NUMBER-ONE HOLIDAY OF THE YEAR
One of the major national holidays, Victory Day, was widely celebrated in Turkmenistan. On this day President of Turkmenistan Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov received Deputy Minister of Defense of the Russian Federation, Colonel General Alexander Fomin.
The guest arrived in Turkmenistan on an honorary mission, i.e. to participate in the celebrations on the occasion of the 75th anniversary of Victory and hand over on this big day the Battle Banner of the 748th Infantry Regiment of the 206th Infantry Division of the 2nd Ukrainian Front, in which the grandfather of the President of Turkmenistan, Berdimuhamed Annaev, fought, as well as a personal file of the front-line soldier.
Having conveyed congratulations on Victory Day from Russian President Vladimir Putin to President Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov, Fomin noted heroism and courage of soldiers of the 748th Infantry Regiment of the 206th Infantry Division. According to him, they received 250 commendations on behalf of the top military leadership and were awarded 2500 orders and medals in 1943-1944 alone.
Expressing confidence in the further strengthening of friendship and strategic partnership between Turkmenistan and Russia, Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov conveyed wishes of health, happiness and prosperity to Vladimir Putin and the entire fraternal Russian people on the occasion of the 75th anniversary of Victory.
Early in the morning of the holiday, the Immortal Regiment procession took place at the A.S.Pushkin Turkmen-Russian School in Ashgabat in celebration of the 75th anniversary of Victory Day.
School children carrying portraits of their relatives - grandfathers, great-grandfathers and even great-great-grandfathers who participated in the Great Patriotic War - marched in solemn procession initiated by the Russian Embassy in Turkmenistan. Speaking at the meeting before the start of procession, Minister-Counsellor of the Embassy of the Russian Federation in Turkmenistan Konstantin Shlykov congratulated the war veterans, school teachers, parents and participants of the Immortal Regiment on the 75th anniversary of Victory Day.
The diplomat noted that inadmissibility of the repetition of horrors of the bloodies war in the history of mankind that ended 75 years ago was the main lesson learned by mankind in the World War II. The Minister-Counsellor also reminded the meeting participants that "it was this lesson that led to the establishment of the United Nations 75 years ago, within the framework of which Russia and neutral Turkmenistan successfully cooperate."
A day earlier, World War II veterans and their wives as well as labor veterans who served on the home front during the war were decorated with the anniversary medal "On the 75th anniversary of the Victory in the Great Patriotic War of 1941-1945" at an official ceremony in Ashgabat. Representatives of ministries and departments, socio-political organizations, cadets of the military school and military institute, military personnel of the Armed Forces of Turkmenistan attended the ceremony.
Chairman of the Democratic Party of Turkmenistan Ata Serdarov addressed the WWII veterans with words of congratulation. He assured them that socio-political organizations would do everything to ensure that the memory of the military and labor feats of the defenders of the Fatherland lives on, and connection of generations remains strong. He emphasized that patriotic education would remain a priority for political parties and public associations of Turkmenistan.
The main events in celebration of the 75th anniversary of Victory in the 1941-1945 Great Patriotic War were held in Ashgabat on May 9 with participation of President of Turkmenistan Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov.
The celebrations started with a flower-laying ceremony at the memorial complex "People's Memory". The head of state, war and labor veterans, leaders of the national parliament, government officials, heads of public associations, political parties and foreign diplomats laid wreaths of flowers at the monument in commemoration of defenders of the Motherland and victims of the devastating Ashgabat earthquake of 1948. The Deputy Minister of Defense of the Russian Federation, Colonel General Alexander Fomin and members of the Russian delegation who arrived in Ashgabat to celebrate Victory Day in Turkmenistan also laid flowers at the foot of the monument.
The celebrations continued with a military parade. President of Turkmenistan Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov delivered a speech before the start of the parade.
As the head of state noted, soldiers from Turkmenistan, who fought in the great war, demonstrated a high standard of valor, heroism and devotion to the Motherland. Over 70 thousand of them were awarded orders and medals, 104 soldiers were awarded the highest title of Hero of the Soviet Union, and 15 became full Cavaliers of the Order of Glory.
The Turkmen leader also praised great humanism and invincible spirit of Turkmen women who donated about 7,400 kilograms of gold and silver jewelry to the Defense Fund.
Then, the floor was given to the Deputy Minister of Defense of the Russian Federation, Colonel General Alexander Fomin. The distinguished guest said that over 300 thousand soldiers of Turkmenistan fought in the battles on all fronts of the war and reached the walls of the Reichstag, while their mothers, wives and even children worked hard on the home front to bring this glorious day closer.
"In the name of preserving the historical memory, the Battle Banner of the 748th Infantry Regiment of the 206th Infantry Division of the 2nd Ukrainian Front is being handed over to the fraternal Turkmen people for eternal storage. It will become a reminder of the sacrifice made by the Turkmen people to advance Victory. It was under this banner that Berdimuhamed Annaev, the grandfather of honorable President of Turkmenistan Gurbanguly Myalikgulyevich, went into battle. We salute all veterans, the generation of winners," the Russian Deputy Minister of Defense said in conclusion.
The official part was followed by the military parade of units of the Armed Forces of Turkmenistan, some of which were dressed in military uniforms of the Great Patriotic War and armed with PPSh assault rifles and carbines of the time.
The procession of soldiers on Akhal-Teke horses was the crown of the festive parade in honor of the 75th anniversary of Victory. During World War II, the 97th and 98th Turkmen Mounted Divisions were formed and went through the war from Stalingrad to Berlin.
The audience watched with great excitement the military vehicles of those years driving past the stands, including Gaz-67B passenger car, ZIS-5 and URAL-ZIS trucks with machine guns mounted on them and legendary BM-13 Katyusha.
The military parade concluded with the demonstration of World War II best medium tanks - T-34 and anti-tank self-propelled artillery mounts Su-100 carried on KAMAZ trucks that are well-known from the documentaries and feature films about the war.
The military parade was followed by the procession of Immortal Regiment with participation of residents of Ashgabat and diplomats of the Russian Embassy in Turkmenistan. A portrait of front-line soldier Berdimuhamed Annaev, grandfather of the President of Turkmenistan, was among the numerous portraits of front-line soldiers.
Festive fireworks that lit up the night sky of Ashgabat with thousands of lights became the final chord of the celebrations in honor of the 75th anniversary of Victory. Festivities marking Victory Day were held in all regions of Turkmenistan.