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4 May 2020

CIS state news agencies launch joint project to mark Great Victory anniversary

CIS state news agencies launch joint project to mark Great Victory anniversary
Screenshot from the video

MINSK, 4 May (BelTA) – State news agencies of the CIS member states have prepared a joint project ahead of the 75th anniversary of the Victory in the Great Patriotic War. The photo exhibition comprises more than 90 photos based on the wartime documentary footage, BelTA has learned.

The project is about the fight against fascism from its first day to the last day, the post-war reconstruction, veterans – heroes of the front and the rear. “There are more than 500 photos in BelTA’s archives that illustrate the fight and the deed of the Soviet people in the Great Patriotic War, the resistance to the invaders in the territory of Belarus, the post-war reconstruction of the country. Around 200 of the photos were made by Vladimir Lupeiko who stood at the origins of BelTA’s photo service. We added his photos to the joint project celebrating the 75th anniversary of the Great Victory,” BelTA’s Director General Irina Akulovich said.

During the war, Vladimir Lupeiko became a true chronicler of the partisan life. On 22 June 1941 he was in Brest. He joined the underground movement, and later a partisan unit. During the war, Vladimir Lupeiko continued being a photographer of the Belarusian Telegraph Agency BelTA. He not only fought with a weapon in hand, but also captured the day-to-day life of partisans and military operations. When his unit established connection with the rear, he sent his films to the Telegraph Agency of the Soviet Union (TASS). Vladimir Lupeiko’s stories “Blowing up the enemy’s train”, “Fight for bread” were published in many Soviet newspapers. He took photos of the liberation of Minsk, the legendary partisan parade on 16 July 1944, and the post-war reconstruction. After the war, Vladimir Lupeiko became a TASS photographer for Belarus and retired only in 1981.

The Great Patriotic War holds a special place in the Belarusian history. The fight of the Soviet people against the Nazi invaders, unprecedented in its scale and brutality, became the most difficult trial for the country. Belarus lost a third of its population. Hundreds of towns and thousands of villages were burnt down or destroyed. “There is probably not a single family in the country who was not affected by the war. Both my grandfathers fought on the frontline of the Great Patriotic War… Decades have passed, but Belarus has not forgotten victims of the fascism, the deed and courage of the people who lived in that difficult time and gave everything for the long-awaited Victory. Coverage of the topic of the Great Patriotic War is one of the most important avenues of work of our news agency. Ahead of the 75th anniversary of the Great Victory, BelTA has prepared the large-scale online project ‘The Chronicles of the Victory’ that comprises a lot of materials and photos that will be interesting for those who want to learn more about the history of the war. Although we are getting farther and farther from the challenging wartime, we should not forget the people who saved the world from fascism and the price they had to pay for a peaceful life,” Irina Akulovich said.

The photo composition ahead of the Great Victory anniversary was prepared by the decision of the CIS Council of Heads of State News Agencies (CIS Information Council). Photos have been provided by state-run news agencies of Belarus (BelTA), Azerbaijan (AZERTAC), Armenia (ARMENPRESS), Kazakhstan (Kazinform), Kyrgyzstan (Kabar), Moldova (Moldpress), Russia (TASS), Tajikistan (Khovar), Turkmenistan (TDN), Uzbekistan (UzA).

Thus, ARMENPRESS has provided the photos made by the founder of its photo chronicle, honored journalist Suren Khosroyev. During the war, he was a photo-correspondent  for the 61st Infantry Division. He went through the entire war and created a unique military photo album, which the agency plans to present to the public both in multimedia and publishing formats this year. “The contribution of the Armenian people to the Victory in the Great Patriotic War is invaluable. More than 300,000 soldiers were drafted into the army from Soviet Armenia, some 200,000 Armenians joined the army from other Soviet Union republics. More than 100,000 of our compatriots served in armies and resistance movements of the anti-Hitler alliance. All of them, from the private to the marshal, contributed to the victory over fascism. So did the ARMENPRESS employees  who fought on the frontline and in the rear,” ARMENPRESS director Aram Ananyan said.

Askar Umarov, Chairman of the Board of Kazinform International News Agency, believes that this project ahead of the 75th anniversary of the Victory is a demonstration of a high level of cooperation between the CIS news agencies. “I would like to thank the TASS news agency for the initiative and the CIS Information Council for supporting this initiative. In general, the project is up to date. Originally it was planned as a photo exhibition, but, unfortunately, due to the general global pandemic situation we cannot hold mass events. And the TASS agency has found a great way out and made a very warm, kind video that tells, through photos, about the fates of people who endured the suffering and hardships of that terrible war. The video-exposition has already received great feedback from the audience of KASINFORM,” Askar Umarov said. He also expressed confidence that joint projects of CIS news agencies will become a good tradition in the future.

The project is a chronicle of the ordeal that befell the Soviet people, the bitterness of loss and the joy of Victory, said Sergey Mikhailov, the Chairman of the CIS Information Council, Director General of TASS news agency. “These are testimonies of military and labor feat, our memory and gratitude to the people who defended the Motherland on the frontline and in the rear," he said. “Great trials and great victory must not go away from our memory and hearts,” he added. It is important that the CIS countries preserve monuments to war heroes for present and future generations. “They protect from the oblivion, from the repetition of tragedies that claim millions of lives, from attempts to rewrite history and whitewash the accomplices of the forces of evil,” Sergey Mikhailov noted.

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Great Patriotic War monuments in Belarus