Dozens demonstrate in Belgrade to mark the 1945 Soviet victory
Belgrad (AFP) – Some two hundred people marched through the Serbian capital on Monday in a demonstration organized by the Russian Embassy in Belgrade to mark the Soviet defeat of Nazi Germany in World War II.
Serbia, which aspires to join the European Union, is a traditional ally of Russia and refuses to impose sanctions on Moscow following the invasion of Ukraine.
People participating in the so-called “Immortal Regiment” march marched silently through downtown Belgrade, cheering occasionally and carrying pictures of their relatives killed in the war.
A man walking at the head of the column bore a large letter “Z”, the mark of the invasion of Russia.
Another carried a life-size cardboard cutout of Russian President Vladimir Putin, while some waved Russian and Soviet flags.
Many Serbs have a favorable view of the Kremlin while Putin sees Serbia as an anchor in Europe. There have already been pro-Russian rallies in Serbia after Moscow’s forces entered Ukraine in February.
Monday’s march ended at the Liberators’ Cemetery where representatives from Russia, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Azerbaijan and Serbia laid wreaths.
Their Ukrainian peers did the same on Sunday.
“People have to remember, it’s easy to forget what happened (during the Second World War)… and that’s why we have such a situation” in Ukraine, told AFP Marija Devric, 31 years old.
The finance expert took part in the march in honor of her great-grandfather who “went from Moscow to Berlin” during the war.
© 2022 AFP