TASHKENT/ASTANA/BISHKEK -- Central Asian presidents Tuesday (May 9) honoured their countries' few remaining World War II veterans on the 72nd anniversary of Nazi Germany's surrender.
Victory Day still holds great resonance in the former Soviet Union.
In Tashkent, Uzbekistani President Shavkat Mirziyoyev personally congratulated every World War II veteran who attended a commemorative event outside Tashkent and spoke on live TV to honour them.
In Astana, Kazakhstani President Nursultan Nazarbayev spoke at a commemorative ceremony, recalling that "20% of the entire [Kazakhstani] population was sent to the front and half didn't return", according to his press office.
In Bishkek, Kyrgyz President Almazbek Atambayev took part in a memorial service dedicated to the anniversary, according to his press office. He laid a wreath and called Victory Day "a sacred holiday".