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U.S., Russian Embassies Jointly Congratulate Kyrgyz On Victory Day

Victory Day in Bishkek
Victory Day in Bishkek
BISHKEK -- The Russian and U.S. embassies in Kyrgyzstan have issued a rare joint statement congratulating Kyrgyz on the celebration of Victory Day, RFE/RL's Kyrgyz Service reports.

"The strong friendship between us, the Russian and American ambassadors to the Kyrgyz Republic, reflects that same spirit of cooperation that allowed us to vanquish our common enemy during World War II," the statement reads. "In commemoration of that most destructive and bloody of wars in which more than 50 million people perished, we today bow our heads again to the heroism of those who shed their blood and gave."

The victory over Nazi Germany in 1945 is marked in former Soviet countries on May 9, but Kyrgyz authorities have decided not to publicly celebrate the 65th anniversary of the event due to mourning for last month's deadly clashes between antigovernment demonstrators and security forces that left 86 people dead and hundreds injured.

The April 7 protests toppled President Kurmanbek Bakiev, who is in exile in Belarus.

Both the U.S. and Russian governments have shown strong support to Kyrgyzstan's interim government as the successor to Bakiev and his government.

Kyrgyzstan is the only country in the world that hosts both U.S. and Russian military bases.