The Ukrainian Foreign Ministry issued a statement on the participation of leaders of Armenia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan in the Victory Day parade on Red Square in Moscow on 9 May.

“The participants were shown Russian military equipment, which has been used for 10 years in Russia’s unprovoked war of aggression against Ukraine,” the statement said.

The Ukrainian Foreign Ministry noted that in his speech, Russian President Vladimir Putin “justified killings of Ukrainians, destruction of Ukrainian cities and villages, abduction of Ukrainian children and repressions against residents of occupied Ukrainian territories.”

“The night before the meeting, the Russian Federation launched 25 cruise missiles over Ukraine, including 15 over Kyiv, aimed at inflicting even more deaths and even more damage on Ukrainian land,” the statement said.

The statement said the peoples of Central Asia and the Caucasus made invaluable contributions to the victory over Nazism 78 years ago.

The participation of their leaders in the statement is regarded as “unfriendly act towards Ukraine, demonstrating contempt for the Ukrainian people who are fighting for its survival and freedom.”

Speaking at the event, Vladimir Putin said that “a real war has been launched against Russia again, but we have repelled international terrorism, we will also protect the residents of Donbas and ensure our security”.

He accused “Western globalist elites” of “continuing to harp on their exclusivity, to pit people against each other and divide societies, provoke bloody conflicts and coups, sow hatred, Russophobia, aggressive nationalism and destroy family and traditional values that make a person human.

“Excessive ambition, arrogance and permissiveness inevitably lead to tragedies. This is the reason for the catastrophe that the Ukrainian people are currently experiencing. They have become a hostage of the coup d'état and the criminal regime of their Western masters, a bargaining chip in the implementation of their cruel, self-serving plans,” the Russian president said.

He called the participation of the CIS leaders “a grateful attitude to the feat of arms of our ancestors: “They fought together and won together — all the peoples of the USSR contributed to the common victory.”