Central Asia marks Victory Day with parades, festivals


ASTANA -- Thousands marched in the streets of Central Asian countries Wednesday (May 9) to celebrate the 73rd anniversary of victory in World War II and to pay tribute to their compatriots killed during the war.

All the Central Asian states celebrate Victory Day as a national holiday to commemorate the defeat of Nazi Germany in 1945.

In Kazakhstan, descendants of those who fought in the war and Astana residents took part in the Zhauzhrek Polk (Immortal Regiment) Victory Day parade in the capital, carrying portraits of their ancestors and singing Kazakh songs, Kazinform reported.

US Ambassador to Kazakhstan George Krol expressed his respect for the country's veterans in a video released Wednesday.

"Dear veterans, on behalf of the US Diplomatic Mission in Kazakhstan, I want to congratulate you on the Victory Day and express my deep respect. We appreciate your acts of bravery and patriotism! We express special gratitude to you!" Krol said in Kazakh.

"We bow low to you," he said.

In Kyrgyzstan, President Sooronbai Jeenbekov joined a Victory Day march in Bishkek that brought together thousands of citizens and visitors to the capital, AKIpress reported.

Uzbekistan marked the holiday with concerts and festivals across the country, UzDaily reported.

More than 500,000 Uzbekistanis died in combat during the war and many went missing. Others returned disabled.

President Shavkat Mirziyoyev attended an event at the Tashkent Botanical Garden, which contained a historical exhibit of World War II-era trenches, weapons and military equipment.

The president congratulated all veterans and thanked them for their contributions to the victory over Nazism.

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Back to the USSR? Lunacy. This day was proclaimed the Day of Memory and Honor [in Uzbekistan]. Why is there this charade and flip-flop policy?! Is it possible to forget how bungling Russian generals sent poorly formed Turkestan cavalry regiments against German tanks, and got untrained conscripts killed in droves with machine guns [positioned] in concrete bunkers? Didn't they get enough "cannon fodder"? And did the Turkestanis who rioted in 1916, when they were called upon to work behind the lines during World War One, suddenly decide to "voluntarily" go to war 25 years later?! Maybe the "force" that made them fight on the front lines was the fear of the 1918-1938 "Red Terror", the Great Famine in the 1920s and 1930s, the NKVD [the interior ministry of the Soviet Union in 1934-1946] calling the whole family "enemies of the people" and shooting them for "sabotage" and "counter-revolutionary agitation"? Why don't we celebrate the victories of Timur, Babur, the Khwarazm Shahs in India, Iran, the Middle East, and the Caucasus, and run around these countries with boncuks [drums] and banners from those times?! Because this is lunacy. And this charade, with symbols that are foreign for us and portraits of fallen soldiers, looks equally stupid. We honor the fallen by reading ayats from the Holy Quran.