'Victory Day is Sacred for Me': Solitary New York Woman Carries Out 9 May Immortal Regiment March
07:48 GMT 10.05.2022 (Updated: 18:35 GMT 07.05.2023)
Over a million people joined the Immortal Regiment march in Moscow on 9 May to commemorate the 77th anniversary of Nazi Germany's defeat in the Second World War. Participants carried portraits of their relatives who fought against the Nazis during WWII. Similar marches were held in multiple countries across the globe.
A solitary New Yorker, Tatiana, carried a portrait of her father through the streets of the American city on 9 May as part of the Immortal Regiment march
The woman has been taking part in the procession annually to commemorate her father’s contribution to the victory against Nazism in World War II, also known in Russia as the Great Patriotic War of 1941-1945.
The first Immortal Regiment march was held in the Russian city of Tomsk in 2012, becoming a nationwide event and soon a tradition, with people honouring the memory of Great Patriotic War veterans.
However, this year, organisers opted against
holding the event in the Big Apple in order to avoid possible incidents due to the raging conflict in Ukraine. Members of the Russian diaspora in the United States announced earlier they planned to celebrate Victory Day in World War II in Europe on 8 May by holding an online Immortal Regiment conference.
Tatiana, who is over 70, was not to be deterred, though, and made the procession alone.
According to the woman, her father did not like to reminisce about the war. Yet she insisted that it is necessary to remember the feat of her ancestors and pass on the memory of that heroic feat to the next generation.
This year, Tatiana circled New York's Central Park as part of her solitary and defiant procession.
"In the morning I got up and off I went. I passed three girls. They asked me what I was doing, and I explained that I was taking part in the Immortal Regiment march. I showed them the photograph of my father, told them that Victory Day is sacred to me”.
The woman added that the girls pleasantly surprised her by responding, “Eternal memory to the fallen”.
“It's nice to hear this from young people", Tatiana told Sputnik.
According to her, many Americans have no idea what the Immortal Regiment is and have little knowledge about the Second World War in general.
"We start talking… They say that 'more than 400,000 of our people died'… I say: 'and we lost 27 million'. The conversation ends here", she says.
The woman added that she had relatives in Ukraine and could recall visiting Kiev and seeing people have their St. George ribbons being torn off. Yet no one interfered, everyone was afraid.
The St. George ribbon
, which consists of three black and two orange stripes, is an integral part of many military awards of the Russian Empire, the Soviet Union, and the Russian Federation. At the outset of the armed conflict in eastern Ukraine in 2014, the symbol was used by Donbass militia fighters and volunteers who fought on the side of the breakaway republics of Donetsk and Lugansk against Ukrainian forces.
The woman went on to describe how now there is a prevailing feeling of fear in Kiev, because if you say something good about Russia, you are “removed”. According to her, many people were thus “eliminated”.
As for the situation in New York, Tatiana said that she was somewhat afraid of Ukrainians residing there.
“The Ukrainians are so angry now that I try to give them a wide berth. I have watched on TV how they behave in Austria, Germany… My relatives have warned me to be careful", the woman said.
The New Yorker considers what is happening now in Ukraine to be "America's war with Russia” waged via its proxy Ukraine. In her opinion, if only Washington were to cease shipping weapons to Ukraine, "the war would end instantly". She deplored the fact that what children in Ukraine were being taught was cultivating Russophobia
“They are Nazis there”, she said. “They tell me in Ukraine that these Nazis shoot at their own. If a person wanted to run away from them, they shoot them in the back. If someone starts talking about surrendering to the Russians, he is eliminated. I hear this from Ukrainians", she says.
The woman vowed she would never stop participating in the Immortal Regiment march, even if she has to go it alone again.
Russia launched a military operation in Ukraine on 24 February, with President Vladimir Putin underscoring that its goal was the "the protection of people who have been subjected to genocide by the Kiev regime for eight years". Moscow intends to carry out its operation to demilitarise and de-Nazify Ukraine and to bring to justice all the criminals responsible for the "bloody crimes against civilians" in Donbass.
The difficult decision
was made after an appeal for assistance from the Donetsk and Lugansk People’s Republics (DPR and LPR) amid ceaseless attacks from Kiev forces targeting the predominantly Russian-speaking regions.
According to the Russian Ministry of Defence, Russian forces only strike military infrastructure targets and Ukrainian troops and, as of 25 March, they had completed the first stage of the operation to significantly reduce the combat potential