Belarus’ liberation from the Nazi invaders became the starting point of a new history of the country. Belarus President Aleksandr Lukashenko made the statement during the official event held on 2 July in anticipation of Independence Day.
Congratulating participants of the official event on Independence Day and the 75thanniversary of Belarus’ liberation from the Nazi invaders, Aleksandr Lukashenko noted that this day “became the starting point of a new history of the country, a peaceful and creative one”. In his words, even many long and happy years later under the clear sky this holiday unfailingly brings back memories about one of the most difficult and heroic periods in the life of the Belarusian nation.
“For more than three years Belarus was burnt by the heat of the Great Patriotic War. Our grandfathers and great grandfathers learned how to fight in the first fierce battles. They learned how to survive and fight in the enemy’s rear. As they saw their comrades die, as they faced inhuman cruelty, as they lost their friends and loved ones, they continued believing in themselves, continued believing in their right to live and in the inevitable victory over the enemy. We will never forget the price we’ve paid for this victory,” the President stated.
The head of state remarked that the war could have put an end to the history of the country. It could have ended the Belarusian people. But the inflexible Belarusian mettle and national mentality, which had never yielded to the rational understanding of those, who came bearing arms to these lands in the past, manifested themselves in those dreadful trials.
“We stay strong when the going gets tough. It is in trials that the spiritual force of Belarusians brightly reveals itself as an alloy of valor, bravery, the desire for justice, and the readiness to give one’s life instead of falling to one’s knees,” the Belarusian leader stated.
“In the name of historical justice we do not romanticize the history of the native land. We do not paint it in rosy colors but we will never allow rewriting the glorious pages of this history,” the President said.
Today there are many debates regarding the miscalculations made in the beginning of the Great Patriotic war, the President said. Various destructive forces within the state but mostly from the outside are speculating on this theme which is not easy for the country. “Indeed, there were many failures. We did not get used to discussing them, even in the last years of the Soviet Union. These failures are inevitable in difficult periods of the formation of a state. We did make these mistakes in the 1940s. Otherwise the Germans would not have approached Moscow so fast,” Aleksandr Lukashenko said.
The head of state underlined that Belarus does not allow shifting the focus and the responsibility for the war casualties on the people who believed, till the last, in the honesty of the political agreements, assurances and promises reached before the war. “We will not allow distracting the attention from the real culprits of the catastrophe of the 20th century. This is the goal of those who are bombarding the history of the Great Patriotic War today. We will not judge the past but we will learn its lessons, even cruel and unpleasant ones,” the President said.
We should fight for peace in peacetime, Aleksandr Lukashenko said. “Seeing how the current system of international relations is being eroded today, how the respect for human life is being lost gain, we must stick together to protect our sovereignty, to fight against wars and conflicts with our active position. We should not sit silent but call on the nations of the world to take responsible decisions, to put an end to all hot spots on the planet. If we remain silent being guided by the principle ‘not in my backyard’, then we will have to deal with these things at home. And the things are close,” he stressed.
Aleksandr Lukashenko said: “We’ve always said and I’ve been through that in full measure and have the right to say it: everyone must defend the motherland, the native country. Everyone, particularly men. We are now so brazen that we’ve started shifting the problem onto women, too. This must not happen in Belarus! The woman should be responsible for her own things while we should provide for the family and protect the motherland, our family, and our woman.”
The President noted that a number of topics have been recently hotly debated online, including amendments to laws concerning active military service. “People are hotly debating how they are going to join the army. In other words, how they will have to protect their land, their fatherland,” the head of state stressed. “Poor Defense Minister [Andrei] Ravkov. He has been stomped all over. They say either he brought in or the army brought in something into the parliament. They say MPs passed some bill and a catastrophe will happen tomorrow. Calm down. The President has not signed a single document where you think about some catastrophe.”
According to Aleksandr Lukashenko, comments on the Internet are left by those, who primarily rooted for sovereignty and independence. “I’ve warned you that sovereignty and independence cost a lot and not only in monetary terms. Our society embraced the idea of sovereignty and independence with enthusiasm. Particularly those, who make comments today. But once the matter of duty, the price of independence at least for the sake of protecting the sovereignty was mentioned, everyone cried out ‘No!’,” he remarked.
According to Aleksandr Lukashenko, those, who oppose the new law in comments on the Internet, suggest splitting the Belarusian society into some classes: ordinary citizens will have to protect the country while other people will be able to work, get education, and live abroad instead of fighting for the motherland. “As the head of state when I have to think about some suggestion and have to sign the bill, I start thinking about other options in addition to those stipulated by the law,” the head of state said.
In his words, there are several ways the situation can be resolved. Seeking NATO protection is one of them. “If we strongly ask for it, they will promise it to us. And those, who make comments on the Internet, would accept it with pleasure. Do you want this option? I don’t,” Aleksandr Lukashenko stressed.
Belarus’ merger with Russia is another way to resolve the situation, the President added. “We can ask them to protect us – the nuclear umbrella, hypersonic weapons and what not. We can ask and we can make a deal. I think it will be enough for our generation at least. We will let the children deal with it later,” the head of state noted sarcastically. “Do you want to become part of Russia so that it could protect us? You don’t. Neither do I.”
Aleksandr Lukashenko said that Belarusians are left with the third option: they have to protect themselves on their own. “Those, who make those comments, agree with it. Only they think they will not be the ones to guard the country from Brest to Smolensk. They will not be the ones to drive armored vehicles, fly the aircraft protecting our country. They think that people, who fail to enter a university, will be saddled with the job. Do you want it to be like that? I don’t. Feel free to do otherwise after my time,” the President said.
The head of state added that those, who did not learn from the history and the past war, will be bruised today. “Those, who will come here [bearing arms], will not try to differentiate whether you are a peasant, a medic, or a blue-collar worker,” Aleksandr Lukashenko remarked. “It is necessary to learn lessons from all events in order to endure, survive and be truly sovereign and independent.”
“History has taught us to cherish peace and independence, leaving differences and contradictions to the past. We know that the future of Belarus lies in the cohesion of the people and national unity. This is the biggest achievement of our country and the best legacy we will leave to our children and grandchildren,” Aleksandr Lukashenko said.
According to the President, the path of the Belarusian people towards independence was long, several epochs long. “Along this path, we had it all, ups and downs. We would gain statehood and would be the most civilized on this territory. Today, looking at the events of the past centuries, we see that the formative process of the Belarusian nation, who was always in the epicenter of historical events and fortunes, was difficult but confident. The idea of establishing their own state by the right of national uniqueness and historical territory was growing stronger in the minds of people. And it happened so that it was us who got a chance to realize that dream. We gained our sovereignty and understand the great historical importance of this event,” the head of state noted.
There are two thousand large and small peoples in the world but only a tenth of them was able to establish their own states, make it a reality, Aleksandr Lukashenko noted. “For the quarter of a century of our independence, in the face of strong political, information and economic pressure (you remember it well as it happened recently) we managed to protect the sovereignty, maintain peace and order in the country. It has become our common victory in Belarus' newest history. Victory without war. This is very important,” the President noted.
Bearing in mind the lessons of the past, Belarus maintains an international dialogue on the principles of good-neighborliness and mutual respect, preserves and maintains inter-religious and national concord, strives for the just and harmonious development of the society, the Belarusian leader said.
“Everything that is made in Belarus today is associated with the highest quality. This is thanks to you, everyone who loves their country, who works hard for the sake of our common goal: to make the country’s contemporary history glorious and even more beautiful. We know that everything is achievable if we believe in our strength, if we maintain peace and do our best for the sake of life on earth,” the head of state noted.