on May 9. The Russian president was among its participants. Putin joined the march carrying a portrait of his father who fought in World War Two when the thousands-strong column reached Red Square.
"The value of this initiative [the Immortal Regiment] is the fact that it was born not in the offices, not in the administrative bodies but in the hearts of our people," the Russian leader said in an interview during the march along Red Square. Putin noted that it showed the respect people had for the older generation.
The campaign was first held in 2012 in the Siberian city of Tomsk. One of its initiators was a journalist of the TV-2 network Sergey Lapenkov, chairman of the Council of the Immortal Regiment inter-regional historical and patriotic movement. In 2013, the Immortal Regiment marches were held in 120 cities, and in 2014 - in 500 cities in seven countries. The event has become nationwide in Russia this year.