/ text and photos by Ivan Balov
For the first time more than 500 orchestra members and artists from Russia, Mongolia and China came to the Festival comprising a total of 12 bands.
Before the start of the military defile, the participants laid flowers to the Eternal Flame at the memorial of Glory. Further, the columns proceeded towards the Victory Square. The military band of the Yuzhno-Sakhalinsk garrison of the 68th Army Corps opened the procession. It was followed by the brass band of the Far Eastern Higher Combined-Arms Command School named after Marshal of the Soviet Union K. Rokossovsky (Blagoveshchensk), musicians of the staff of troops and forces in the northeast of Russia from Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky. Then there were the musicians of the orchestra of the north-western district staff of the Russian National Guard troops from St. Petersburg, one of the oldest military musical bands of the Far East from Khabarovsk and others.
The brightest was the appearance of one of the best professional groups in China — the keeper of ancient traditions of Chinese dance, circus and acrobatic art and modern martial art of Wushu — Jean Wei Ushi ensemble. It was followed by the women’s brass band of the PRC.
The procession was closed by the Special Guard Company of the Presidential Regiment and Benchmark Orchestra of the General Staff of the Armed Forces of Mongolia. The festive concert for the Sakhalin residents and guests of the city was held to celebrate the 70th anniversary of the foundation of the island region in the Victory Square.
«We are for the first time on Sakhalin," said Lieutenant-General Sergei Khlebnikov, Commandant of the Moscow Kremlin, head of the Moscow Kremlin Commandant’s Service of Russia’s FGS. «I hope the islanders will like shows with weapons conducted by the Special Guard Company of the Presidential Regiment. This visit to Sakhalin is a special event for soldiers. They often perform with the orchestra in the regions, but they have never been so far yet. I am sure that the performance of the Presidential Regiment, which by definition is a symbol of the best quality of Russian soldiers and officers, will be held on point.»