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Torch relay starts in Moscow

MOSCOW, April 30 (RIA Novosti) - A torch relay as part of the World Harmony Run seeking to strengthen international friendship and understanding started in Moscow Sunday.

The World Harmony Run began April 11 at the UN headquarters in New York. Representatives of more than 80 countries attended its opening ceremony.

The Russian part of the World Harmony Run is devoted to the 61st anniversary of the victory of the Soviet Union over nazi Germany in the Great Patriotic War of 1941-1945.

The torch relay kicked off at 9:20 a.m. Moscow time (05:20 a.m. GMT). A team of 15 runners lit their torch batons for the World Harmony Run from the eternal flame at the Kremlin's Alexander Garden where they laid flowers at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier. They started their run from the zero kilometer point near Red Square.

During the torch relay, the ceremonies of laying flowers at the memorials to Soviet soldiers and meetings with war veterans and schoolchildren will be held.

The relay, to end on August 6 in China, will involve 57 Russian regions.

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