On May 5th, in the run-up to the Victory Day celebrations, the President of Belarus, Aleksandr Lukashenko, presented state awards to distinguished people from various fields
The Head of State often says that there would be no sovereign Belarus now without the victorious May 1945, without the heroic and labour deeds of our grandfathers and great-grandfathers. And this time, Aleksandr Lukashenko reminded that in those days of May, people greeted the Great Victory with jubilation and assumed increased labour obligations, “We have kept this sacred tradition. Thus, on the eve of Victory Day state awards are presented to those who, like the heroic fathers, mothers and grandfathers, have not spared energy, talent, time and sometimes life to conquer professional heights for the benefit of Belarus.”
A member of the regional organisation of veterans of the Leninsky District of Grodno of the Belarusian Public Association of Veterans Valentina Baranova was awarded the Order of Honour Photo by BELTA
According to the President, Victory Day is the most esteemed holiday for all Belarusians, especially for the older generation. 78 years ago (on May 2nd, 1945) Berlin was defeated, and the main role in this was played by the 1st Belorussian Front under command of Marshal Zhukov.
Aleksandr Lukashenko emphasised that on the eve of Victory Day state awards are presented to those who, like the heroic fathers, mothers and grandfathers of Belarusians, have not spared energy, talent, time and sometimes life to conquer professional heights for the benefit of their native country, “I am very glad that today in this hall we have this wonderful woman who belongs to the war generation. This is Valentina Baranova. A front-line soldier who reached Prague, a telegraph operator, an athlete. Valentina Petrovna, you turn 5 times 20 in November. One can only dream! People like you are now worth their weight in gold. You are the guardians of the truth. You are a counterbalance to those who deny the genocide of the Belarusian people, who whitewash Nazism, no matter what guise it takes,” Aleksandr Lukashenko said.
Valentina Baranova participates in the work of the Grodno Veterans Council, leads an active life. In her person, the President thanked all veterans and participants of the war, “I bow low to those who fought at the front, who fought the enemy in the occupied territory, survived concentration camps, worked selflessly in the rear… I have a big request for you, even a combat task: live as long as possible, being an example to our youth. It will be very difficult for us without you.”
Valentina Baranova, in turn, admitted that she was glad to see the President not on the screen, but live, “Thank you very much for the fact that our Belarus has become a strong and free, independent, prosperous and peacemaking country during your presidency. This is the most important thing!” she emphasised. Addressing the participants of the solemn ceremony, Valentina Baranova added, “My dear, thank you very much! After all, you are the generation that has replaced our generations — participants in the war. We will pass away, you will stay. Together with
Aleksandr Grigorievich, you will continue to build our peaceful, happy life.”
Several dozens of people were invited to the ceremony at the Palace of Independence. Most of them have experienced the joy of labour victories and represent the most peaceful professions, the President said. State awards and honorary titles were bestowed upon a dairy company, teachers and doctors, cultural workers and scientists, construction workers and industrialists, equipment manufacturers, transport workers and economists, inventors and lawyers. Among the awardees are also those who have chosen the sky as their career, dedicated themselves to the art, preserved the Belarusian nature and created the beauty with jewellery accuracy.
The awardees included representatives of the Operational and Analytical Centre under the Aegis of the President of the Republic of Belarus and the State Forensic Examination Committee, employees of the State Security Committee, internal affairs bodies and the border service. “These people are those who have recently been neutralising infiltrators who have been sneaking into our territory. As you can see, history is repeating itself. Thank you for your excellent service. What you do is a daily victory over our enemy, an unscrupulous and ruthless one. But we are stronger. Because the truth is with us. Just like in the Great Patriotic War, we defend our homes and our children,” the Head of State stressed.
Aleksandr Lukashenko bestowed the Order of Honour upon Vasily Korzhov, Director General of the Narochansky National Park, and Valentina Baranova, member of the regional organisation of veterans of the Leninsky District of Grodno of the Belarusian Public Association of Veterans. The award was also given to Mikhail Kovalev, Deputy Head of the Department of State Prosecution of the Office for Supervision of Compliance with the Law of Court Decisions in Criminal Cases at the Prosecutor General’s Office, Vladimir Baranovsky, first deputy procurement director of AMKODOR, and Valery Yakubich, a tractor driver and machine operator of the AgroNiva farm.
The Head of State presented the Order of Francysk Skaryna to artist-sculptor Ivan Misko. Medals of Francysk Skaryna went to Olga Brilon, lecturer-musicologist of the Zhinovich National Academic Folk Orchestra of Belarus, Lyudmila Rodionova, vocalist of the Youth Variety Theatre, and Aleksandr Chizh, head of the laboratory of radio photonics of the state research and production association Optics, Optoelectronics and Laser Technology.
The President also conferred a number of honorary title diplomas during the ceremony. The Honoured Artist title went to leading musician of the Belarusian State Philharmonics Vladislav Pligovka, the Honoured Figure of Arts title — to Director of the Mogilev City Choir Sergei Lishchenko, the Honoured Teacher title — to Galina Belyaeva, deputy director for education at secondary school No.34 in Mogilev.
The Order of Labour Glory went to the Grodno-based dairy Molochny Mir. The company was awarded for significant achievements in the processing industry, efficient activity, and manufacturing of high quality products. “With all my heart I congratulate you on your deserved awards. I wish you good health, wellbeing and inspiration. Happy Victory Day! May this nationally beloved holiday and a special ceremony associated with it serve as a guiding star for you on the way to new professional and life successes,” the Head of State wished.
About 1,500 veterans of the Great Patriotic War and about 8,500 citizens who suffered from the consequences of the war (mostly former prisoners of concentration camps) live in Belarus today. Unfortunately, every year the ranks of veterans are thinning out — those who fought and emerged victorious. The youngest participants in the war are now 96 years old. Honouring veterans related to the payment of material assistance, rallies, laying flowers were held throughout the country during the holidays.
According to the decision of the President, financial assistance is paid by May 9th every year in Belarus. This year, its size was increased — from Br850 (for persons affected by the consequences of the war) to Br2,000 (for participants and invalids of the war). About 10 thousand people received it.