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16 Aug 2018

Minister: Memory of Great Victory cements unity of Belarusians and Russians

Minister: Memory of Great Victory cements unity of Belarusians and Russians

MINSK, 16 August (BelTA) – The memory of the victory in WW2 strengthens the unity of people of Belarus and Russia, Belarusian Communications and Informatization Minister Sergei Popkov said as he laid a capsule with the land brought from the Battle of Kursk site in the crypt of the Church of All Saints in Minsk on 16 August, BelTA has learned.

The event is timed to the 75th anniversary of the victory in the Battle of Kursk that will be marked on 23 August 2018.

Sergei Popkov co-chairs the Belarus-Kursk Oblast cooperation group. He noted that the agreement to hand over a handful of land from the Battle of Kursk site was reached a year ago. The capsule contains the land from the settlement of Zolotukhino and the area around the monument to hero artillery men located in Ponyrovo District of Kursk Oblast. The symbolic message was delivered to Belarus by Sergei Popkov personally.

“Today we are placing this sacred land into the crypt in memory of those horrible events that took place in 1943. We are endlessly grateful to you, veterans, for your feat. Never forget the fallen. This ceremony proves the unity of our peoples, our common goals. It sends a message that together we are invincible,” Sergei Popkov said.

“In the time when nations and peoples, citizens of different countries are forgetting the history of such great accomplishments, today’s event is a valuable gift. Our peoples fought for the right cause, for independence. Young people who visit the church and the crypt should remember and know about those events. It is one of the sacred places that will educate the younger generation,” he added.

A video conference Minsk-Kursk was arranged during the meeting.

Representatives of various religious denominations administered church services. After that, the capsule was placed into a niche in the crypt.

Taking part in the event were Russian diplomats, Belarusian government officials, representatives of the civil society and veterans of the Great Patriotic War who took part in the Battle of Kursk.

“30 people who participated in the Battle of Kursk live in Minsk now; all of them are over 90. Four of them are here with us: Vera Afanasenko, Piotr Kolgin, Georgy Lozychenko and Ivan Maslovsky. All of them are decorated; they have a different destiny, but one victory. The Battle of Kursk was a turning point of the war; it made it obvious that fascism had lost,” Viktor Kostko from the Minsk Veterans’ Organization said.

The Battle of Kursk was an unsuccessful Nazi assault on the Soviet troops that took place near the city of Kursk in the summer of 1943. The German forces were destroyed and had to withdraw. Taking part in the battle were over 4 million soldiers and officers from the both sides. About 40 Belarusians and Belarus-born soldiers and officers were awarded the Hero of the Soviet Union title in recognition of their courage in the Battle of Kursk.

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Great Patriotic War monuments in Belarus
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