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Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan Move Victory Parades To May 7

Kyrgyzstan has moved its military parade commemorating the 70th anniversary of the victory over Nazi Germany in World War II from May 9 to May 7.

The Kyrgyz Armed Forces General Staff said on April 24 that the annual parade was rescheduled because President Almazbek Atambaev has been invited to attend Victory Day celebrations in Moscow on May 8-9.

The announcement came a day after officials in neighboring Tajikistan moved that country's parade to May 7 because its president, Emomali Rahmon, would be visiting Moscow on May 8-9.

Many Western leaders are staying away from the Moscow parade, hosted by Russian President Vladimir Putin, in a sign of protest against Russia's interference in Ukraine, but some leaders of other former Soviet republics plan to attend.

Last week, Belarusian President Alyaksandr Lukashenka said he will be in Moscow on May 7-8 but will skip the military parade in Red Square on May 9, presiding over a parade in the Belarusian capital instead.

Representatives of about 25 countries -- including India, China, Mongolia, Serbia, and North Korea -- have confirmed that they will attend the May 9 parade in Moscow.

Based on reporting by TASS and Interfax

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