Celebration of Day of Fatherland Defenders and Belarusian Armed Forces

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The Belarusian army will live up to the nation’s trust. The confidence was expressed by Belarus President Aleksandr Lukashenko during the ceremony held on 23 February to promote top officers of the Belarusian army.

The President remarked that following the established tradition Belarus celebrates 23 February as Fatherland Defender’s Day because for decades the date has united not only the army but also the entire society. The date has been an embodiment of combat deeds of many generations of the country’s defenders.

“It is memory about many millions of our fellow citizens, who gave their lives on the field of battle. Memory about those, who started the army of the young Soviet state during the Civil War, who took part in the establishment of the Belarusian Military District in the period between the wars, and defended our freedom during the Great Patriotic War. Memory about those, who protected accomplishments of the Great Victory for many decades,” the head of state said.

According to the President, these are uncontestable values of the Belarusian state. “Our society and our nation have never questioned these values regardless of how hard our lives were during the years of contemporary history. Yes, we have heard individual proposals in favor of changing this holiday. Suggestions have been voiced to celebrate the date in connection with different events but we survived these tests decently and not only in this regard. Those were truly tests of the nation. We didn’t demolish monuments. We didn’t change street names (we started to but came to our senses in time). We didn’t change the eternal symbols that saw the establishment of our Belarus and the foundation of independence and sovereignty. We didn’t rename our holidays. Reviewing the brief period of contemporary history we saw that we did the right thing. None of our actions can be criticized now,” the head of state noted.

Aleksandr Lukashenko said he believes that the Belarusian army and law enforcement agencies play a huge role in preserving these values and securing peaceful work of the people. “They are decent heirs of the soldiers that won the war. It is testified by the society’s respect for them, the nationwide respect for the people, who dedicated their lives to the service of the Fatherland,” the Belarusian leader said.

“We have to fulfill a number of important tasks amidst economic challenges and a difficult international situation. No matter what it will take, we - Russians, Belarusians and Ukrainians - need to celebrate the 70th anniversary together, in peace and harmony,” the head of state noted.

Aleksandr Lukashenko emphasized that the anniversary celebrations in Belarus should be held on the highest level possible. “We should show the whole world that the Great Victory is our national pride and that the outcome of the Second World War and the Great Patriotic War cannot be falsified or revised. We cannot let anyone diminish the importance of the victory and revise the contribution of the Belarusian people to the defeat of fascism,” the President said.

“In the year of the 70th anniversary of the Great Victory it is particularly important to maintain the country’s national security in all the areas,” the Belarusian leader added.

The President noted that the Union Shield 2015 exercise will become an important stage of the operational training of the Armed Forces.  The exercise will be conducted in the Russian Federation, on the territory of Belarus’ major military ally. The head of state believes that this training should demonstrate the entire world the ability of the Union State to unite efforts to maintain peace and security.

“A most important political campaign is ahead of us. It should be held in an organized and calm manner. Any uncontrolled situation in the country and the destabilization of the conditions cannot be tolerated. It is primarily up to the military to make it happen,” Aleksandr Lukashenko stressed.

“The unity of our nation, the general public’s trust in the government and painstaking work are the key components of the country’s stability. Our task is to live up to the expectations of the people, who trust us. We have to enable the conditions to allow them to live peaceful lives, raise children, and make our lives better and more beautiful,” the head of state said.

“The Belarusian people trust their army. They are confident in the reliability of the national security system. We will surely live up to the high trust,” the Belarusian leader was convinced.

Aleksandr Lukashenko presented the general's shoulder boards to high-ranking officers.

The major general rank was awarded to Pavel Muraveiko, Igor Demidenko, Vyacheslav Yezersky, Alexander Neverovsky; the rank of major general of police to Viktor Dubovets and Viktor Senko; the major general of justice rank to Alexei Volkov, Oleg Sharkov, and Maksim Voronin. Alexander Khudoleev was awarded the rank of major general of interior service; Igor Marshalov the rank of major general of financial police.

Chairman of the State Customs Committee of Belarus Yuri Senko was assigned the personal rank of state councilor of the customs service 3rd class, Belarus Deputy Prosecutor General Alexander Dubov the rank of the state councilor of justice 3rd class.

Aleksandr Lukashenko emphasized that a general's rank is not easy to attain in Belarus today. He recalled that in due time he demanded a significant reduction in the number of the highest posts both in the military and in law enforcement. "They have been reduced twice. Competition has increased. We are very serious about this because we cannot devalue the rank of a General or the title of a Professor,” the head of state noted.

"To become a general in the independent Belarus is a big achievement, which means hard work,” the President said.

On behalf of the Belarusian nation Aleksandr Lukashenko thanked the military for doing their jobs, for courage and selflessness. Aleksandr Lukashenko wished them success, good health, and accomplishments in the service of the Motherland.

On the Day of Fatherland Defenders and the Armed Forces of the Republic of Belarus the head of state laid a wreath at the Victory Monument in Minsk.