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| Home | Press centre | 70th anniversary of the Great Victory

70th anniversary of the Great Victory

1 Jul 2015

Armenian memorial cross unveiled in Belarusian Brest

Armenian memorial cross unveiled in Belarusian BrestMINSK, 1 July (BelTA) – A carved stone cross was unveiled in the Belarusian city of Brest on 1 July to commemorate the Armenian soldiers, who died to defend the Brest Fortress during the Great Patriotic War, BelTA has learned.

The cross has been unveiled upon the initiative of the Armenian parliament with assistance of the administration of Brest Oblast and the city. Made of basalt, the carved stone cross is nearly two meters high and weighs about one tonne. It was made by Armenian craftsmen, delivered to Belarus by air, and placed in the Brest street named after Brest Fortress defenders next to the sign erected in memory of the soldiers from the Russian city of Ryazan.

Chairman of the Brest Oblast Council of Deputies Sergei AshmyantsevOpening the rally, Chairman of the Brest Oblast Council of Deputies Sergei Ashmyantsev remarked that the oblast has always taken good care of historical memory. At the beginning of the Great Patriotic War representatives of 33 nationalities fought to defend the Brest Fortress. According to some sources, there were about 200 Armenians among the ranks of the defenders of the fortress. “This memorial sign will become yet another important step towards immortalizing the feat accomplished by glorious defenders of the Brest Fortress. May we still be united by common victories but only peaceful ones — economic, scientific, cultural, and sport victories. It is what our forefathers fought for,” stressed Sergei Ashmyantsev.

Chairman of the National Assembly of Armenia Eduard SharmazanovMore than 500,000 Armenians were drafted to fight on the frontlines during the Great Patriotic War. More than half of them fell on the field of battle. More than 60,000 Armenian soldiers contributed to Belarus’ liberation and every fourth of them paid for it with their lives. Deputy Chairman of the National Assembly of Armenia Eduard Sharmazanov said with pride that he is the grandson of a frontline soldier. “As they were fighting to liberate Belarus, every Armenian soldier understood that by doing so they were protecting their homes and families. The fact that we unveil this monument together in the Belarusian land today symbolizes not only memory about the past but also our common future,” said the head of the Armenian delegation.

Armenian memorial cross unveiled in Belarusian BrestThe deputy head of the Armenian parliament thanked the administration of the city and the oblast, Belarusian MPs, and Armenian sponsors for support and assistance with implementing the idea. The Armenian MP thanked war veterans for their courage and love of the fatherland. He also congratulated the Belarusian nation on the forthcoming holiday — Belarus Independence Day and the 71st anniversary of the country’s liberation from the Nazi invaders.

Deputy Chairman of the House of Representatives of the National Assembly of Belarus Viktor Guminsky named the cross a symbol of combat brotherhood. He said the cross will make the Belarusian-Armenian friendship stronger. The MP also noted that very tight ties exist between the Belarusian and Armenian parliaments, an interparliamentary cooperation commission has been created and operates effectively. It was during the commission’s session in Brest 18 months before that the idea to immortalize the memory of the Armenian defenders of the Brest Fortress by placing the carved stone cross was born. “We are not indifferent to the destiny and memory about those, who protected the freedom and independence of our motherland. This memorial is a symbol of Belarusian-Armenian friendship and combat brotherhood. May it serve as a symbol of continuously stronger friendship,” said the MP.

Armenian memorial cross unveiled in Belarusian BrestThe carved stone cross in Brest is the second cross of the kind erected in Belarus. A similar memorial cross was put in Mogilev in 2014.

Taking part in the ceremony held to unveil the memorial cross were representatives of the administration of Brest Oblast and the city, members of the Armenian parliament delegation, members of the lower chamber of the Belarus parliament, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of Armenia to Belarus Armen Khachatryan, soldiers of the local border service division, young Belarusians, representatives of the general public.

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