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.