WASHINGTON, May 10. /TASS/. Russia’s ambassador to the United States, Anatoly Antonov, and other Russian embassy staffers on Saturday took part in a video conference of the international grass-roots movement Immortal Regiment in the United States.
Since 2012 each year on Victory Day, millions of people both inside and outside Russia parade with portraits of relatives who fought in World War II. Called the Immortal Regiment, the tradition — which recognizes those who took part in what Russia calls the Great Patriotic War — has grown every year. The Soviet Union faced some of the worst losses during the war, with an estimated 27 million casualties.
This time the Immortal Regiment events had to be held in the video conference mode amid the restrictive measures taken due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Ambassador Antonov said no force majeure circumstances were able "to break the regiment’s tight ranks", to upset celebrations on the occasion of the Great Victory’s anniversary and to prevent participants from remembering the ancestors’ heroism.
"That victory was won at the cost of colossal sacrifices. The best of the best died a heroic death," Antonov said and asked everybody to observe a moment of silence.
The Russian diplomat praised the role of the allies in the anti-Hitler coalition, who supported the Soviet Union by providing medical supplies, food and weapons.
"Also, we remember the historic link-up of the Soviet and US troops on the Elbe, which set an example of how peoples can unite for the sake of peace and stability," Antonov said. "That brotherhood in arms is something we miss so much in today’s struggle with the new challenges and threats."
Antonov regretted the attempts at rewriting the history of World War II.
"We shall not let anybody forget those epoch-making, historical days and distort the truth about the Soviet Union’s victory," he said.
The Immortal Regiment videoconference in the United States brought together participants in more than 20 US cities, including New York, Washington, D.C., Albany (New York), San-Francisco and Los Angeles (California), Chicago (Illinois), Dallas and Austin (Texas), Denver (Colorado), Seattle (Washington), Cincinnati (Ohio), Detroit (Michigan), Eugene (Oregon), Charleston (South Carolina), and Boston (Massachusetts). Honolulu (Hawaii) and Melbourne (Florida), joined the tradition for the first time.