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Opinions & Interviews

8 May 2020

Lukashenko: Victory anniversary celebrations will be beautiful page in Belarus' history

Lukashenko: Victory anniversary celebrations will be beautiful page in Belarus' history

MINSK, 8 May (BelTA) – The celebrations of the 75th anniversary of the Victory in the Great Patriotic War will become a beautiful page in the Belarusian history, Belarusian President Aleksandr Lukashenko said as he met with the participants of the war commemorative event in All Saints Memorial-Church in Minsk on 8 May, BelTA has learned.

“We are getting ready for tomorrow's key event [the military parade]. Unfortunately, the times, as you can see, are changing, with little correlation with what we see. As the metropolitan has said, we have to stand our ground like the Brest Fortress. I want to reiterate: the big is seen from a distance. Time will pass, and people, primarily the youth, will understand the value of these days. I am absolutely sure that this will be a beautiful page in the history of our country,” Aleksandr Lukashenko said. “A beautiful one, because we have held out like they did back then. They sacrificed their lives so that we could live today. The least we can do is to pay homage and honor our heroes at least once a year. We cannot act in any other way. This is the only reason – we cannot act in any other way. We should do as they did, having faith in the future. For the sake of the future, for the sake of our life. Time for assessments will come later,” he added.

Aleksandr Lukashenko expressed gratitude to soldiers, officers, generals, and veterans who fought in the Great Patriotic War and those of the Armed Forces of the present-day Belarus. “I have granted your request about the parade, and now I am asking you to help us invite those who are strong not only spiritually but also physically. Please, do not fear for your health. We will do everything for you. Because as long as you live, this memory is also alive. You are the witnesses of that time. And today you represent our soldiers, officers, and generals, who continued to preserve the peace, defend and rebuild our country in harsh post-war years. I thank you very much!” the president said.

The head of state also answered questions of the participants of the event. For example, one journalist asked to commend on the reports in the internet that coronavirus survivors will be invited to the parade. “I have already expressed my opinion on this. We have never dragged people to the parade or any such events anywhere in Belarus, let alone in Minsk with its two-million population. This is, if you will, my creed, my demand,” Aleksandr Lukashenko answered.

“I am convinced that people will come to the parade, and we do not need to make them and drag them to the parade. However, I would love to see the people who have recently prevailed to attend the parade. Because those who have recovered from the coronavirus have prevailed. Not over the disease (this is the easiest thing one could prevail over), not over this virus, but over the things dishonest politicians have put into people’s heads. People have simply started to fear. It has taken us a lot of effort to calm people down. I have recently praised them: our elderly and the youth, our whole nation. We have honestly and sincerely told people how they should behave, the rest is in their hands,” the head of state said.

Aleksandr Lukashenko noted that a lot of people from outside Minsk want to attend the parade, including healthcare workers and doctors.

“I will not welcome attempts to force or even encourage people to come to this event. It is everyone’s personal matter of honor. Some think differently. You know them. We do not even invite them. This is their right,” the president stressed.

One of officers noted that military personnel usually act as participants of the parade, not spectators. “You might be right. It is a very interesting thought. Military personnel have always been the key figures of the parade and we have not thought that thousands of people are left outside of the parade, sitting in front of the TV screen. And they – all those privates, sergeants, junior officers – rarely sat in the stands. This should be changed,” Aleksandr Lukashenko responded.

A representative of war veterans, who attended the ceremony in the church, also addressed the president, thanking him for the work to preserve the memory of the Great Patriotic War events. “We are thankful that the memory of our nation’s deeds is preserved at such a high level all over the country,” the veteran said.

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