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Russian Diaspora in US to Hold Immortal Regiment Online on V-E Day - Activist

© Sputnik / 2019 Immortal Regiment march in London
2019 Immortal Regiment march in London - Sputnik International, 1920, 03.05.2022
WASHINGTON (Sputnik) - Members of the Russian diaspora in the United States plan to celebrate Victory Day in World War II in Europe on 8 May by holding an online Immortal Regiment conference, President of the Russian Youth of America Igor Kochan told Sputnik.
The Immortal Regiment march is held annually on 9 May, when people gather together to carry photographs of their relatives fallen in the war.
"On May 8, which is official V-E Day in the US, we are going to have an online conference with veterans of World War II and also people who organize Immortal Regiments in their cities. This online conference is going to be throughout the whole United States, coming from one coast to the other," Kochan said.
This year, organizers decided not to hold events in their traditional manner on streets, but to arrange it online.
"We ask people to bring photos of their veterans and share their memories with kids, with the next generation," Kochan added.
The US-based activist group Russian Youth of America will congratulate Soviet veterans living in the United States and their US comrades-in-arms on the 77th anniversary of the Victory in Europe in World War II, Igor Kochan said.
"We are going to visit about 70 Soviet and American veterans in the New York City area. We are giving them little gifts - something that they typically prefer, some sweets, candies, a bottle of champagne, and anything that we could get," Kochan said.
The RYA president explained that V-E Day - celebrated in the United States on May 8 - is not a holiday during which many Americans come out to congratulate US veterans.
"We are trying not to forget any of them," Kochan said. "We ask people to buy something, bring it all together and we distribute it between the veterans."
The Russian activists are sure that this is our common duty to remember those who fought against Nazism and won in World War II. Besides veterans, they are visiting people who were born during the war or survived in the 900-day siege of Leningrad in 1941-1944.
"They had do a lot for us, they fought for us, because of them we are basically still alive, and this is our honor not to forget them and to congratulate them with the Great Victory Day," Kochan acknowledged, adding that members of the community try to maintain contacts with them not only before V-E Day but throughout the whole year as well.
Veterans are very happy to host young visitors for a cup of tea or give then small gifts like chocolate.
Asked about the importance of holding this tradition amid the current difficult relations between the United States and Russia, Kochan said it is always important to remember the price Americans and Russians jointly paid to establish peace in the world and that fact is especially important today.
"If not for that victory, we would not have a future," he added.
On 8 May 1945, the commanders of Nazi Germany's armed forces signed the instrument of surrender, admitting defeat in World War II. This day is celebrated in many countries and referred to as Victory Day. Due to the difference in time zones, Russia and several other former Soviet republics celebrate it on 9 May.
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