SEOUL, May 6. /TASS/. More than 200 people, both Russians and nationals of former Soviet republics, took part in an Immortal Regiment march in Seoul on Sunday to remember their relatives who fought against the Nazi during World War Two.
Opening the march, Russian Ambassador to South Korea Alexander Timonin congratulated the participants on the upcoming Victory Day and stressed the importance such events that united people from various world nations whose relatives had made their contribution to the victory over Nazism.
Immortal Regiment marches have been held in the South Korean capital city for three years.
This time, participants marched through the Seoul Forest, a large park in Seongdong-gu district. The march ended with a concert of students of Russian schools in South Korea. Many were wearing WWII-time military uniforms or their elements.
"Representatives of the Korean diaspora in the former Soviet Union were not eligible for the draft during the Great Patriotic War of 1941-1945 as shortly before the war they had been subject to reprisal and forcibly resettled from the Far East to Central Asia. The authorities were suspicious about them," Akrady Moon, one of those who took part in the march, told TASS.
"Nonetheless, some of them managed to be drafted to the Red Army. One ethnic Korean was even awarded a title of the Hero of the Soviet Union. People added the ending ‘bayev’ to their Korean names to be taken for ethnic Kazakhs of Kyrgyzs and be drafted in the army," he said.
The event drew attention of South Koreans who happened to be nearby. They were taking pictures with the participants in the march. Some said they had never known about this holiday. "Here, in Korea, we celebrate Liberation Day to commemorate liberation from the Japanese occupation that took place on August 15, 1945. But we know little about Russia’s role in it," a female student told TASS.
The ‘Immortal Regiment’ march is an annual event held throughout Russia and in other countries. The event is dedicated to the victory in Great Patriotic War (part of WWII) that claimed lives of about 28 million Soviet people, both soldiers and civilians. During the march, people carry portraits of their relatives who fought or died during the war. For the first time the event was held in 2007 in the city of Tyumen, then it was called Victory Parade. The name Immortal Regiment appeared in 2012 when a similar rally was held in Tomsk. Since 2015 the ‘Immortal Regiment’ march has become nationwide.