Solemn assembly in honor of Independence Day

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The Belarusian nation is united in the eagerness to protect its sovereign right to choose the historical way. Belarus President Aleksandr Lukashenko made the statement at a solemn assembly held on 2 July in anticipation of Independence Day.

Aleksandr Lukashenko said: “This sacred day symbolizes primarily people’s unity, which helped Belarusians survive the strongest blow of fate, survive as a nation during the Great Patriotic War and win.”

The president stressed that the Belarusian nation was united 25 years ago when it chose the day when Minsk was liberated from the Nazi invaders as its key state holiday. He said that Belarusians are also united today in their eagerness to protect the heroic legacy, memory of the Great Victory, and the sovereign right to choose the historical way.

“There is no other date in our history that can make one think so deep about the value of peace, independence, and freedom,” Aleksandr Lukashenko noted.

He reminded that war-torn Belarus was liberated from the Nazi 77 years ago. “People, who had been crushed by the sorrow of losses and fear for their own lives, became free. Only they – witnesses and participants of the Great Patriotic War – know what true freedom and independence are. Because all of it was lost in an instant back then. And the period of occupation became genuine hell for them. Belarusians were burned alive in their own homes. Time cannot erase the footprint that Hitler’s Germany left in our land. And we will not forget it,” Aleksandr Lukashenko stated.

Aleksandr Lukashenko said: “Attempts to occupy Belarus in conditions of a modern hybrid war are once again being made. We hear about ‘the new order’ from the same bearers of ‘European values’ just like we did 80 years ago. The same Western elites are in the lead.”

The president noted that new people had grown up in Belarus and neighboring countries who are ready to do the dirty work for their new masters. “We understand that these processes are going on just the way they did in the middle of the last century, against the will of European nations, who respect Belarusians as kind, reliable, and problem-free neighbors. Our genuine friends in the closest countries will understand us. We cannot allow the history to repeat itself. This is why we have to cite the episodes, which are not pleasant for their memories,” he said.

“We were silent for a long time. We were ashamed. We didn’t want to affect feelings of friendly nations, who should not be held accountable for sins of war criminals such as Lithuanian forest brothers, Banderites, Armia Krajowa bandits, other murderers of Belarusian civilians. We remember that among these traitors there were also Belarusians, fugitives, who have been unable to realize their political ambitions in the home country. They returned to our land together with SS troops back then. They returned to kill,” Aleksandr Lukashenko said.

The president stressed that Belarusians still feel the pain of all the crimes committed during the Great Patriotic War. “We calmed down too fast. We thought that all the conquered countries and countries tortured by that war dreamed of preserving peace just like we did. The peace for which the Soviet people paid the highest price,” the Belarusian leader noted.

Aleksandr Lukashenko reminded that many Belarusian heroes died during the Great Patriotic War in exchange for freedom, including freedom of residents of European countries. Over 600,000 Soviet soldiers fell in Poland alone back then.

Aleksandr Lukashenko continued: “Turns out everything has been forgotten. As if we and our neighbors had been talking different languages for a long time. Not only from the linguistic point of view. Oh well. We will have to switch to the common language of international law that everyone understands. The criminal case into the genocide of the Belarusian people will remove all the masks and will reveal new facts to the world”

According to Aleksandr Lukashenko, the Belarusian side already possesses facts implicating some people, who live in Western countries, in the genocide. “We’ve requested their extradition to the land where they committed their crimes. You can guess that nobody is going to extradite them. But it is also a fact,” he remarked.

“I will say one thing to those who dream about revenge, those who thirst to take away and divide Belarus. I thank you for encouraging us to do what we were supposed to do a long time ago in the name of justice and in the name of memory of war victims. We will close the chapter in the matter of historical truth and responsibility for crimes against humanity,” Aleksandr Lukashenko stressed.

Aleksandr Lukashenko said: “Dear veterans! Dear friends, those who spent their lives restoring our Belarus after the war. I understand how painful it is for you to watch attempts to revise the history, appoint new victors, whitewash criminals, and make young Belarusians respect false heroes. Have no doubt! We will not give away your Great Victory to anyone! It is a matter of honor not only for our generation.”

Aleksandr Lukashenko reminded all those, who deliberately alter facts, and those, who are confused, that it was not a coalition of Western allies that drove the Hitler troops from Moscow to Berlin, the Western allies did not destroy the brown plague where it had been born, they did not liberate the Soviet Union, Belarus, and Minsk. “The Soviet people, we, Belarusians did not surrender. People rose up to defend their Motherland. Millions of people – Red Army soldiers, underground resistance fighters, and partisans – fought against the enemy from the first day to the last one. Those, who did not fight on the frontlines, helped by supplying food, by hiding and treating the injured, by risking their lives every day in the name of saving the Fatherland,” he noted.

“This is why the deeds of the Soviet people and the date for celebrating Belarus’ Independence Day are unshakable,” Aleksandr Lukashenko stressed.

Aleksandr Lukashenko stated: “We know that many of the challenges to our statehood and sovereignty that we deal with today stem from the years of the Great Patriotic War. More than that, we’ve encountered the phenomenon of the delayed effect of collaborationism in today’s reality.”

The president remarked it is not the first time that so-called “freedom fighters” in Belarus lose connection to the native land and participate in crimes against their own people. In his words, it happened during the French invasion of Russia in 1812 when some of the local elite joined the banners of Napoleon’s army. It happened during World War One and World War Two when traitors swore an oath of allegiance to the German army. “Unfortunately, it is partially true in our days as well,” he stated.

“Modern collaborationists have come out into the open. They are idea-driven followers, among whom there are hereditary descendants of the Nazi,” Aleksandr Lukashenko said. “They want to reverse the flow of history, rehabilitate their grandfathers and great grandfathers and finish the work they started. This is why they set out to crush the sovereign country. It is unthinkable: they went to sacred places of our statehood carrying banners of fascist mercenaries – police goons. We had to defend our sovereignty and the country. Time demonstrated that we did the right thing. There are probably no more Belarusians, who don’t see what actually happened yesterday and what is happening today. There are only enemies left, who say: no, it is not so, it is a different thing. And you have to understand it.”

Aleksandr Lukashenko said: “Terrorist sleeper cells, so-called self-defense formations have been detected today. These cells intend to overthrow the government at a specified date. They don’t know what date yet: our nation and, as they believe, our state have yet to accept it.”

According to the head of state, Lithuania, Poland, the USA, Ukraine, and Germany acted as coordinators. A Telegram channel was created under the name “Belarus’ self-defense formations”. It had about 2,500 subscribers. “It was their combat reserve. We know their faces. The chat’s owner is Mr de Hoffmann, a German citizen, who was previously a citizen of Russia and Ukraine. Mr Dudnikov, a Russian citizen, is the main moderator of this production,” the president said.

Aleksandr Lukashenko said that virtually the other day these forces tried to destroy a large number of forest-harvesting machines in state forestry enterprises. “Ms N. Matveyeva volunteered for this strike. She was intercepted by [the KGB’s] Alpha team, arrested, and is now giving testimony. We will release the testimony soon,” he promised. “What did they intend to do? Set a column of vehicles on fire at night, upload it to the Internet and demonstrate: look, we are alive, we are fighting, and we will bring down this regime. She was caught on 8 June. The attempt failed.”

According to Aleksandr Lukashenko, these “self-defense formations” also tried to blow up a communications node of the Russian navy in the Belarusian town of Vileika. Some incident in this area was reported by mass media recently but it was unclear what had happened. Aleksandr Lukashenko discussed the event during the latest phone conversation with President of Russia Vladimir Putin. “We also discussed this problem most seriously. You understand the result of this discussion,” Aleksandr Lukashenko added. “All the participants of the terrorist attack, including those who did it and those who organized it, were found and arrested within 48 hours.”

Aleksandr Lukashenko said: “There was another attempt to commit a crime that may strike terror into you (at least people in this chamber): an attempt to kill our reporter Grigory Azaryonok. It happened last night, on 1 July. They intended to immobilize him, capture him, and throw him into the car trunk. They wanted to take him deep into the woods and cut off his tongue. They wanted him to do it himself with scissors. If he didn’t do it, there was someone, who had been hired to do it in exchange for 10,000 U.S. dollars (the money had been transferred). That person had to film it on camera and upload it to the Internet.”

According to Aleksandr Lukashenko, this crime was contemplated as a warning: look, we will cut up all of you, we will at least cut off your tongues to silence you. “If that failed, they intended to kill the reporter. A pistol had been brought from Ukraine and stashed in Gomel Oblast just like other devices (thermal cameras and the rest), which were used in an attempt to blow up the Vileika station that is used by Russia to communicate with the fleet in the Atlantic,” the head of state noted. “All the perpetrators have been detected, the stashes have been found. The operation continued for a long time. Do you want names? Sosnovsky. He was arrested and is now testifying.”

Aleksandr Lukashenko mentioned Grigory Azaryonok’s courage. “They’ve tried to capture him or kill him three times. The goal was to enter the apartment and [do it] in the apartment,” he said.

The security agencies decided to involve Grigory Azaryonok in the operation in order to catch the criminals in the act. “It was dangerous. But as a true man he agreed to it. And it was surprising that he was the first one to attack and start fighting with a bandit, who was approaching him. The reporter knew the bandit was armed. These scoundrels were caught virtually within seconds. I’d like to thank parents of this guy,” it was hard for the president to restrain his emotions.

The head of state noted he had instructed the State Border Committee to completely close off the border with Ukraine. Aleksandr Lukashenko said: “I am astounded by the amount of weapons being smuggled from Ukraine to Belarus. I mentioned it last year. Many didn’t believe me. This is why I’ve instructed the border guard to fully close off the border with Ukraine.”

According to the president, only civilians will be able to enter Belarus. “We will not take all the others as prisoners,” he warned.

Addressing people in uniform, Aleksandr Lukashenko thanked them for staying with the nation during the intensive period. “You’ve protected civilians, who believe in you, appreciate national unity, freedom, and do not want to ruin their home – Belarus. As the generation of victors you’ve demonstrated that only reliance on our people and our land gives strength and the moral right to protect interests of the nation. Only patriotism serves as a solid foundation for all endeavors,” he stressed. Aleksandr Lukashenko remarked that people in uniform had to go through a lot recently and they have been called various names for their actions. “But we’ve endured. Those who endure will win. People understood everything,” the Belarusian leader added.

“By breaking the blitzkrieg mechanism of hybrid warfare that has been working flawlessly up till now, you have in essence stopped a new expansion to the East,” Aleksandr Lukashenko continued. He remarked that according to some foreign experts, Belarus has put a stop to color revolutions as a geopolitical phenomenon.

“We will see whether it is true or not. But I am absolutely convinced that we’ve shown an example of how national interests should be defended, what everyone, who treasures independence, should do,” the Belarusian leader said. “It is futile to talk to our people in our land from a position of strength! It has been like that and will always be like that! And those who are abroad have to hear it.”

Aleksandr Lukashenko reminded that he had previously cautioned the Belarusian nation that independence and sovereignty are not easily gained usually. “It is a very expensive thing. It costs a lot. Truth be told, I believed that god took mercy on us and we would not have to deal with wars or trials [to preserve independence]. Turns out we have to. He has probably saddled us with this trial. It may be a good thing. May god let us survive these trials without a hot war. And we, people in uniform, must do everything so that our nation, our neighbors, and guests would not even notice that we are engaged in hybrid warfare. We’ve been managing to do it so far,” the head of state stated.

The Belarusian leader added: “I am an absolutely peaceful person but if I yield, if I waver on some things, if I toy with politics too much and the country will fall, you will never forgive me. This is why I cannot but stand together with these guys to the death. It is our job.”

Aleksandr Lukashenko is convinced that Belarusians will endure the hard exam. Because Belarus is a country of heroes. For instance, heroes like the pilots Andrei Nichiporchik and Nikita Kukonenko, who gave their lives to save lives of their fellow Belarusians. Heroes like the 12-year-old boy Roma Kogodovsky, who pulled a small brother out of a fire.

“Heroes like our medics, who fearlessly rose up to the challenge of the pandemic and continue fighting the dangerous virus on the frontline of the war. Heroes like agrarians, industrialists, construction workers, who did their jobs well in complicated conditions and secured economic growth,” Aleksandr Lukashenko cited multiple examples. “Nothing stopped us. We’ve managed to implement all our programs and plans.” In particular, Belarus has become a peaceful user of nuclear technologies. The first phase of the third metro line has been opened in Minsk. Dozens of new hospitals, schools, kindergartens, swimming pools, and sport grounds have been built all over the country.

“We taught and raised kids. We sowed and gathered in the harvest. And we did all of that in the year of information warfare and attempts to split our society,” Aleksandr Lukashenko pointed out. “I am immensely grateful to all of those, who fight for respect for native Belarus, for our sovereignty and the great historical legacy every day by doing their jobs and by doing their civic duty at their workstations, in the media field, and in social networks.”

Aleksandr Lukashenko stressed that unity and independence of Belarus are the values that have been checked by trials more than once. The economic development of the country is a policy which neither sanctions, nor provocations, nor terror can steer the country away from. “There have been so many of them as we recall… But they are not the problem. The problem is when our Western so-called partners will understand that work is a way of life for us and difficulties are a stimulus for moving forward for us, descendants of the generations that managed to revive the country from the ashes after the war over an incredibly short period of time,” he said.

“We know that ours is a small country. It has no abundance of oil, natural gas, and gold. We have no nuclear weapons. People are the most precious thing that we have. Proud, independent, and hardworking people. People instead of the Western abstract notion of the civil society. People, whose mentality abhors individualism and the cult of profiteering. This is why provocations meant to undermine the economic stability of the country have failed and will fail,” the president stated.

In his words, Belarusians helped out the state in a time of need and showed themselves as true keepers of the sovereignty. Belarus even survived the pandemic in a better shape than the countries that deem themselves more advanced and more civilized. “Because we had the courage to think with our own heads and the bravery to make possibly unpopular decisions,” he explained.

“The collective West sees our independent actions as unbelievable impudence. But we see it as a sovereign right to define our own fate. In the political blockade they’ve engineered we will find new opportunities for economic and technological development of our state by means of tried and tested and brand new mutual relations with the Eurasian region, with the CIS states, Russia, China, and our other friends,” Aleksandr Lukashenko stated.

Aleksandr Lukashenko is convinced: “Our independence is also our national merit.” He reminded that back in the 6th century eastern historians and travelers admired the ancient ancestors of Belarusians – Slavs. Chroniclers remarked upon the love of freedom, courage, and defiance of the people, who lived in these lands. “We take pride in the fact that our forefathers never had to spread faith, culture, and political views with fire and swords but always presented the gift of enlightenment and peacefulness,” he stressed.

“In many breakthrough historical events we can see the trace of Belarusians, who were great figures of their times. We can find Belarusians among national heroes not only in the native land but all over the world. Their accomplishments became a reference point for the cultural and spiritual development of various nations. This evening would not be long enough for recounting all the names,” Aleksandr Lukashenko stated.

In his opinion, every Belarusian possesses wisdom, bravery, moral fiber, intellectual and creative potential of the great people that Belarus has gifted to the world. “This legacy is our key national treasure and merit. We will continue along our historical path. We will do everything to preserve independence of the native land. The independence gifted to us by fate and earned by glorious deeds and honest work of millions of Belarusians,” Aleksandr Lukashenko assured.