Marking the Day of Victory over Fascism began in Banjaluka on Thursday when the Immortal Regiment formed a column in the Petar Kocic Park and marched towards the Fallen Veterans Square.
Republika Srpska President Željka Cvijanović has said that Republika Srpska through its institutions nurtures values of the anti-fascist struggle that are incorporated in modern Europe.
“We are committed to developing Republika Srpska as a community and society which nurtures achievements of the anti-fascist struggle and condemns all attempts at historical revisionism and appearance of certain movements which affirm the evils of Fascism and Nazism,” Cvijanović said on Thursday.
After a ceremony marking May 9, Victory over Fascism Day, she told reporters in Banjaluka that she was satisfied that the Immortal Regiment March had been held this year also, for the third time, and that they had laid wreaths at the monument to fallen soldiers of the People’s Liberation War /NOR/, by which they showed they were proud of all participants of NOR.
According to her, May 9, 1945, is one of the most important dates in history since it marks the defeat of Fascism and evil ideologies stemming from it.
“We are happy for being one of the victors in WWII and for contributing, together with other freedom-loving peoples of Europe, to the struggle against Fascism and its final defeat,” the Republika Srpska President said.
The Speaker of the Republika Srpska National Assembly, Nedeljko Čubrilović, said that the Serbian people were marking this day with pride because they had been among the first in the world to side with those who had recognized the evil which had loomed over the humankind in the 1940s.
“The Serbian people made the greatest sacrifice and suffered the most, and they have many reasons to mark this day with pride and a message that that which our people had been through must not repeat ever again,” Čubrilović said.
He says that he hopes for a life in peace, freedom, and unity, in a developed economy.
The Chairman of the Serbian Caucus in the BiH House of Representatives, Nenad Stevandić, says that there are many movements which support those who can be credited for the emergence of Fascism and that Serbs belong to those who took part in defeating Fascism.
“Our support to organizations and events celebrating the defeat of Fascism is growing with the emergence of those who celebrate those who took part in creating Fascism in these parts,” Stevandić said.
The Chairman of the Republika Srpska Government’s committee tasked with nurturing traditions of liberation wars, Duško Milunović, has said that the Serbian people made an enormous contribution to defeating Fascism and that Serbs made up 82% of the People’s Liberation Army.
“It is our obligation to mark this date and we organized the march of the Immortal Regiment in Banjaluka for the third time. We want to remember our brave ancestors who defeated Fascism, to show that we persist on their road of the fight against Fascism and that we will not allow that such evil be repeated in these parts,” said Milunović, who is also the Minister of Labor and Veterans and Disability Protection.
The president of SUBNOR Banjaluka, Rade DŽajić, has said that when it comes to the number of victims relative to the number of residents, Yugoslavia had the most casualties, 1,706,000 people.
“We must not forget millions of victims of WWII and must continue marking events from our glorious fight,” Đajić said.
The Ambassador of Russia to BiH, Petr Ivantsov, presented decorations of the Russian Federation to participants of the People’s Liberation War /NOR/ for their merits for the anti-fascist struggle.
The Immortal Regiment Movement was founded in Russia in 2011, when 5,000 people marched the streets of Tomsk carrying photos of ancestors who were killed in the Great Homeland War.
In a few years, the movement expanded to more than 1,200 cities and more than 12 million people joined it, while over a million marched the Moscow downtown in 2018.
Last year, the event was held in about 40 countries, including the USA, Germany, Great Britain, France, Austria, Italy and China.