KIEV, May 9. /TASS/. The ‘Immortal Regiment" march devoted to the 72nd anniversary of the Soviet Union’s victory over Nazi Germany in World War II took place in Kiev on Tuesday, despite nationalists’ provocations and attempts by the Ukrainian authorities to rewrite the country’s history.
The action was held under the slogan: "No One Is Forgotten. Nothing is Forgotten" to avoid the Ukrainian authorities’ possible ban on this event and any dangerous incidents. The march involved about 20,000 people, its organizers said.
"According to our estimates, about 20,000 people took part in the procession. As a whole, the march proceeded normally, except for nationalists’ actions and the fact that they didn’t let us unfurl the Victory Banner," co-organizer of the ‘Immortal Regiment’ march and head of the Legal Policy and Social Protection Institute public organization Yelena Berezhnaya told TASS.
Meanwhile, the Ukrainian police said that about 3,000 people had taken part in the march.
All those who wished to pay tribute to soldiers killed in the Great Patriotic War of 1941-1945 gathered near Arsenalnaya metro station in Kiev. People held flowers in their hands and carried the portraits of their relatives who had fought or died in the war, sang war-time songs and chanted: "No to Fascism!"
The procession headed for the Eternal Flame in Glory Park where the marchers thanked war veterans for the Victory and laid flowers at the monument to commemorate soldiers and officers killed in the Great Patriotic War of 1941-1945.
The Ukrainian radicals attempted to disrupt the ‘Immortal Regiment’ march as they had warned on Monday. Members of the Organization of Ukrainian Nationalists outlawed in Russia accompanied the march with the portrait of their leader - World War II nationalist Stepan Bandera and the slogan: "Bander will come to bring order."
The nationalists also threw smoke pellets from the windows of their office at the marchers, injuring a policeman. They also threw bottles, eggs and potatoes at the marchers.
Members of ultra-right parties constantly provoked fist fights and verbal skirmishes with the marchers, which led to clashes. They also encircled the Monument to the Unknown Soldier near the Eternal Flame and shouted out nationalist slogans. The police did not react to the war veterans’ requests to ensure law and order and an unobstructed approach to the memorial.