No one is forgotten, nothing is forgotten
The whole world is in irredeemable debt to the heroic deeds of the Soviet people
The President reminded those gathered that the courage and heroism of Soviet soldiers during the Second World War, which lasted almost six years, finished in European countries being granted freedom and the opportunity to independently determine their own path of development.
Mr. Lukashenko paid tribute and expressed words of gratitude to those who fought on the side of the allies: those within the anti-Hitler coalition and with Anti-Fascist Resistance movements. “They made their contribution in the fight against Fascism. The second front, which opened in 1944, seriously helped flush the enemy from its hideout. However, the historical truth is that it was the Soviet Union that played the leading and major role in our common anti-Fascist struggle. The Soviet-German front was four times longer than all the western fronts, taken together,” noted the Belarusian leader.
The Head of State stressed that Belarus was the first to face the attack of the enemy but didn’t surrender, becoming a living shield in the aggressor’s path. Even before the opening of the second front, 60 percent of Belarusian territory, previously seized by the Fascists, was under the control of partisans. Around 38,000sq.m was completely liberated from the enemy: comparable in size to the Netherlands or Belgium.
Over 1.3m Belarus-born soldiers fought in the ranks of the Red Army, including over 200 generals and admirals, and 450 were awarded the title of Hero of the Soviet Union. “We won’t betray the memory of millions of people: soldiers and peaceful citizens who died at the hands of the Fascists. No one is forgotten, nothing is forgotten!” underlined Mr. Lukashenko. “We won’t forget that every third resident of Belarus was killed and over half of our national treasures were destroyed, alongside over 200 towns and more than 9,000 villages. Fascists set up over 260 death camps and 170 ghettos on the territory of Belarus. Trostenets concentration camp alone, near Minsk, took the lives of over 200,000 Soviet people and European citizens.”
According to the President, the celebration of the 70th anniversary of Victory is a moment of truth. He emphasises, “In reflecting upon the past, we can assess the present. Victory requires unity and solidarity from the successors of the Soviet nation. However, decades on, ‘accountants’ have appeared among us, heads and politicians, who wish to divide Victory by specific weight of nationalities, arguing about the percentage of Russian, Ukrainian, Kazakh, Georgian and Uzbek blood in the Victory. The answer is simple: it was not Russians nor Belarusians, Ukrainians nor Georgians, Kazakhs nor Uzbeks who destroyed Nazism alone. The great Soviet nation gave us the Great Victory!”
Soviet soldiers didn’t think about nationalities as they were dying in Brest Fortress and Leningrad, in fighting near Moscow and Stalingrad, at the battle of Kursk Arch and on the River Dnieper, liberating Belarus and Western Europe, and storming Berlin. “They were united in hoisting the Victory Banner. The Victory has always been common and will always be indivisible!” the Head of State is convinced.
Mr. Lukashenko regrets that some countries do try to interfere in the internal affairs of sovereign states and that policies of pressure and economic blackmail have long become commonplace. “Moreover, the world’s strongest powers encourage military conflict in various corners of the globe. Weaponry is used as an argument in defending the economic interests of various super-powers. Their military activity increases, while manoeuvres and training exercises are conducted and military potential is accumulated along our borders,” added the President.
Mr. Lukashenko stresses that Belarus respects the right of each state to choose its own path of development and expects the same in return.
“At no point in our history has there been a greater event than our Victory over Fascism. We must remember this and remain proud of the heroic deeds of the generation who fought for independence of our Homeland and saved the world from Fascism, ensuring our safety,” the President concluded.
By Vasily Kharitonov