Every year on May 9, starting in 2011, a socio-patriotic action « Immortal Regiment », dedicated to Victory Day, is held in Russia.
The emergence of the public civil-patriotic movement « Immortal Regiment », as well as the annual events on Victory Day were preceded by similar actions held in individual cities of Russia until 2011. Such cities were Prokopievsk, Novokuznetsk and Tyumen. In a number of cities, demonstrations with photographs of front-line soldiers and war veterans along the streets, as well as bringing such photographs to the Eternal Flame memorial, took place in the USSR.
The main essence of the action is that citizens with photographs of their fathers, mothers, grandfathers, grandmothers, great-grandfathers and great-grandmothers who participated in the Great Patriotic War pass along the main street of the city on Victory Day. The goal in this case was indicated by a spiritual impulse, as well as the memory and pride of the ancestors who survived the severity of the terrible war, who managed to survive and win. Their faces from photographs look at their descendants, and souls rejoice with them at one of the greatest holidays of mankind. Died at the front or starved in the rear, tortured in a concentration camp or simply under-residence until the next Victory Day, – they are all united by the memory that their descendants keep and honor. From photographs of the Immortal Regiment, front-line soldiers, rear workers, prisoners of concentration camps, underground workers, children of war, blockers…
So, in 2011, the movement « Immortal Regiment » was initiated in Tomsk. The creators of it were journalists Sergey Lapenkov, Sergey Kolotovkin and Igor Dmitriev. The movement received its Charter, program, as well as website. If initially « The immortal regiment » was an interregional socio-patriotic movement, then to date it has acquired international status.
For the first time, an action called « Immortal Regiment » was held in Tomsk on May 9, 2012, after which many Russian cities and even villages began to take part in it. Their number has been steadily growing. « The immortal regiment » began to march along the streets of foreign countries. Belarus, Ukraine, Kazakhstan, Israel joined the rally first. Every year, the number of participating countries continued to grow. Today, dozens of countries of the world take part in the action on May 9.
The popularization of the idea was facilitated by the media, covering events both at the federal and regional levels. In the cities of Russia and abroad, the structures of the coordinators of the movement began to form.
On the site « Immortal Regiment », the People’s Chronicle is being conducted, where everyone can enter the history of their ancestor, who survived the Great Patriotic War or gave his life for Victory. Behind every such story – the fate of man.
In 2014, « Immortal Regiment » received its symbol created by artist A. Slap. Such a symbol was Crane against the background of a five-pointed star. The symbol is as far away from politics and propaganda. The author used one of the most sincere songs dedicated to the dead soldiers of the Great Patriotic War as a plot: « Zhuravali » poet R. Gamzatova and composer I. Frenkel.
Thanks to an constantly updated database, many people find on the site acquaintances and even relatives, fellow soldiers and friends of their native veterans, can trace the history of the military unit in which their ancestor served.
In addition to its main goal, « Immortal Regiment » seeks to avoid formalization of movement. Participation in it is exclusively voluntary, and certain restrictions defined by the Charter are aimed at avoiding formalism, as well as turning the action into an advertising tool or a means of political propaganda.
Saving the memory of the personal, family and folk – here is the task « Immortal Regiment ».