Solemn meeting to mark the 100th anniversary of Armed Forces of Belarus

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Rejection of any military aggression has become encoded into the DNA of the Belarusian people, Belarus President Aleksandr Lukashenko said at the solemn meeting held on 22 February to mark the 100th anniversary of the Armed Forces of Belarus.

“The Belarusian people have gone through the ordeals of the world wars and have persevered. Rejection of any military aggression has become encoded into the Belarusian DNA,” Aleksandr Lukashenko said.

According to the President, the Belarusians have no desire to take up arms. “But the world must know that we are ready to defend our land, our families, our independence. We will continue to give the necessary attention to the enhancing of the defense capacity of the state,” Aleksandr Lukashenko stressed.

Aleksandr Lukashenko noted that in these days Belarus celebrates the century-old anniversary of the Armed Forces. This is a good occasion to look back and also an opportunity to assess the prospects for their development.

“History of the Belarusian armed forces began with the Workers' and Peasants' Red Army which was destined to play a decisive role in the formation and preservation of the statehood in our country. The difficult historical period has left us a great number of interpretations. However, we must remember the most important thing: the people and the Red Army helped us survive as a nation. This is the undeniable truth that we must preserve and pass on to future generations,” the President stressed.

The Great Patriotic War became the real test for the Belarusian people. Some 1.5 million compatriots fought in that war, the President noted. Belarus had one of the most massive partisan movements. Half a million partisans and underground fighters fought the invaders in the occupied territory.

“All the people from little ones to adults who lived in the occupied territory fought for their land defending their children and families. We paid a heavy price in that war. Every Belarusian remembers that price. The date of 23 February is inextricably linked with the Soviet army which ensured the strategic parity on the planet in the second half of the 20th century and made a nuclear war irrational,” Aleksandr Lukashenko said.

The Red Banner Belarusian military district made a significant contribution to the maintenance of the high defense capacity, said the head of state. The Armed Forces of the independent Belarus created on its basis have become the guarantor of the country's security and sovereignty.

The head of state is sure that Belarus’ Armed Forces are able to perform all tasks assigned to them.

“The most valuable thing in the army is the people, strong in spirit, faithful to their homeland and duty. Raising the prestige of military service, strengthening the officer corps, increasing the professionalism and cohesion remain priorities for us,” Aleksandr Lukashenko said.

According to the President, the current officers, warrant officers, sergeants and soldiers are worthy heirs of the generation warriors-victors. “I am convinced that you will justify their high confidence with honor,” the Belarusian leader said.

Addressing the veterans, the head of state noted that, despite their age, they are still active, full of optimism and vitality. Aleksandr Lukashenko expressed gratitude to them for the invaluable contribution to the patriotic education of future defenders of the fatherland, for their active civil position. “You- Soviet generals and officers, Afghan war soldiers, and all those who carry the banner of Victory of May 1945 - have always been a model for others to follow,” the President said.