Concert dedicated to 80th anniversary of complete lifting of siege of Leningrad

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Belarusian President Aleksandr Lukashenko and Russian President attended the concert dedicated to the 80th anniversary of the complete lifting of the siege of Leningrad in St. Petersburg on 27 January.

"Dear friends! You were lucky to be born, live, study and work in a great hero city. A city that will forever remain in the memory of posterity as a symbol of the unbending will, steadfastness and courage of the Soviet people," Aleksandr Lukashenko said.

The President stressed that there is no example in the world comparable to the feat of the people of Leningrad: "Having overcome hunger, cold, thirst, having survived the endless deaths of relatives and friends, they preserved their humanity."

"The life of each of them is a story of spiritual achievement. We know this story from the memoirs of eyewitnesses, archival footage, newsreels, and newspaper articles of those years. We remember. We re-read. We re-watch. We are looking for answers to the questions posed by time, complex and fundamental questions. We are trying to solve these issues today. The most important of them is the preservation of the truth about the war," the head of state said.

Aleksandr Lukashenko said that preserving the truth about the Great Patriotic War is the number one priority of the present times.

“This truth demonstrates the depth of the moral fall of those who stood under the banners of Nazi Germany. It falls a black shadow on many Western European countries. That is our truth. But it is not a question of enmity with these nations. We, the heirs of the victors, oppose the ideology of Nazism, from which the Germans, the French and many other peoples suffered. We also raise the issue of recognizing the genocide of the Soviet people,” the Belarusian leader said.

According to Aleksandr Lukashenko, the exact number of victims of the Great Patriotic War is still unknown. The remains of murdered mothers, holding their babies, infants buried alive are still found both in Belarus and Russia.

“Such cases are countless. Their numbers are horrifying,” the President said.

"We are peaceful people. We don't want war. But we are once again faced with the challenge threatening the survival of our civilization, our traditional values and national cultures. We do not need the things that are not ours, especially those things that they tried, more than once, to impose on our ancestors by fire and sword. But still. Both after the victory and today we call for peaceful dialogue, based on the respect for our historical memory and the truth about the war. We, both in Russia and Belarus, are ready to welcome any friendly steps towards us,” the head of state stressed. 

In his words, 80 years ago the complete lifting of the siege of Leningrad brought the Great Victory closer. “Ahead of us are many anniversaries of great battles, which eventually stopped the most brutal war in the history of mankind,” Aleksandr Lukashenko said.

Aleksandr Lukashenko said that on the way to the venue of the concert he and his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin discussed how the results of the Great Patriotic War are assessed today.

"He recalled one terrible idea promoted by some disgraceful young people who have not seen the war, who have not seen serious grief. They say: ‘It was not worth defending Leningrad. The city should have been abandoned to save a huge number of people, more than a million.’ This is a dangerous trend,” the head of state stressed.

Following this logic, he noted, Moscow should have been abandoned too and in general why fight the enemy at all.

“I agree with the Russian President who says: ‘We would have lost our civilization and we would not live on this land today if we had not fought for every piece of land.’ But, as I mentioned, they look at the present from the past believing that it is not worth resisting or fighting. Today they are sharpening their swords on our borders to come to us. Again, they are coming to us to make us ‘better’. What our place will be? That is the major question we are trying to answer today. We are looking for an answer and rest assured we will find it. Let the memory of those who have passed away inspire us to work for the future of our peoples, for the sake of peace. We will preserve our civilization, of that you can be sure,” Aleksandr Lukashenko said.