Posted: 15.05.2024 09:05:22

Great Victory is a key moment in the history of the Belarusian nation formation

On May 9th — Victory Day — the President of Belarus, Aleksandr Lukashenko, took part in solemn events on the occasion of the 79th anniversary of Victory in the 1941-1945 Great Patriotic War

solemn wreath-laying ceremony in Minsk       BELTA

In the morning, the Head of State together with the presidents of Russia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Cuba, Laos and Guinea-Bissau watched the military parade on the Red Square in Moscow.
In total, more than 9,000 people marched in the parade this year — participants in a special military operation, regiments, battalions and companies by types and branches of troops, crews from Suvorov, Nakhimov, cadet schools, women military personnel, Cossacks and a combined military band. Following the ceremonial regiments, a column of military hardware rolled through Moscow’s Red Square. The mechanised column was traditionally led by the legendary ‘Victory Tank’ — T-34-85, followed by armoured vehicles Tigr, VPK-Ural, Taifun-K, and BTR-82A armoured personnel carriers. Launchers of Iskander-M operational and tactical missile systems and S-400 anti-aircraft missile systems passed along the paving stones of the Red Square. Yars road-mobile intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) launchers, the backbone of Russia’s nuclear shield, were also demonstrated to the audience. Bumerang armoured infantry fighting vehicles and personnel carriers with flags of all military branches of the Russian Armed Forces concluded the mechanised column’s procession. The parade ended with the flyover of the Russkie Vityazi (Russian Knights) and MiG 29UB Strizhi (Swifts) aviation groups in a unique Cuban Diamond aerobatic manoeuvre. 
After the parade, the President of Belarus together with counterparts from other countries laid a wreath at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier in Alexander Garden near the Kremlin walls. Then Aleksandr Lukashenko and Vladimir Putin jointly answered journalists’ questions. The heads of states shared that on the Victory Day’s eve they had worked until three o’clock in the morning. During the discussion of bilateral relations, the presidents also talked about the situation unfolding around the contact line, as well as about the difficult events related to Ukraine. The leaders of Belarus and Russia communicated with the Defence Minister of the Russian Federation, and the Chief of the General Staff. Journalists asked the presidents about the drills on the deployment of non-strategic nuclear weapon carriers. “Since non-strategic nuclear weapons are stationed on the territory of Belarus, this time we have invited our friends, our allies — and the President of Belarus asked for this — to take part in one of the stages of these drills. We hold them regularly. This time, they are carried out in three stages. Belarusian colleagues will join us at the second stage. The corresponding instructions have been given to the defence ministries and general staffs,” Russia’s President stated.
Aleksandr Lukashenko confirmed the statement of his Russian counterpart. “We held the first stage separately. Yesterday we decided that we should synchronise and conduct the second and third stages together. Vladimir Vladimirovich has correctly underlined that this is not the first time. This is our third training session, and there were dozens of them in Russia. That is why we have decided to synchronise. The general staffs of the two countries have already begun to fulfil the assigned tasks,” the Belarusian leader clarified. “There is nothing unusual here. This is planned work,” Vladimir Putin added.

Parade on the Red Square in Moscow      REUTERS

Parade on the Red Square in Moscow       REUTERS

In the afternoon of May 9th, the President of Belarus traditionally participated in celebrations in honour of Victory Day held in Minsk

The Head of State laid a wreath at the Victory Monument in Minsk. Those present honoured the memory of the Great Patriotic War heroes with a minute of silence. When making a speech at the ceremony, the Head of State touched upon such important topics as the value of peace for Belarusians and all mankind and the need to preserve historical memory. “Almost eighty years ago, the bloody tornado of the most terrible war in history was stopped by the sacrificial feat of the Soviet people. This fact is forever secured on the ruins of the Reichstag and in the Instrument of Unconditional Surrender of Nazi Germany. The German war machine crashed against the unparalleled heroism and valour of our fathers, grandfathers and great-grandfathers. The Great Victory was forged on the front lines and on the home front for four long years. Both old and young stood up to fight the enemy. Having paid for freedom with millions of lives of its sons and daughters, our great Motherland — the Soviet Union — saved humanity from enslavement, and some nations from complete extermination,” Aleksandr Lukashenko emphasised. 
“The Great Victory is the main and key moment in the history of revival and formation of the Belarusian nation. Its lessons allow us today to look into the future as long as we remember and know the past. The zest for life and creative energy of the victorious generation who restored the country from the ruins are an example of how we should live and work. Belarus needs peace — tomorrow, in a year, and always. It is important for us to persevere and not let anyone draw us into conflicts. Time has chosen us to preserve the independence of our land and everything created by many generations before us,” the President pointed out. 
According to the President, the victorious May of 1945 brought invaluable peace to humanity. However, not everyone appreciated its value. The former allies of the USSR pictured themselves as the sole vanquishers of Hitler’s Germany. Today, just like in the early 1940s, the West is ready to make a deal with any evil in order to maintain its dominance. “Without any hesitation, Europe glorifies and welcomes SS men and nationalists of all stripes. They are given a standing ovation by the heads of states who have forgotten the results of the Nuremberg trials. Without regard to history, morality and law, they have begun to pit countries and peoples against each other again. To this end, they have revived the ideas and methods of the Nazis,” the Belarusian leader stressed. 
Aleksandr Lukashenko added, “The voice of all those who stand for peace, seek co-operation, and share the ideals of justice and global equality is more important today than ever before. Unfortunately, we do not hear those voices. We know how such silence ended in the last century. Today they want to push us into the same abyss again. Therefore, we must do everything to prevent a third world war. Otherwise, a nuclear apocalypse is inevitable. To preserve peace, we all need to stand together.”

A 100-year-old Great Patriotic War veteran, Valentina Baranova at the Victory Day celebration in Grodno        Anna Kasper

After participating in the celebrations, Aleksandr Lukashenko spoke with representatives of the media. Commenting on the issue of the deployment of non-strategic nuclear weapons, the Head of State observed, “Nuclear weapons are terrible weapons. We and the Russian leadership have repeatedly emphasised that we refer to non-strategic nuclear weapons. God forbid that anyone should press the nuclear button again. Although tactical weapons today are many times more powerful than they were in Hiroshima and Nagasaki. One explosion would kill thousands of people. These are deadly weapons. In order to use such weapons, it is necessary to train and learn how to do it. It was my initiative, as Vladimir Putin said. I called him and offered to synchronise our efforts in this regard. There was only one goal — we wanted to see how the leading nuclear powers were doing this. After all, we are learning.”  
The President stressed that nuclear weapons for Belarus and Russia are exclusively weapons of deterrence. The inspection of non-strategic nuclear weapon carriers takes place in three stages. At first, the military trained to prepare warheads. Now the general staffs are synchronising their interaction. At the third stage, it is planned to summarise the inspection results.
During a conversation with journalists, the Head of State commented on the case of Polish judge Tomasz Szmydt, who fled from his country to seek asylum in Belarus due to political persecution in Poland. 
“This is a trend [when Polish officials flee from the country]. We have checked him — he is an absolutely normal, patriotic Pole. His colleagues have never said anything bad about him. He is not a traitor. He just takes a realistic view of things, compares Poland and Belarus and draws conclusions,” Aleksandr Lukashenko noted. “We had warned him that by speaking at a press conference he could put himself at risk. He said, ‘I am not afraid. I need to speak the truth about what is happening in Poland.’ So this situation caused a stir.” 
The Head of State has promised to consider the application of Polish judge Tomasz Szmydt for granting him political asylum. The President also revealed that he had instructed law enforcement agencies to ensure the protection of Tomasz Szmydt, “So that those scoundrels do not kill him. He says he knows what he is doing. He is a brave man and a normal person, with a clear mind, as far as I know by now.” 

Based on materials of and