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Russians hold WWII ancestors' portraits in windows

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Ermakov's family who cannot go outside to celebrate Victory Day due to coronavirus hold portraits of their ancestors.
Ermakov's family who cannot go outside to celebrate Victory Day due to coronavirus hold portraits of their ancestors.   -   Copyright  AP Photo/Dmitri Lovetsky
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Millions of Russians marked Victory Day on Saturday by showing portraits of their ancestors who fought in World War II.

Victory Day commemorates the defeat of Nazi Germany and was particularly significant this year because it is the 75th anniversary of the end of the war in Europe.

But many major ceremonies, including a mass procession called The Immortal Regiment, were postponed because of the coronavirus.

AP Photo/Dmitri Lovetsky
People celebrate hold portraits of their ancestors, participants in WWI, while standing on the balcony in St. Petersburg, Russia, Saturday, May 9, 2020.AP Photo/Dmitri LovetskyAP Photo/Dmitri Lovetsky

Usually, Russians turn out in huge numbers for the Immortal Regiment processions when civilians crowd the streets displaying photographs of relatives who died in the war or suffered because of it.

An online substitute for the processions took place Saturday, featuring almost three million portraits of veterans.

Towards evening, portraits were displayed from balconies, while candles and lights were lit up in thousands of windows paying tribute to those who died in the conflict.

The Immortal Regiment stream will remain online for several days as there were so many participants.

AP Photo/Dmitri Lovetsky
A woman hangs a portrait of her ancestor, a participant in World War II on the window of her apartment during Victory Day celebration.AP Photo/Dmitri Lovetsky