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924 red tulips to honour Kazakhstani Soldiers who died Soviet Afghan War: Astana memorial service 19 февраля 2015, 02:20

In Astana, to honour the deceased, the Ministry of Defense of Kazakhstan has organised memorial services and a celebration of the anniversary of end of the Soviet Afghan War.
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Photo courtesy of the MInistry of Defence press office. Photo courtesy of the MInistry of Defence press office.

26 years have passed since the day the Soviet troops withdrew from Afghanistan. The 9-year war claimed 1.5 million civilian lives and the lives over 14 thousand Soviet soldiers. In Astana, to honour the fallen, the Ministry of Defense has organized memorial services and the anniversary celebration of the end of the Soviet Afghan war, Tengrinews reports citing the press office of the Kazakh Ministry.

The celebration took place in front of the Peacekeeping Soldier monument. Adviser to the Kazakhstan’s Minister of Defense Lieutenant General Bakhytzhan Yertayev, Deputy Chief of the General Staff of the Armed Forces General Major Mukan Dyusekeev, General Major Muslim Dairov of the Chief Inspection, Colonel Turaly Koishykulov from the Air Forces and other army officers who participated in the Soviet Afghan war came to honor the memory of their deceased fellow soldiers.

“26 years passed since the day the last Soviet Soldier left the Afghan land. But the 10-year war echoes till this very day. That is why, every year on February 15 we honor those who fulfilled their military and civil duties with bravery and honesty,” general major Dyusekeev said.

Students of the Zhas Ulan State School for future officers prepared the Red Tulip patriotic event. The children made 924 paper tulips commemorating the number of Kazakhstani soldiers who died in the Soviet Afghan war. Zhas Ulan students lay the red paper flowers on the snow as a symbol of soldier bravery.

Silent drill teams from different Defense Forces fired three times to mark a minute of silence in the memory of the peacekeeping soldiers who died on the Afghan land. All the military units were part of the We Remember You, Soldier campaign.

Various sports tournaments, ceremonial receptions, performances and shooting competitions were dedicated to the celebration of the end of the Soviet Afghan war.

The Soviet Afghan war, a part of the Cold War started in the end of 1979, when the Afghan government requested troops from the USSR to fight against the Mujahideen, multi-national insurgent groups. The involvement of the Soviet Army was internationally condemned. With the change in the foreign policy promoted by Mikhail Gorbachev, the USSR decided to withdraw the troops from Afghanistan. By 1989, the Soviet troops left Afghanistan concluding the war that lasted almost 10 years.

In May, 2014 a monument in the honor of the World War II and Afghan War veterans was opened in Boralday village, in Almaty Oblast. The tulip monument was opened on May 7, the Defender of the Motherland Day.

By Gyuzel Kamalova

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