KIEV, May 8. /TASS/. Russian President Vladimir Putin has sent greetings to veterans of the 1941-1945 Great Patriotic War and the Ukrainian people on Victory Day and called for countering attempts to instigate inter-ethnic strife and revive fascist ideology, according to the congratulations posted on the website of Russia’s embassy in Ukraine on Wednesday.
"Dear veterans! Dear friends!" I heartily congratulate you with Victory Day, our common great holiday," the Russian president said in his message.
"On this glorious day, we bow our heads to the bright memory of our compatriots who fought shoulder to shoulder against fascist invaders on the front and in partisans’ formations and defended the homeland and the entire world from enslavement at the cost of huge victims and deprivations," the congratulations say.
"Our duty is to safeguard the truth about the crucial events of the common history, counter any attempts to instigate inter-ethnic strife and fascist ideology. I am convinced that the peoples of Russia and Ukraine should sacredly guard and remember the traditions of brotherly friendship and mutual support bequeathed by our fathers and grandfathers, which helped us achieve the glorious Victory together," the Russian leader stressed.
Putin wished veterans of the Great Patriotic War health and cheerfulness and also peace and prosperity for all Ukrainian citizens.
Kremlin Spokesman Dmitry Peskov explained earlier on Wednesday that Putin had not sent Victory Day congratulations to Ukrainian President-elect Vladimir Zelensky as he had not yet officially assumed office.
"The Ukrainian president-elect has not yet assumed office and [Pyotr] Poroshenko is the head of state," Peskov said. "You know that earlier, in previous years, Putin did not congratulate Poroshenko," the Kremlin spokesman said.
The head of the Russian state "has always stated that the relations between the countries’ leadership should not in any way be projected to the long-standing close and brotherly relations of the peoples of the two countries," the Kremlin spokesman stressed.
The Kremlin press office reported earlier on Wednesday that Putin had sent congratulatory messages to the leaders and citizens of Azerbaijan, Armenia, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Moldova, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, Abkhazia, South Ossetia and the people of Georgia on the 74th anniversary of the Soviet Union’s Victory over Nazi Germany in the 1941-1945 Great Patriotic War.