KIEV, February 14. /ITAR-TASS/. Ukrainian leaders paid tribute to the memory of compatriots who died in Afghanistan where they performed the international duty.
On Commemoration Day marked this Friday to honour the memory of those who died in combat actions in foreign countries, President Viktor Yanukovich, government members, parliament leaders, clergymen and war veterans laid flowers and stood for a minute's silence at the memorial to Ukrainian citizens who died in the Afghan war. Soldiers of the Guard of Honour marched near the memorial.
The presidential press service said that Yanukovich later in the day would meet with representatives of public organizations of veterans of the Afghan war and other military conflicts.
The war in Afghanistan began in late 1970s and lasted for almost ten years. More than 160,000 servicemen from Ukraine participated in combat actions in the country. More than 3,000 people, performing their international duty, did not return from the war. Thousands were wounded. Veterans who have participated in peacekeeping operations abroad over the years of Ukraine's independence number more than 250,000.