Kazakhstan marks Defender of the Fatherland Day with military parade, festivities


OTAR, Kazakhstan -- Kazakhstan celebrated Defender of the Fatherland Day Monday (May 7) with parades, concerts, shows and festivals nationwide, Kazinform reported.

At the Otar military base in Zhambyl Province, more than 3,000 military personnel, 300 pieces of ground equipment and 40 aircraft appeared in a parade to mark the national holiday.

Kazakhstani President Nursultan Nazarbayev joined the celebrations in Zhambyl, addressing the parade.

"The armed forces are the main guarantor of security and [are an] inviolable pillar of our sovereignty and peace in our country," the president said.

"Today the army of Kazakhstan safeguards the country's independence ... It properly fulfills important peacekeeping functions under the aegis of the United Nations," he said.

Nazarbayev stressed the importance of having a well-trained and well-equipped army as "present-day political reality stipulates the need to be ready for whatever comes".

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