Patriotic forum "We are Belarusians!" dedicated to Day of People’s Unity
Belarusian President Aleksandr Lukashenko took part in the patriotic forum "We are Belarusians!" dedicated to the Day of People’s Unity in Minsk on 17 September.
"The more we see how modern states are collapsing, how peoples are losing their homeland, home, traditions, the more closely we look at the history of our native land. The land which thousands of years ago welcomed our ancestors with a harsh climate, taught them to stick together in order to survive and become masters in their homes. We understand that, in fact, there are no new challenges. There are no unexpected twists and turns in history. There are forgotten old lessons and threats. There is a safeguard - centuries-old experience that has taught us to be together in happy and difficult times," the head of state said.
Aleksandr Lukashenko added that time itself, the time of the global redivision of the world, returned the date of 17 September to the calendar of public holidays. The symbol of the unity of the Belarusian people was 1939 - the year when the Belarusian lands reunited into a single state.
The President recalled that for many centuries Belarusians were one: when they adopted Christianity, when they were up against the German Teutonic Order, Napoleon's French army, when they defended their faith, language and culture, when they created the basis of their national statehood together with the fraternal Soviet peoples, when they stood up against fascist aggression and when they rebuilt the Soviet country from the ashes of the Great Patriotic War. And also when they began to build a sovereign Belarus on the ruins of the Soviet Union.
"We, Belarusians, do not need to be told how important it is to live in peace and harmony, to be a single nation. Life has taught us. Our compatriots born under the Polish occupation can tell a lot. Those who know about the danger of losing their homeland and breaking away from their families. They know what it means to live in their native land, but to be an outcast in the eyes of privileged fellow citizens for many decades. They understand why on 17 September the country celebrated the day of liberation of the working people of Western Belarus from the Polish oppression, occupation. No matter the name of the holiday, it objectively reflects the essence of this holiday," the head of state said.
"Until recently, we almost did not bring up the dramatic events of that time, the period of dismemberment of Belarus! Everything slipped into the shadow of the global tragedy of the Great Patriotic War. World War II. That terrible human slaughter overshadowed everything. It was not customary to remember that time in the name of Soviet-Polish friendship, which, as it was thought then, would be eternal," the head of state said.
Aleksandr Lukashenko stressed that Belarusians did not throw accusations at their neighbor, but always remembered how schools, faith, land, natural resources were taken away from them; how ancestors died without medical care; how Poland humiliated and destroyed morally and physically all those who remained devoted to their culture, faith, language and traditions.
"Can we forget how they fired cannons at Belarusian villages, how Belarusian children were beaten with rods in Polish schools, how Belarusians, Russians, Ukrainians were tortured in the Polish concentration camp in Bereza-Kartuska? This all happened. But for the sake of friendship with the Polish people, we got over this pain. But Poland took it for weakness. But we have learned the lesson," Aleksandr Lukashenko said. “Time has shown that our neighbor did not appreciate our noble desire to live in peace. I'm not talking about the Polish people. I'm talking about the elites - politicians who have been seeking revenge all these years."
Aleksandr Lukashenko addressed the peoples of the neighboring countries at the forum.
"We are not hatching plans to interfere in your life. We wish you only well, happiness and peace! But peace is so fragile that any careless movement can lead to grave irreparable consequences. I would not like our lands to once again become a theater of military operations or millions of our citizens killed again... As it has always been in history," the head of state said.
He stressed that Belarusians do not need someone else's. "But please remember (I address the peoples of the neighboring states): in the event of an aggression against Belarus, we will do no red, yellow, black or blue lines! The line is there, it is the state border! We have something to respond with. Therefore, let's live amicably, in a neighborly way!" the Belarusian leader urged.
"Today vultures are circling over us, as it was in the run-up to the Great Patriotic War. They are circling around the Belarusian, Russian and Ukrainian lands. They are ready to make an alliance with the devil himself, if only to take more space on the political map of the world... ‘od morza do morza’," the head of state said. “They would like to erase the facts of political shame and moral decline of their predecessors. They themselves would like to forget how Poland was one of the first to recognize the Nazi Reich. This is the fact. It signed a non-aggression pact with it and a secret agreement on the division of Czechoslovakia. They would like to forget how, having received part of someone else's territory, they were crushed within a short time by their former ally.
"In no case should our neighbor forget this page in history. Would it have remained on the world map if not for the Soviet soldiers? And if yes, within what borders? The authorities of our neighbors are not asking such questions today. They continue to destroy traces of the memory of their liberators," the Belarusian leader added.
Aleksandr Lukashenko asked why they are doing this. After all those liberators are no longer with us, they died. "All right, they don’t appreciate them for liberating their lands. But why they feel the need to rake over the old ashes? Let them remain as they are. Yet they dig up everything, blow up and destroy, erase from memory the best things that were in the history of neighboring states. We, on our part, are drawing conclusions again," the head of state said.
“On 17 September, the day when the Red Army began the momentous liberation campaign, we celebrate one of the most important state holidays – People’s Unity Day. Unity tempered in a selfless struggle for our national dignity. We are proud of the indomitable will of those who did not submit to the anti-human regime. Those who went underground, waged a guerrilla liberation war, resisted the policy of forced assimilation. If there had not been such a large-scale nationwide resistance, there would have been no reunification of the Belarusian people in 1939 into a single state. And there would be no modern sovereign Belarus if it were not for the conditions created in the family of Soviet peoples. We know that. We remember this," the head of state said
"Both then and today, unity has been essential for the preservation of our state and its future. This is a matter of our survival as a nation," the Belarusian leader stressed.
According to Aleksandr Lukashenko, 17 September is one of the three milestone dates in Belarus, along with 9 May and 3 July which provide an opportunity to take a look into the past in order to hold the present firmly in your hands and protect the future.
"These dates unite us, modern Belarusians, in an effort to protect our historical memory in the name of peace in our native land," the President said. “I emphasize once again: we are not an aggressor. Our people, in fact, cannot be an aggressor. We do not threaten anyone and never will. This is not our policy. Objectively, we cannot threaten anyone. But we must defend ourselves, whether we are strong or weak. This is our historical role, of the generations living in Belarus today."
"No matter what internal political processes take place in our neighboring states, the Poles, Lithuanians, Latvians, and Ukrainians should understand: we are the most peaceful nation on the planet. We are not rattling nuclear weapons or some units such as Wagner and we are not threatening anyone," the Belarusian leader said.
Aleksandr Lukashenko, however, recalled the historical facts: "Then, too, we did not threaten anyone. But we were virtually wiped off the face of the earth. In the last war, we lost every third citizen. Back then invigilance and complacency played an important role why in fact Belarus almost ceased to exist."
"That's why we remember that. We have studied the history and still do. We will always be ready to defend our fatherland and our land," the head of state added.
"Addressing the Belarusians today, as President and Commander-in-Chief, I want to assure you: we do not want war and we will not go to war. There will be no war on the territory of Belarus in modern conditions. Because it is impossible," the head of state said.
"If, God forbid, anything happens, we will all become the Brest Fortress. We will defend our land, which belongs to our children, to the last soldier, to the last Belarusian man,” the Belarusian leader stressed. “We will do this in the name of peace in our native land, in the name of Belarus, which we are building on the foundation of victories, achievements, experience and memory of our heroic ancestors."
Aleksandr Lukashenko called on citizens of Belarus to live in peace, not to worry, to raise children, to be happy and cherish their native land.