MOSCOW, May 8. /TASS/. Russian President Vladimir Putin directed his greetings on the 73rd Victory in the Great Patriotic War to the Ukrainian citizens and not Ukraine’s President Pyotr Poroshenko because of the position on the war in Donbass, acting Kremlin Spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters.
"You know that Russia is well disposed towards fraternal Ukrainian people, and you know Russia’s attitude towards those who unleashed the fratricidal and murderous war in southeastern Ukraine," Peskov said in response to a Ukrainian reporter’s question on why Putin’s traditional greetings to the leaders of the post-Soviet countries on the Victory anniversary were addressed, in particular, to the Ukrainian citizens and not the Ukrainian president.
Responding to a question on which Armenian leader Putin’s greeting message was directed to, Peskov said it was the country’s president.
The Kremlin press service earlier reported that "the Russian president congratulated the leaders of Azerbaijan, Armenia, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Moldova, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, Abkhazia and South Ossetia, as well as the citizens of Georgia and Ukraine, on the 73rd anniversary of the Victory in the Great Patriotic War." In his greeting messages the Russian leader noted that Victory Day is a sacred date and a symbol of unity and unparalleled heroism of our peoples who fought together on the front lines and worked wholeheartedly behind the lines to save Russia and the entire humanity from the Nazis. "Putin particularly noted the importance of bringing the undistorted truth about the Great Patriotic War events home to the young population and highlighted that the current generations’ duty is to prevent similar tragic events in the future. The head of state is confident that the traditions of fraternal friendship and mutual support, hardened in the crucible of the war years, will remain a reliable basis for developing relations between our countries," the Kremlin said.
The Russian president also expressed his sincere appreciation to all war veterans and home front workers and wished them good health, longevity, peace and prosperity.