Address of Belarus President Alexander Lukashenko at wreath-laying ceremony in Victory Square
Dear compatriots and foreign guests,
Our history is rich in milestone dates. 9 May 1945 is a special
day. It is the Day of the Great Victory. This victory was achieved by the Soviet
people in the most dreadful war, the cruelest war against the fascism.
The salvation of the world from the fascism
came at tremendous costs. During the war Belarus lost its every third resident.
Over 200,000 people were killed in the Trostenets death camp near Minsk alone.
How many people were killed in the burnt villages and destroyed cities?!
The country suffered an irreparable material
damage. Thousands of companies, schools, museums, libraries and churches were
destroyed. We lost more than a half of our national heritage.
The Nazi crimes cannot be erased from the
memory. Everybody should know this, including those who are making the attempts
to rewrite the history today, those who are trying to take the Great Victory
away from our nation. This must not be allowed. We will never stop admiring the
courage of our countrymen who went through the hellfire of war. They did not
kneel before the invaders. Both the old and the young rose up against the enemy.
Hundreds of thousands of partisans and underground fighters killed the enemy in
every part of the Belarusian land. Such a powerful resistance became a real
contribution to the defeat of the fascism and the liberation of Belarus.
From the first days of the war, the sons and
daughters of Belarus heroically fought at the war fronts. The glorious pages in
the war chronicle were made by the soldiers of the border outposts, the immortal
garrison of the Brest fortress, Mogilev defenders, the underground fighters of
Minsk, Orsha, and other cities, participants of the legendary Operation
Bagration and other major battles of the Great Patriotic War. Here, in the heart
of the Minsk hero city, in the Victory Square, lay the capsules with the soil
from the hero cities: Moscow, Leningrad, Smolensk, Tula, Stalingrad, Kiev,
Sevastopol, Kerch, Odessa, Murmansk, and Novorossiysk. Our countrymen took part
in the battles for each of them. They showed bravery and courage in fierce
battles for the liberation of Warsaw, Budapest, Prague, Bucharest, Vienna and
The Motherland highly
appreciated the contributions of the Belarusians to the common victory. The
highest award - the title of the Hero of the Soviet Union – was awarded to more
than 440 of our countrymen, and orders and medals to more than 300,000. Many
received their awards posthumously, unfortunately.
Eternal glory to the heroes! Eternal glory to those who gave their
lives for the freedom of the Fatherland! In these tragic moments let’s observe a
minute of silence in memory of those people.(A minute of silence)
turned our blossoming land into ruins. In order to rise from the ashes, Belarus
had to fight yet another enormous battle, that time with the devastation and
famine. Dedication and heroism of the people, the unity and fraternal assistance
from the Soviet Union republics made the seemingly impossible task a reality. In
a short period of time the country rebuilt factories, built new ones, set up
agricultural enterprises, built schools, universities, libraries, theaters and
museums. The generation of the victors created a powerful economic and cultural
potential. This became the basis for the further development of our
We are happy that our dear war
and labor veterans are among us today. We will never forget what you have done
for the homeland. Your achievements have forever taken the most honorable place
in the national history. You are an example for all the generations of the
Belarusians. Nothing is worthier than a sacrificial feat in the name of liberty
tensions are increasing today, the idea of world domination is being revived.
Armed conflicts are raging in different parts of the world. Humanity has come to
the brink of a new big war.
threats to Belarus. We see military arsenals build up near our borders.
Literally next door, in the former Soviet republics, they set up military bases,
conduct combat drills. Using our domestic fifth column they are making attempts
to destabilize the situation inside the country.
Vigilance and security of the state are of particular significance
today. We need to cherish peace and harmony in our home. We must stay united and
firm, like our fathers, grandfathers and great grandfathers during the time of
severe ordeals. Then nobody will dare to test our strengths. We must preserve
peace on our land in the name of the memory of those hundreds of thousands of
the soldiers who were killed on the fronts, one third of the population that we
lost. It will be the greatest gift to not only living veterans but, most
importantly, to those who gave their lives for everything that we have
Our country has never
demonstrated aggression and never will. We have shown that Belarus is a peaceful
and friendly state. This does not mean, however, that it will not be able to
defend itself. We do not need what belongs to others and we will not give away
what belongs to us. This is what our heroic forefathers taught us, and we will
always remember about this.
I wish you
happiness and peace, dear compatriots and guests of our Belarus!
Happy Victory Day!