Several former Soviet republics are sending heads of government to the Red Square event
Presidents and prime ministers of seven countries that used to be part of the Soviet Union have been invited to join Russian President Vladimir Putin for the Victory Day parade on Tuesday morning, the Kremlin has announced.
Armenian PM Nikol Pashinyan is already in Moscow, along with presidents of Belarus Alexander Lukashenko, Kassym-Jomart Tokayev of Kazakhstan, Sadyr Japarov of Kyrgyzstan, Emomali Rahmon of Tajikistan, and Shavkat Mirziyoyev of Uzbekistan, according to Russian media.
Turkmenistan’s Serdar Berdymuhamedov was invited, but it was unclear whether he would come to Moscow or celebrate Victory Day in Dushanbe instead.
Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters on Monday evening that the leaders will join Putin for an “informal breakfast,” followed by the traditional military parade, scheduled to start at 10 am local time. A joint wreath-laying at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier is also on the agenda.
Putin will give a speech before the parade begins. The Kremlin has not provided any excerpts from the address.
Tuesday’s parade will mark 78 years since Nazi Germany surrendered to the Soviet Union in the Second World War. By tradition, the ceremony opens with the guard of honor carrying the banner raised atop the Reichstag on May 2, 1945, the battle flag of the 150th Infantry Division.
Dress rehearsals for the parade were held over the weekend and on Monday. Russian media have reported that units involved in the ongoing military operation in Ukraine will be featured among those on display, just as they were last May.