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Kazakhstan Marks Victory Day Early So Nazarbaev Can Go To Moscow

Kazakhstan’s President Nursultan Nazarbaev launched a military parade in the capital, Astana, to mark the 70th anniversary of the defeat of Nazi Germany in World War II.

Although the anniversary is celebrated on May 9 in other former Soviet republics, Kazakhstan was holding commemorations on May 7 so that Nazarbaev can travel to Moscow to attend Russia’s May 9 celebrations.

Kazakhstan’s national army day, known as Defender of the Fatherland Day, also is celebrated on May 7.

At the start of the Astana parade, Nazarbaev congratulated troops and said the events show “the continuity of military traditions of winners in the Great Patriotic War and the current generation of defenders of our Motherland.”

With more than 5,000 troops, the Astana parade was the largest in Kazakhstan’s history since achieving independence from the Soviet Union in 1991.

Based on reporting by TASS, dpa, Reuters, and AFP