Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew has held a wake for the immigrants from the Soviet Union who were forced to leave their motherland in 1920-1921 amid the Civil War.
The wake took place in the Patriarchal Church of St George in Phanar, the historic area of Istanbul (formerly Constantinople), where the Ecumenical Patriarchate is located. The service was part of memorial events to mark the 90th anniversary since the exodus of the White Army from Crimea as a result of the Civil War.
Some 145,000 White guardsmen left the Crimea for Turkey and France in 1920-1921. When the military situation became untenable in the face of overwhelming Bolshevik gains, the White Army commander, General Pyotr Wrangel, offered his officers and men a choice - remain in Russia or follow him into exile.
Initially an officer in the Imperial Russian Army, General Wrangel joined the White Volunteer Army in 1918 following the Bolshevik seizure of power, and became commanding general of the entire volunteer force in 1919.
ISTANBUL, July 24 (RIA Novosti)