Their strong spirit helped them survive

About 17,000 Great Patriotic War veterans reside still in Belarus

The legal status and measures of social protection for veterans are determined by various laws of the Republic of Belarus: ‘On the Status of Heroes of Belarus, Heroes of the Soviet Union, Heroes of Socialist Labour, and the Knights of the Order of the Fatherland, Glory, and Labour Glory’; ‘On Veterans’; and ‘On State Social Benefits, Rights and Guarantees for Separate Categories of Citizens’.

War veterans receive benefits for health care, provision of medicines, technical means of social rehabilitation, sanatorium-resort treatment and health improvement, provision of accommodation, housing, communal services, and home telephone, and travel on public transport. In addition, they receive benefits provided by tax, labour and pension legislation.

At present, there are 39 Great Patriotic War veterans over the age of 100, and 4,500 with USSR awards or medals for their selfless work and/or faultless military service in the rear. A further 286 people have received recognition for their work at defence facilities, and in constructing defensive structures, railways and roads. On April 1st, 2015, Belarus boasted 73 special-forces veterans who had helped clear territories after liberation from German occupation (between 1943 and 1945). Belarus is also home to more than 600 survivors of the siege of Leningrad and has 832 people who have been disabled since childhood due to injuries sustained during the Great Patriotic War or as a result of its consequences.

By Alexander Pimenov

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