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Speech at the military parade on the occasion of the 75th anniversary of the Great Victory

9 May 2020
Dear soldiers, sergeants, warrant officers and officers,

Dear veterans of the Great Patriotic War,

Dear compatriots and guests of Belarus,

I wish you a Happy Victory Day!

This holiday is sacred for us.

The tragedy of the Belarusian nation, which bore the titanic burden of losses and destruction of the cruelest war of the 20th century, is incomparable to any hardships of today.

Even thoughts to betray the traditions that have been glorifying the history of the great deeds of the victors for 75 years already are unthinkable for us.

In this crazy world that has lost its reference points and guidelines there are people, who condemn us for choosing this place and time for organizing this holy celebration. I would like to tell them as a human being: don’t rush to make conclusions or condemn us, the successors of the Victory, Belarusians. We just couldn’t act differently, we didn’t have a choice. And if we did, we would have done the same anyway. Because eyes of the Soviet soldiers, who died for the sake of our freedom, look at us, eyes of the partisans and underground resistance fighters, who were tortured to death by Gestapo, eyes of the old people, women, and children of Khatyn. They wanted to live very much, but they died so that we could live. Modern Belarus is a monument to that dreadful war, to those, who died, who were tortured to death and burnt alive. A living memory and a living monument.

This year the military parade in Minsk will be the only one on the post-Soviet space. It will be held in honor of all Soviet soldiers who liberated the world from the Nazi.

Today we honor the deeds of our fathers and forefathers. Their road to victory was awash with tears of mothers, wives, and children, soaked in blood of the comrades that fell in battles and of civilians, scorched by the ashes of the villages burned down by the enemy.

We bow low before the heroic deeds of Russians and Belarusians, Ukrainians and Jews, Tatars and Kazakhs, Tajiks and Uzbeks, Kyrgyz and Turkmen, Georgians, Armenians, Azerbaijanis and Moldavans, Latvians, Lithuanians, and Estonians – all the residents of the Soviet Union, underground resistance fighters of Europe, our allies – the USA, UK, and China. Their courage, bravery, and readiness to die for their country became a terrible weapon of vengeance against the Nazi and their satellites.

History taught a lesson to followers of Nazism ideology, to conquerors with unbridled geopolitical ambitions. The president noted that the meaning of the lesson is simple: people that defend their native country, their families and the future of their children are invincible.

Belarus rose up as a live shield on the way of the aggressor. After marching for half of Europe the Nazi met fierce resistance in Belarusian lands for the first time.

The heroic defense of the Brest Fortress, the city of Mogilev lasted much longer than the conquest of many European countries.

It is in the fierce battles of 1941, including in Belarusian lands, that the enemy’s confidence in its supremacy was shaken and the foundation of the future Great Victory was laid.

The contribution of the Belarusian nation to the defeat of the Nazi is beyond doubt. Some 1.3 million Belarusians fought in ranks of the Red Army.

Underground resistance fighters and partisans controlled 60% of the occupied territory of Belarus by the end of 1943. Every third Belarusian died to stop the advance of the Nazi to the east, to the capital city of our union.

As long as our hearts feel pain for those, who didn’t come back from the battlefields, as long as truth is told about that war, we remember!

Because every day of peaceful and free life has been paid for with millions of victims and war-torn destinies.

We are forever connected by ties of blood with the brotherly nations, together with whom our fathers and forefathers put a stop to the catastrophe of the 20th century.

The world is ignoring tragic lessons of the past. “The farther we are from events of the Great Patriotic War, the more aggressive and dangerous the world becomes.

The planet is ablaze with new armed conflicts, civilians get killed once again. And ideas of Nazism come to life in this situation.

They leave a mark as destroyed monuments to liberators, as the glorification of Nazi criminals, falsification of historic facts about World War Two.

Belarus is a peaceful and open country. But our historical experience has vividly demonstrated that the diplomacy of interstate dialogue is unconvincing without an effective security system.

Despite modern challenges the celebratory parade dedicated to Victory Day is not a show of force but a tribute to the memory of our heroic history.

Belarusian military personnel are successors to the generation of victors. During the parade they will march in ranks as continuators of the glorious traditions of Soviet warriors.

New weapon systems and military hardware created by Belarusian defense companies will be demonstrated. You will do it in honor of our grandfathers and great grandfathers, who left a peaceful country to us.

It is our sacred duty to preserve it for the future generations, to preserve the unity of nations that has been tested in fierce battles.

Belarus will stay true to the memory of the Great Victory – the Victory that represents common legacy of republics of the former Soviet Union.

Dear veterans of the Great Patriotic War,

The history of life of this generation represents a genuine example of courage, bravery, and spiritual greatness. You were and will always be victors.

Today we bow low before the memory of those, who gave their lives for the sake of our future. We thank all those, who worked so hard.

We promise to preserve the truth about that war to the glory of the heroes that saved many nations from genocide and slavery.

We bow low and are immensely grateful to you for the Great Victory! Belarus will remember!

Dear compatriots,

On this glorious day I want to wish you strong health, happiness and wellbeing, courage and tenacity in this complicated time.

I hope that peace will always reign in Belarus.

Happy Victory Day!

Hurrah!

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© 2020, The Press Service of the President of the Republic of Belarus