Address at Victory Day parade

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Dear soldiers, sergeants, warrant officers and officers! Dear veterans of the Great Patriotic War! Dear compatriots and foreign guests!

Today we celebrate one of the most sacred holidays – Victory Day!

Seventy years ago the multi-national Soviet people won in the most terrible and bloody war. This Great Victory saved our Homeland from enslavement. This Great Victory liberated Europe. This Great Victory gave life and freedom to the whole world.

We secured the victory after four years of fierce fighting, blood and victims. The way from the Brest Fortress to Berlin was inhumanely hard. The Belarusian land faced the main assault of the Nazi forces. The fiercest battles and the most tragic events took place in Belarus at the beginning of the war. It was in Belarusian lands that Hitler’s blitzkrieg war plans were buried and the foundation of the future Great Victory was laid.

In the first days of the war the heroic defense of the Brest Fortress, battles near Grodno and Volkovysk, the battle of Mogilev showed that our country will never surrender to the enemy.

The second front was opened in the Nazi’s rear – the front of the people’s partisan war. More than 500,000 Belarusians became partisans, they ruthlessly smashed the invaders, liberated the native country from the occupation. By the end of 1943 major part of Belarus’ territory was controlled by local partisans.

The enemy sent hundreds of thousands of punishment troops against us. They acted with barbaric primeval ferocity. They razed our towns and villages, hanged, shot, and burnt alive our women, children, and old people. We faced a total annihilation war.

But we were not broken! We endured and prevailed! But in this battle Belarus lost a lot. Not even time can make this terrible pain go away.

On the great and shining day of victory in May many people tend to believe that wars will never happen again. But new times have not delivered the mankind from wars. Today we see that the tragic lessons of the war have been forgotten. We don’t see the force of law. We see that force is the law. Once again shells explode, fires are ablaze and people die. Both the world and Europe are getting closer to the dangerous line. It has never been more important to remember lessons of the Great Patriotic War as it is today. Politicians, leaders, and nations must remember these lessons. There is nothing more precious than peace. It is the most important lesson. No ambitions, no calculations, no interests are worth sacrificing human lives.

The wise experience of the heads of state of the Allied countries, who managed to overcome irreconcilable political differences to defeat the Nazi together, would be useful for all the present political leaders.

I believe it was deeply symbolic that representatives of the Russian army and the U.S. army took part in the army parade in Minsk together with Belarusian military personnel. At the same time Belarusian military personnel marched in the parade in Moscow and military hardware created with assistance of Belarusian defense industries was demonstrated.

We have to be able to protect peace. While pursuing a peaceful policy Belarus builds its own strong and reliable home. Modern armed forces will protect it.

At present military experts evaluate the potential of the Belarusian army as one of the highest in Eastern Europe. A lot of work has been done to bolster the combat readiness of the regular army and the territorial defense. The competitive ability of the defense sector of the economy has been increased. New promising armaments and military vehicles have been created. A number of Belarusian-made vehicles will be displayed at the today’s parade.

Dear friends, the Belarusian army has gone through major modernization to be able to respond to any modern challenges.

Our cooperation with Russia is vigorously developing. By protecting peaceful labor, we take care of our military security together.

The Belarusian army and the nation are ready to repel any external aggression and preserve the country’s independence.

Dear veterans of the Great Patriotic War!

Your generation is a genuine example of valor, high patriotism and spiritual greatness. You teach us to sincerely love our Motherland and believe in the future.

We are grateful to you for peace and accord!

Belarus cherishes and will always remember your heroic deed!

Dear friends and guests,

On behalf of the Belarusian people I sincerely wish you Happy Victory Day. It is the victory of peace over the war, the victory of light over darkness, the victory of life over death.

I wish you strong health, happiness, kindness and wellbeing.

May peace always reign in Belarus!

Happy Victory Day! Hurrah!