‘WE invite other heads of state to come to Minsk for the Victory Parade,’ Belarus President Aleksandr Lukashenko said as he talked to the media, BelTA has learned.
‘I publicly invite leaders of all states, at least those of the former Soviet Union, to come to Minsk and to attend the parade,’ the head of state said.
‘Let’s hope that some leaders will come. If they do not, we will run the parade for ourselves, as usual. Here I am talking about the top-ranking officials.
‘With respect to ordinary people there will be a lot of them from all the republics at this parade,’ he said.
‘Gathering in Minsk would be a right thing to do. Our republic was wiped out of the face of the earth during the war, was the first to take the blow.
‘Surviving old people and children had to live in swamps, forests, dugouts for almost four years. Our republic was the worst hit, it is a living monument to that brutal war. It would be right to gather here, and even more so today,’ the Belarusian leader stressed.
The president added that some will not come simply because they need to save their face, not because they are afraid of anything. ‘They have imposed quarantine measures, curfews in some countries. And, all of a sudden, they would go to Belarus?’ he said.
The head of state suggested making it possible for a wide audience, particularly in Russia, to see the Belarusian parade. ‘We may ask the Russian television to broadcast our parade for the Russians. This is our brotherly nation,’ he said.
Aleksandr Lukashenko said that the pandemic is also used as a factor in big politics today.
‘We will see more of that once the pandemic is over,’ the Belarusian leader added.
• ‘For Belarus the memory of the Victory in the Great Patriotic War is sacred. We will never forget about it,’ Chairman of the State Border Committee of Belarus Anatoly Lappo told the media on 6 May, BelTA has learned.
On 6 May, Belarusian border guards laid flowers at a monument near a mass grave in Tolbukhina Boulevard and the memorial ‘Border Guards of All Generations’ in Minsk in the run-up to the Victory Day celebrations.
The chairman of the State Border Committee said that the forthcoming date is important for the country.
Thanks to the victory, ‘our country lives and prospers, we bring up our children and grandchildren, grow bread and make advancements in science.
‘For me it is a true holiday, a holiday with tears in the eyes. Both my grandfathers went to the war. They started as partisans. Then they joined the Red Army.
‘One of them was killed. This is our memory. If there were no memory, we would not live like this today. We will never forget,’ he added.
Speaking about the contribution of the border guards to the victory, the head of the State Border Committee recalled that the German command initially planned to capture the outposts in 30 minutes.
‘Yet these outposts would hold out for a day, two or more.
‘This is our memory. Without memory we are nobody,’ Anatoly Lappo added.
‘Many border guards will be working on Victory Day. Those who will be free from service will visit the burial sites, watch patriotic films.
‘In all military units, we will hold ceremonial events, lay flowers to the monuments,’ Anatoly Lappo said.
- Today, Belarus is celebrating the Day of Victory which was achieved in fierce battles for the freedom and independence of the Motherland.
For Belarusians it is not only a festive day. It is also a day of remembrance, deep respect and gratitude to all who made the Victory possible.
On 9 May 1945, the Soviet people celebrated the victory in the Great Patriotic War which lasted for 1,418 days and nights.
In the first days of the war, enemy aircraft bombed railway junctions, airfields, Brest, Grodno, Volkovysk, Baranovichi and other Belarusian cities.
The first to fight the enemy were border guards. No outpost surrendered to the enemy or left the post without an order.
The defenders of the Brest Fortress, Minsk and Mogilev put up a fierce resistance. Soviet rocket launchers, Katyusha, were first used against the enemy near Orsha on 14 July.
The strong resistance that the enemy faced in battles in Belarus derailed the German plans for a rapid offensive on Moscow.
However, despite the courage and heroism, the territory of Belarus was occupied by the Germans by the beginning of September 1941.
In Belarus, the enemy faced resistance unprecedented in scale and persistence. The main form was the national partisan movement, which over the years of the Great Patriotic War involved more than 374,000 partisans.
The anti-fascist underground movement numbered over 70,000 members. Belarusians, representatives of different peoples of the Soviet Union and anti-fascists from Europe fought against the enemy as part of the partisan groups.
During the war there were about 30 partisan zones which the Germans could not occupy.
For example, the Klichev partisan zone was controlled by the partisans from March 1942.
By the beginning of 1944 it was 3,000km2 in area. More than 70,000 civilians were under the protection of some 18,000 partisans.
The Polotsk-Lepel partisan zone was established in the autumn of 1942. By the autumn of 1943 it covered 1,220 settlements with more than 73,500 civilian population.
The territory was liberated from fascist invaders, the Soviet power restored. The zone was defended by 16 partisan brigades. It remained under control of the partisans almost till the time Belarus was completely liberated from the invaders.
Belarus was one of the nations which suffered the worst in the war. In Belarus the Nazis conducted more than 140 punitive operations. A tragic symbol of mass destruction of the civilian population is the village of Khatyn where the Nazis killed 149 villagers and burned 28 houses.
In Belarus, there were about 250 camps for Soviet prisoners of war and 350 places of forced detention. Among them is Trostenets, Europe’s fourth largest death camp, where over 200,000 people were killed.
Some 34.4 million Soviet soldiers, including more than 1.3 million Belarusians and natives of Belarus fought in the war.
For courage and heroism more than 300,000 of them were honoured with orders and medals. 444 soldiers were awarded the honorary title Hero of the Soviet Union, of them, 88 were members of the underground and partisan movement in Belarus, 70 people were Full Cavaliers of the Order of Glory, four Belarusian – two-time Heroes of the Soviet Union.
Belarus lost more than a half of its national wealth in the war. 209 cities and regional centres, 9,200 villages were destroyed and burnt.
Human losses were huge. According to modern scholars, during the years of the Great Patriotic War Belarus lost from 2.5 to 3 million and more people.
The liberation of Belarus from German-fascist invaders began in the autumn of 1943. Komarin was the first town to be liberated in Belarus – on 23 September.
The war in Belarus continued into 28 July 1944 when the Soviet Army’s Operation Bagration put an end to the Nazi occupation of the
The contribution of the Belarusian nation to the Great Victory was recognised worldwide.
At the international conference held in San Francisco in 1945 to institute the United Nations Organisation, a decision was taken to include Belarus in the number of the UN founders.
In the history of Belarus, there was not a war more cruel than the Great Patriotic War, there was not a feat bigger than the feat of the Soviet soldiers who defended the Motherland from the enemy, who saved humanity from Nazism. The memory of the war and the Great Victory shall not fade away: it is forever inscribed in the history of the Motherland and every Belarusian family.
The tragedy and the victory are the eternal source of pain and bitterness, pride and glory of the Belarusian people.