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Veterans still in the ranks

According to Svetlana Yermakovich, the Head of the Labour and Social Protection Ministry’s Department for Veterans and Elderly People Affairs, six Heroes of the Soviet Union currently live in the Republic: awarded during the years of the Great Patriotic War. Victor Vetoshkin, Belarus’ only full Cavalier of the Order of Glory, resides in Minsk.

By Yelena Proklova

As of April 1st, 2012, there are 7,650 people still living in the Republic who have USSR orders or medals for selfless action or perfect military service in the rear during the war years. Moreover, 459 Belarusian residents are still with us who once worked in air or naval defence, or in building defensive installations or pre-front sections of railways or motorways. Naval crew found themselves interned in the early years of the Great Patriotic War in the ports of other states.

As of April 1st, 2012, 118 people in Belarus took part in mine clearing after liberation from German occupation, from 1943 to 1945. Meanwhile, 790 people residing in Belarus worked at enterprises and institutions in Leningrad during the blockade: awarded medals ‘For the Defence of Leningrad’, or ‘Resident of Blockaded Leningrad’ badges.

Sadly, 1,063 people have been registered as disabled since childhood as a result of being wounded during the Great Patriotic War. Over 2,000 residents are direct relations of soldiers and partisans who died during the Great Patriotic War and 35,000 are former prisoners of Nazi concentrated camps, jails, ghettos and other places of enforced imprisonment.

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