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14 Jul 2020

Katyusha rocket launcher installed at Mound of Glory near Minsk

Katyusha rocket launcher installed at Mound of Glory near Minsk

MINSK, 14 July (BelTA) – The legendary rocket launcher Katyusha has been put on display at the Museum of Military Equipment by the Mound of Glory near Minsk, BelTA has learned.

Taking part in the solemn ceremony were veterans of the Great Patriotic War and labor veterans, government officials, senior members of the Federation of Trade Unions of Belarus. The guests of honor included Minister of Internal Affairs Yuri Karayev, Defense Minister Viktor Khrenin, Minsk Oblast Governor Aleksandr Turchin, Chairman of the Council of the Minsk city branch of the Belarusian Public Association of Veterans Anatoly Adonyev, Chairman of the Federation of Trade Unions of Belarus Mikhail Orda, Chairman of the Smolevichi District Executive Committee Andrei Ratomsky.

“When you look at this clear sky, it is difficult to imagine that there was time when the sky brought threat and fear and took lives. During the long four years our fathers, grandfathers and great grandfathers fought to bring back peace to Belarus, they fought for the opportunity to study, raise children and enjoy every moment of life. The path to freedom was paved by the blood of soldiers, tears of mothers and wives. We cherish the memory of those who defended our right for a future 75 years ago and we are sincerely grateful to our veterans,” Aleksandr Turchin said.

In the year when Belarus marks the 75th anniversary of the Victory, Minsk Oblast keeps refurbishing Victory symbols, the governor said. “After all, each memorial celebrates the courage, tenacity and spirit of our people, this is the most valuable heritage for the generations to come. The Mound of Glory holds a special place in the hearts of Belarusians. It embodies the invincibility of the Motherland defenders. We should never forget the heroic past of Belarusian people, we should preserve and strengthen the sovereignty and independence for our future and in the name of those who gave their lives for the Motherland,” he said.  

Mikhail Orda explained that the date and time of the ceremony were chosen for a reason. It was on 14 July 1941 at 15.15 that this legendary rocket launcher was first used in a battle near Orsha. Katyusha was developed within a very short period of time and was used in almost every major operation of the Great Patriotic War. It particularly did well during Operation Bagration. “Katyusha became a symbol of the victory, and we decided to mount it at the foot of the Mound of Glory, which is also a symbol of the victory and liberation of Belarus,” Mikhail Orda noted.

The project to search and restore a Katyusha rocket launcher took about a year. Some parts were made using the samples from the Military Artillery Museum in St. Petersburg. The fire control console, plating parts, wheels and discs were found by searchers in Leningrad Oblast of Russia and restored by Belarusian specialists. “This is probably the only such original replica of this combat vehicle in Belarus,” Mikhail Orda stressed.

The project was made possible thanks to the joint efforts of the sectoral trade unions. The money earned during the nationwide voluntary cleanup day (aka subbotnik) was used for the project too.

The project to improve the Mound of Glory grounds is one of the biggest initiatives of the  trade unions. A few years ago, the reconstruction of the complex was completed, the grass cover replaced, the lighting installed, information stands were mounted. Last year, the Museum of Military Equipment had a new exhibit – an Il-2 attack bomber.

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