The International Forum of Victors titled 'Great Victory mined by unity' was opened in Astana. It is attended by state authorities, scientists and experts, veterans, representatives of youth organizations and cultural figures from all CIS countries, Georgia and the Baltic countries.
The presidents of Russia and Kazakhstan, Vladimir Putin and Nursultan Nazarbayev, addressed the participants with greetings. "This year the Forum of Victors is being held in Astana, the capital of our country," Nazarbayev said in a welcome speech read out by the Minister of Culture and Sports of Kazakhstan, Arystanbek Mukhamediuly. "The older generation of Kazakh people, like the whole people, became the force that forged the Great Victory. I am sure that the current youth will be grateful to the generation of veterans for it," TASS cited the message as saying.
The Departmental Chief of the Russian President on inter-regional and cultural relations with foreign countries, Vladimir Chernov, delivered a message from President Vladimir Putin: "These traditional meetings which are held on the eve of the Great Victory Day are an important consolidating event in the life of our countries. It is gratifying that the geography of forums is steadily expanding, and this year it is hosted by Kazakhstan," the Russian leader said.
The purpose of the forum is to preserve the memory of the Great Patriotic War as an important historical event uniting the peoples of the former Soviet Union, actualizing the role and contribution of representatives of all the peoples of the former USSR to the Great Victory.
Since 2010, it has been held by the Russian cities of Tuapse, Vladikavkaz, Volgograd, Kursk and Moscow. Last year, the forum was held in Minsk.