Publication: Monitor Volume: 1 Issue: 8

The fourteen non-Russian countries in the region marked the anniversary in very different ways. The Baltic governments commemorated the anniversary on May 8–the Western anniversary–not May 9, as the Russians do, and many officials in the three countries pointedly noted that “victory” had left their countries occupied. In Belarus, participants in a large demonstration featuring the Soviet flag and the old hammer and sickle symbols heard President Aleksandr Lukashenko say that “we defended a unified homeland from Brest to the Kuriles and from the black Sea to the Barents Sea.” In Ukraine, demonstrations were muted except in the Western oblasts where veterans of the anti-Soviet Ukrainian Partisan Army clashed with others marking the anniversary. In the Caucasus, very small parades took place in Georgia and Armenia. And in Central Asia, there was a large Soviet-style military parade in Uzbekistan and a larger but less military parade in Kazakhstan. There, President Nurzultan Nazarbayev told the crowd that “we must work to build integration with all the states of the Soviet Union,” a clear reference to his idea of a union that would regularize relations among these states. At the same time, however, Nazarbayev pointedly spoke about the millions of Stalin-era deportees who had been sent to his republic–including the Chechens. He said that these victims of past injustice had always received a warm welcome from the Kazakhs.

V-E Day commemorations and the summit crowded out virtually all other news May 9-10, but other important developments did occur in the region. Among them were:

Fighting Continues In Chechnya.