Presentation of state awards
Belarusian President Aleksandr Lukashenko presented state decorations to deserving Belarusians in an awards ceremony held in the Palace of Independence in Minsk on 2 July.
The head of state noted that the ceremony is held in the run-up to the most important holiday for the country - Independence Day. Therefore, receiving awards on this day is particularly honorable. Today’s ceremony is meant to celebrate the most deserving individuals, first of all, those who, fulfilling their professional duties actually fought for the Motherland “almost like our heroic ancestors did during the Great Patriotic War which began 80 years ago,” the Belarusian leader said opening the ceremony. “Just like for them, it wasn’t easy for us either. But like them, we knew we were going to prevail. Because truth is on our side. Because we do not pretend but truly love out land and feel the responsibility for it,” the president continued.
He noted that they tried to destabilize the Belarusian society from within by using smear campaigns. They tried to push through a color revolution here, hoping for a blitzkrieg, tried to demoralize us. They mocked the Belarusian symbols. “But they miscalculated. Now they have proceeded to the economic warfare,” Aleksandr Lukashenko said.
The head of state was a bit late for the event. The president explained the reasons for being late: “Today we have wrapped up a large-scale anti-terrorist operation. We thought that they would stick to the economic warfare scenario. No. Terror against people and facilities continues inside the country on a larger scale. We will reveal the details soon.”
“After wrapping up counterintelligence activities today, we will raise questions not with some Heiko Maas, Germany’s Minister of Foreign Affairs, but with the chancellor herself and some other top brass of Germany. I will tell you more later,” Aleksandr Lukashenko said.
The president recalled that sectoral sanctions were imposed against the country. They chose a symbolic date for that - the night of 22 June when the Nazis attacked the Soviet Union 80 years ago and the war began.
“They wanted to deprive us, the Belarusians, of the sacred thing - the right to work, and our children and old people of their livelihood,” the head of state. “But, apparently, these people misread the circumstances and skipped history classes in school. Belarusians never give up. Difficulties only harden us like steel. We will become stronger and more successful. You, who are present in this hall today, are the best proof of that,” he added.
The president addressed special words of gratitude to those who wear the uniform, for whom the oath, officer's honor and military duty are an unshakable system of values. “Our state is unshakable because guys in uniform have been up to the task and are among the awardees today, and their subordinates and colleagues have carried out that large-scale operation that has just ended. This means that we have will power, we stick to what we believe it and no one will be able to subjugate us,” the Belarusian leader said.
He emphasized that the military and rescuers have recently proved what it means to be real defenders of their country. “Maybe some 10 months ago some of you lamented about violence on the Internet and did not understand what was happening. But today there are no people in attendance who would not understand what is happening. Today there are no people in the country who do not understand what is going on. And thank God that this happened last year. Those events exposed ulcers and tumors in the society that we had to cut out, and we did it. If people do not understand it after all the things that were shown and told, this is no longer about misunderstanding, these people can be viewed as enemies whose goal is to destroy the state,” Aleksandr Lukashenko stressed.
He also thanked civil servants, journalists, judges, lawyers, publishers and representatives of public associations - those who fight on the information front firmly guarding the truth and law. The Belarusian leader expressed gratitude to scientists and teachers who help students not only to gain professional knowledge, but also to learn the main life lesson – Motherland is not for sale. The head of state also congratulated agricultural and industrial workers, builders on the high awards and thanked them for their work.
"People like you are called the salt of the earth. And I know for sure that everyone of you is part of a big team of professionals. This means that we will work and do better despite all the difficulties and we will live happily in our strong and prosperous Belarus,” Aleksandr Lukashenko said.
The president presented the Order of Honor to Director of the Nepogodin Bobruisk Integrated Printing House Vladimir Pasko, Director of Construction Department No. 25 affiliated with Minskpromstroy Konstantin Shamin, and milking machine operator of the Boltishki agricultural enterprise from Voronovo District Danusya Vilkel.
The Order for Service to the Homeland was presented to Deputy Chief of Armaments of the Armed Forces Sergei Lyakh, head of the main organizational and mobilization department – Deputy Chief of the General Staff of the Armed Forces Aleksandr Shkirenko, and head of the 602nd repair and storage base of the Armed Forces Oleg Germanov.
A large group of representatives of various fields were honored with honorary titles of Belarus. The Honored Figure of Culture of Belarus title was bestowed upon BelTA's commentator Alina Grishkevich and the Honored Scientist of Belarus title – upon Vice Rector of the Belarusian Medical Academy of Postgraduate Education Yuri Gain and Head of the A.N. Sevchenko Institute of Applied Physical Problems Piotr Kuchinsky. The Honored Worker of Agriculture of Belarus title was awarded to Director General of the Molochny Mir dairy Marina Anikeyeva, the Honored Builder of Belarus title – to Director General of Rogachev's Road Building Directorate No.1 Tatiana Balakireva, and the Honored Lawyer of Belarus title – to Professor of the Environmental and Agricultural Law Department at Belarusian State Universality Sergei Balashenko. Director of 558 Aircraft Repair Plant Pavel Pinigin was awarded with the Honored Worker of the Manufacturing Sector of Belarus title.
Some representatives of universities and colleges were given the title of the Honored Worker of Education title, including professor at the Belarusian statehood history department of Belarusian National technical University Konstantin Balandin, Vice Rector of Vitebsk State Medical University Natalya Konevalova, and administrator of the military and labor glory museum at the Grodno State Vocational College of Consumer Services Larisa Khatko.
The head of state presented diplomas to confer the Honored Specialist of the Armed Forces title to Head of the International Military Cooperation Department – Defense Minister's Aide for International Military Cooperation Oleg Voinov, aide to the Defense Minister for ideological work – Head of the Ideological Work Department of the Defense Ministry Leonid Kasinsky, and Chief of the Military Academy Viktor Lisovsky.