Expressive colours of spring
Thinking about this title, the first idea which occurred to me was the title of the exhibition traditionally organised by the Belarusian Union of Artists at its Minsk Gallery in May. Entitled Colours of Victorious Spring, it features paintings by Great Patriotic War veterans, alongside those by artists who are dedicated to the patriotic theme of battling fascism — yesterday, today and in the future.
The Great Patriotic War, which ended 67 years ago, is part of history yet continues to leave its legacy on almost every Belarusian family. How can it be otherwise when our country lost a third of all residents. Each year, on May 9th, we solemnly and joyously celebrate Victory Day. However many years pass since that victorious spring, like everyone on Earth, we view the date as one which marks out the joy of being alive. Moreover, we remember that we owe this joy to those who fought.
Accordingly, Victory Day is the major theme of this May issue of our magazine, as in previous years. Our choice is governed by unanimous feeling. On May 9th, festive celebrations took place countrywide. In the capital, they began, as ever, with a parade along Nezavisimosti Avenue: from Oktyabrskaya Square to Pobedy Square. As is traditional, President Alexander Lukashenko also took part in the festive parade, alongside veterans of the Great Patriotic War and later Armed Forces, Heroes of the Soviet Union and peacekeeping soldiers. Representatives of public organisations, youngsters and labour collectives also joined the parade. Those Great Patriotic War veterans, of venerable age, who were unable to cover the distance on foot travelled in open cars. In total, around 120,000 Minskers and guests of the capital took part or watched the parade.
Wreaths and flowers were laid at the Victory Monument and foreign diplomats and clergymen paid tribute to the heroic deeds of the past, commemorating the memory of those who died with a minute of silence. Such is our sacred tradition.
The issue includes several articles on this theme, bearing symbolic titles: Let’s Bow to Those Great Years! and Great Honour to Save Victory… Of course, this holiday is also popular in many other countries but, primarily, within the post-Soviet space. Accordingly, the President of Belarus, Alexander Lukashenko, has sent congratulatory messages on the 67th anniversary of Victory in the Great Patriotic War to the heads of CIS states.
His message to the President of the Russian Federation, Vladimir Putin, states: ‘This holiday symbolises the courage, determination and dignity of our fathers and grandfathers, who survived years of difficult hardship, winning the Great Victory in a cruel war. The grateful memory of their common deeds, heroism and self-sacrifice will always unite the nations of Belarus and Russia. I’m convinced that, by joint effort, we can fully realise our planned integration projects, creating a solid foundation for the sustainable development of our states and ensuring our people’s welfare’.
Meanwhile, a congratulatory message from Mr. Putin to the Belarusian President notes: ‘I’m convinced that our deep traditions of friendship, good neighbourly relations and mutual support, as well as the development of close integration ties within the CIS, will continue to strengthen Russian-Belarusian Union relations, while efficiently tackling socio-economic challenges’.
This issue of the magazine also has a UNION thematic supplement, dedicated to contemporary Belarusian-Russian co-operation.
Of course, Belarus is keen to build relations with many states, including Turkmenistan. Its President, Gurbanguly Berdymukhamedov, officially visited Minsk in May; Real Integration explores how new agreements can promote stronger interaction between our two states.
The State of the Nation Address of the President of Belarus, Alexander Lukashenko, to the Belarusian people and to the National Assembly was also an important event in May. Belarus’ Path: Patriotism, Intellect, Progress details his speech almost without abridgment — so no further comment is required.
BY Viktor Kharkov,