KIEV, May 10. /TASS/. More than 700,000 Ukrainians took part in celebrations marking the 72nd anniversary of the Soviet Union’s victory over Nazi Germany, the Interior Ministry’s press service said on Wednesday.
"On May 8 and 9, Ukraine held over 2,000 public events in total, organized by government agencies and local councils. About 700,000 people took part in them," Ukraine’s deputy police chief, Alexander Fatsevich said on Wednesday.
Over 30,000 police officers and 3,500 officers of the National Guard provided security at the events. Over the two days, police detained 89 people and opened eight criminal inquiries, police said.
In 2015, the Ukrainian parliament, Verkhovna Rada approved the law, under which May 8 became Day of Remembrance and Reconciliation and May 9 is marked as Day of Victory over Nazism in World War Two. This year’s traditional ‘Immortal Regiment’ march was renamed so that local councils "could not have grounds to file lawsuits and ban the events."
In Kiev, the ‘Immortal Regiment’ march, the idea of which originally comes from Russia, was renamed "Nobody is forgotten. Nothing is forgotten." In the cities of Dnieper (former Dnepropetrovsk) and Krivoy Rog, the march was named as the ‘Victory March.’
Nonetheless, provocations were dogging the celebrations. In Kiev, when the ‘Immortal March’ procession was going past the office of the Organization of Ukrainian Nationalists (OUN), the radicals hurled smoke grenades, bottles, eggs, potatoes and bags filled with paint into the rally participants. In Dnieper, "the use of political symbols" caused brawls, as there were replicas of the Soviet Banner of Victory and Soviet flags. Fourteen people were injured in the clashes.