Address of President of the Republic of Belarus Aleksandr Lukashenko at the ceremony of laying wreaths at the Victory Monument
Dear compatriots and foreign guests,
I cordially congratulate you on one of the most revered holidays in Belarus – Victory Day. For millions of people this day has become an eternal testimony to the courage of the nations that overcame the world’s greatest evil, which is fascism.
69 years separate us from that spring. But the memory about the Great Patriotic War does not fade. It lives in every town and village, is passed from generation to generation, from heart to heart uniting us by the living thread of love for the Homeland.
The destiny of the mankind was decided in Russia, Belarus, and Ukraine back then. It was the Soviet-German front that decimated the Wehrmacht.
After trespassing upon the Soviet Union borders the Nazi faced fiercest resistance. Young and old ones alike, the Soviet people rose up to defend their Homeland. Nobody else in the world was as selfless as they were in fighting the ‘brown plague’.
It was in the land watered with the blood of Soviet people that the key battles were fought.
Since the very first days of the war the true second front appeared in the occupied Belarusian, Russian, and Ukrainian lands. Over one million partisans rose up against the Nazi — a great people’s army, which actions were of strategic importance and were an important factor in destroying the enemy.
In the Soviet land in most difficult conditions ordinary people working on the home front secured the economic supremacy over the aggressor. During the war the Soviet Union produced two times as much combat hardware and weaponry that Hitler's Germany did.
Moral durability of the nation was the key advantage of the USSR in the fight against the powerful and destructive war machine of the Third Reich.
The Soviet Union countered the man-hateful ideology of national socialism with the ideology of humanism and internationalism. Over 100 nations and peoples of the USSR rose up together to defend the common Homeland. Our republic paid a dreadful price for the great victory. We lost every third resident of our country.
Soviet Belarus made the invaluable contribution to the downfall of the enemy. It was a partisan republic. About 500,000 people were in the ranks of the underground resistance movement. Of them 88 people were awarded the Hero of the Soviet Union title.
The heroic resistance of the nation against fascism began in Brest Fortress, in battles near Grodno, Minsk, Polotsk, Lepel, Vitebsk, Borisov, Mogilev, and Gomel to continue till the last invader was ejected.
We will always remember those who fell in battles and were killed by the atrocity of fascists. Grateful Belarus remembers you and honors your feat. We will do everything so that your great sacrifice in the name of the Homeland would not be in vain. The dreadful fire of wars, destruction and death must never again be lit in the Belarusian land.
Let us honor all heroes and victims of the Great Patriotic War with a minute of silence.
(The minute of silence.)
The year 2014 marks two milestone events in history. In July we will celebrate the 70th anniversary of Belarus’ liberation from the Nazi invasion. August will mark the 100th anniversary of the start of World War One.
These memorable dates give much food for thought. Why do we see a new worldwide fire flaring up just following three decades since the First World War? How could a cave ideology of the Nazism gain momentum in the civilized Europe? Will the present political elite have enough wisdom and conscience to prevent new destructive conflicts?
Unfortunately, today some politicians bury the lessons of history in oblivion, try to downgrade the role of the Soviet people in the Victory over fascism, and encourage the rebirth of the Nazism.
Purposeful steps are aimed at the destabilization of the political situation in sovereign states in order to please some political and geostrategic ambitions. We can see such examples in the Middle East, Northern Africa and other hotspots.
It is a pity to see that Ukraine has become one of such hotspots. Our brotherly Slavic country is facing a civil war, where brothers fight each other. We should stop it whatever it takes.
Belarus is concerned over the fact that these events are used as a pretext for the NATO to intensify their military activity directly at the Belarusian borders. This fact requires special security awareness and the unity of our nation.
We have learnt lessons from the tragic events of the 20th century. We know the value of peace and concord and we will stay committed to our ideals.
Our Armed Forces are ready to defend the sovereignty of Belarus, the civil peace and concord from any invasion.
It is a duty of honor for every citizen to defend the Homeland, strengthen and develop it.
The victory in May 1945 is our greatest contribution to the rescue and development of the human civilization, to our common peaceful present and future.
Your generation defended the country, restored it from ashes and ruins. You have created strong industry, well-developed agriculture, advanced science and rich culture.
You could move forward and support each other, overcame all obstacles. You did not prioritize personal wealth and prosperity. You thought about the needs of the Homeland first. Your spiritual legacy will forever be an invaluable moral foundation for us.
We are the heirs of the great nation of victors to whom Europe owes its freedom and prosperity. The understanding of this fact serves as a source of our strength and self-confidence.
On this holiday I want to whish health, every success happiness and wellbeing to you, your families and fiends.
Happy Victory Day, dear friends!