Each year the Immortal Regiment procession takes place on the Victory Day (May 9) in Russia when people parade with the portraits of their parents, grandparents and great-grandparents, World War II veterans, on the streets of large cities and small towns.
In doing so, they pay respects for the Soviet Union’s victory over Nazi Germany, for the lives saved and for the opportunity to live in a free country. This action turned out to be popular in many countries around the world.
In the wake of the coronavirus pandemic, it was decided to hold an online version of the Immortal Regiment. But this year, some villains posted hundreds of portraits of Nazi criminals, including Hitler, Himmler, Soviet defector general Vlasov and their accomplices convicted by the Nuremberg trials.
However, that blasphemy towards the memory of the grandfathers and great-grandfathers has not escaped the attention of the Russian public. First, the moderators removed about 20,000 Nazi profiles. Then the case was turned over to the Investigation Committee. Modern technologies make it possible to find out their IP addresses. Among those who posted the pictures of the Nazis were young people from Volgograd, Samara, Perm and Ulyanovsk. Сriminal proceedings were initiated against these moral monsters under Part 1 of Clause 354 of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation on “Rehabilitation of Nazism, i.e. approval of crimes established by the verdict of the Nuremberg Military Tribunal.”
The investigators interrogated the suspects. The young people said in their own defense that they had decided to “make a joke”, but it had failed. The Russians were outraged by their actions and called for punishing these villains to the fullest extent possible in order to prevent the jokes of this kind. If the suspects’ guilt is proved, they will get jail terms for up to three years.
Notably, these young people indicated on their social media accounts that they were members of regional groups supporting the command centers of Alexei Navalny, the leader of Russia’s off-parliament opposition. It can be concluded that their actions were not spontaneous, but well-thought-out and planned. In this regard, the situation looks very different. Vyacheslav Kruglov from the city of Ulyanovsk repented of his actions. Earlier, he had been convicted twice – for extremism and theft. So, in his case the issue is unlikely to be solved only by repentance.
Artem Khutorovsky, the head of the executive committee of the Immortal Regiment all-Russian public movement, said that “there were so many profiles of this kind,” and their amassed scrutiny required assistance from volunteers. Mostly, the “jokers” downloaded Nazi photos from abroad, most often from Estonia and Ukraine.
Denis Vorontsov from Volgograd defiantly refused to answer any questions of the Investigation Committee. Andrey Shabanov from Samara and Daniil Simonov from Perm pleaded guilty. On his account in one of the social nets, Shabanov wrote that he approved the U.S. policy and that he was an atheist and an adept of the Libertarian Party. Chances are other moral freaks, who are apparently proponents of Nazism, will be detained in the near future.
Alexei Zhuravlev, the chairman of Rodina [Motherland] party believes that these actions should be regarded as “an attempt on the historical memory of the Russian people,” and not just an instance of website hacking. These individuals should be sentenced to real prison terms if they are on the territory of the country.
At present, the accounts of these moral monsters where people left outraged comments have been removed from social nets. Hopefully, they will be judged for mocking the memory of their ancestors to the full extent of law. In connection with these events, the important question arises – who were their grandfathers and great grandfathers during the Second World War? If they fought in the ranks of the Red Army, it turns out that there is nothing sacred for these rogues who decided to stomp on the graves of their ancestors.