World

300,000 join march of 'Immortal Regiment' in Moscow to honor relatives who fought in WWII

  • Local residents march as they carry portraits of relatives who fought in World War II, in central Moscow, Russia, Saturday, May 9, 2015. The march of the so-called Immortal Regiment is part of Saturday’s commemoration of the 70th anniversary of victory over Nazi Germany. (AP Photo/Pavel Golovkin)

    Local residents march as they carry portraits of relatives who fought in World War II, in central Moscow, Russia, Saturday, May 9, 2015. The march of the so-called Immortal Regiment is part of Saturday’s commemoration of the 70th anniversary of victory over Nazi Germany. (AP Photo/Pavel Golovkin)  (The Associated Press)

  • Russian President Vladimir Putin, center, who joined the vast crowd as the first marchers reached Red Square, holds a photograph of his father in his naval uniform, as he walks with other people holding the banner reading "Immortal Regiment" and carrying portraits of relatives who fought in World War II through Red Square,  in Moscow, Russia, Saturday, May 9, 2015. The march of the so-called Immortal Regiment is part of Saturday’s commemoration of the 70th anniversary of victory over Nazi Germany. (AP Photo/Ivan Sekretarev)

    Russian President Vladimir Putin, center, who joined the vast crowd as the first marchers reached Red Square, holds a photograph of his father in his naval uniform, as he walks with other people holding the banner reading "Immortal Regiment" and carrying portraits of relatives who fought in World War II through Red Square, in Moscow, Russia, Saturday, May 9, 2015. The march of the so-called Immortal Regiment is part of Saturday’s commemoration of the 70th anniversary of victory over Nazi Germany. (AP Photo/Ivan Sekretarev)  (The Associated Press)

  • Russian President Vladimir Putin, center, who joined the vast column as the first marchers reached Red Square, holds a photograph of his father in his naval uniform as he walks with other people holding the banner reading,  "Immortal Regiment" and portraits of relatives who fought in World War II through Red Square in Moscow, Russia, Saturday, May 9, 2015. The march of the so-called Immortal Regiment is part of Saturday’s commemoration of the 70th anniversary of victory over Nazi Germany. (AP Photo/Ivan Sekretarev)

    Russian President Vladimir Putin, center, who joined the vast column as the first marchers reached Red Square, holds a photograph of his father in his naval uniform as he walks with other people holding the banner reading, "Immortal Regiment" and portraits of relatives who fought in World War II through Red Square in Moscow, Russia, Saturday, May 9, 2015. The march of the so-called Immortal Regiment is part of Saturday’s commemoration of the 70th anniversary of victory over Nazi Germany. (AP Photo/Ivan Sekretarev)  (The Associated Press)

About 300,000 people have walked through central Moscow holding portraits of relatives who fought in World War II.

As the head of the vast column reached Red Square, the marchers were joined by Russian President Vladimir Putin, who held a photograph of his late father in his naval uniform.

The march of the so-called Immortal Regiment was part of Saturday's commemorations of the 70th anniversary of the victory over Nazi Germany.

Earlier in the day, 16,500 troops took part in a military parade on Red Square.

Putin said that his father "like millions of simple soldiers, and he was a simple soldier, had the right to walk across this square. But their fate turned, so that not all of them could."

Similar marches were held in other Russian cities.