The Second World War (WWII) veterans from across the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) have come together in Kazakhstan. Astana has hosted 8th large-scale forum of the WWII veterans. The forum has brought together hundreds of people from different countries, who want to preserve the memory of the war heroes and the Second World War as an important historical event uniting the former soviet nations. More than 1 million 300 thousand people went to war from Kazakhstan; every third soldier was killed. In total, the war claimed the lives of 27 million of Soviet people.

 

OLZHAS SULEIMENOV, POET, PUBLIC FIGURE:

 - 350,000 Kazakh people were killed in the WWII, even though not a single bomb was dropped on its territory.

 

Hundreds of participants united under one goal - to prevent future wars, because the Second World War claimed far too many lives. It was an enormously high price to pay for peace. Therefore peace should be preserved by the next generations, veterans say. Despite the old age, they found the strength to come to the winners' forum and participate in the flower-laying ceremony.

 

ASYLKHAN BEKBAYEV, WWII VETERAN:

 - The young generation should know about the ancestors' feat, about their history, they should love their motherland and live in peace.

 

VASILIY KLYUI, WWII VETERAN, UKRAINE:

 - Memories of the war still make me shake, when  I think about the hardships we had been through. I wish the next generations will never have to experience the horrors of war.

 

Presidents Nursultan Nazarbayev and Vladimir Putin greeted the forum participants. Previously, similar events were held in Minsk, Tuapse, Moscow, Kursk, Vladikavkaz and Volgograd. According to the organizers, Astana was chosen to pay tribute to millions of Kazakh people who showed great fortitude, true heroism and devotion to their common homeland during the war.

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