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Russian activists round up auto rally around Florida timed for Victory Day

May 10, 8:40 updated at: May 10, 8:59 UTC+3 NEW YORK

The Immortal Regiment public rally took place after completion of the race

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NEW YORK, May 10. /TASS/. An auto rally ‘Memory Relay Race 2017’ around Florida that was timed for the Victory Day finished in Miami on Tuesday, the organizers of the action the activists of Russian-speaking associations based in Florida told TASS.

The Immortal Regiment public rally took place after completion of the race.

"We reached Miami at 18:00 hours on a weekday," Mikhail Farfel, the director of the Russian Center in Orlando said. "More than 300 people came to take part in the Immortal Regiment."

Activists and students of Russian schools located in the city organized a concert later on the same night. They performed Russian songs of the World War II era for an audience that included 19 veterans of WW II from former Soviet republics.

Anna Kiryakova, the president of the Florida Russian-American Public Center that was the main organizer of the auto rally said the column of cars had covered the overall distance of about 2,000 km. The participants started from Orlando on May 5 and called into St. Petersburg, Largo, Tallahassee, Jacksonville, and Palm Coast along the way.

During stops in those cities, they handed out the St George’s ribbons - the ribbons having a black-and-orange bicolor pattern that serve as widely recognized symbols of military valor in Russia.

"The most important thing that happened during the rally was that the mayor of Tallahassee, the capital of the state, sent an official address to the Russian-speaking community of Florida on the occasion of VE-Day," Kiryakova said. "Given the current anti-Russian hysteria in the U.S., to make an address of the kind is an action that stands high."

The organizers read the address out in Tallahassee on Sunday after the Immortal Regiment public meeting there. Participants in the auto rally laid flowers at a local memorial dedicated to World War II.

Kiryakova expressed the confidence that ties between Tallahassee and its twin city in Russia, Krasnodar, were growing.

The Florida Russian-American Public Center organized in 2015 an almost two-weeks-long auto rally devoted to the 70th anniversary since victory in World War II and the 70th anniversary since the linkage of Soviet and American troops on the Elbe.

The column of cars covered a distance of around 3,200 km then. The route crossed the territories of Florida, Georgia, South Carolina, North Carolina, Virginia, and the District of Columbia.

The Russian Center in Orlando is a constituent element of the Florida Russian-American Public Center.

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