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9 May, 2023 19:53

Ukraine blasts foreign leaders for attending WWII victory celebration

Kiev called Moscow’s parade “fake” and accused Russia of war crimes
Ukraine blasts foreign leaders for attending WWII victory celebration

The Ukrainian Foreign Ministry on Tuesday accused leaders of six former Soviet republics who visited Moscow for the Victory Day parade of “immoral and unfriendly” behavior and being used by Russian President Vladimir Putin for a “fake action” unrelated to victory in WWII.

Armenian PM Nikol Pashinyan, President of Belarus Alexander Lukashenko, Kassym-Jomart Tokayev of Kazakhstan, Sadyr Japarov of Kyrgyzstan, Emomali Rahmon of Tajikistan, Serdar Berdymuhamedov of Turkmenistan and Shavkat Mirziyoyev of Uzbekistan were in attendance at the celebration, marking the 78th anniversary of Nazi Germany’s defeat.

By tradition, Tuesday’s ceremony opened with the guard of honor carrying the battle flag of the 150th Infantry Division, the banner raised atop the Reichstag on May 2, 1945.

Kiev described the celebration as “the event on the Red Square,” and said the participation of seven leaders amounted to “an immoral and unfriendly act towards Ukraine, demonstrating contempt for the Ukrainian people who are fighting for its survival and freedom.”

The Ukrainian Foreign Ministry accused Putin of being a war criminal and claimed that in his speech, the Russian president “justified killings of Ukrainians, destruction of Ukrainian cities and villages, abduction of Ukrainian children and repressions against residents of occupied Ukrainian territories.”  They described the parade as featuring Russian military equipment “which has been used for ten years in Russia’s unprovoked war of aggression against Ukraine.” 

Putin told the assembled guests that Russia bore no ill will for the people of Ukraine, whom he described as “hostages” of the 2014 US-backed coup in Kiev who were used as pawns by the West in its “cruel selfish plans.”

Ukraine’s foreign ministry argued that the people of the Caucasus and Central Asia made “an invaluable contribution to the victory over Nazism 78 years ago” and “do not deserve the fate of being used now by the Kremlin taking part in a fake action that has nothing to do with the feat of the victors over Nazism.”

The government in Kiev has systematically dismantled monuments to the Red Army as part of its “decommunization” campaign, while denouncing the Soviet Union era as “Russian occupation” and glorifying Nazi collaborators such as Stepan Bandera’s nationalist militia and the ‘Galizien’ division of the Waffen-SS as national heroes.