On May 9th, Belarus is celebrating the 78th anniversary of the Great Victory, which is a sacred holiday for the country. The war lasted 1,418 days and nights, more than 1.3m Belarusians and natives of Belarus took part in it. About 200,000 of them have been awarded orders, medals and the Hero of the Soviet Union title for their courage and heroism. On this day, Belarusians recollect the soldiers, partisans, front and underground workers who brought that Victory closer and who gave their lives for the sake of the Motherland and future generations.
In Mogilev, more than 60 thousand people have been taking part in the Victory Parade and the Belarus Remembers. We Remember Everyone republican campaign. Many residents have come with all their family members. People with portraits of their grandparents who participated in the war have joined a column of To the Memory of the Fallen, To the Glory of the Living procession to walk along the city centre with veterans to Glory Square, where the celebration will continue.
The Chairman of the Mogilev Regional Executive Committee, Anatoly Isachenko, said that May 9th is a sacred date that will forever remain a symbol of courage and patriotism of our people in readiness to defend their Homeland. “78 years ago, our fathers and grandfathers won this right: to live freely in their native land. They taught us a great lesson of patriotism, which we should strive for today, looking up to the winners. The memory of the great feat will live for centuries, unite our people, strengthen moral and spiritual forces, inspire creative work for the prosperity of our native country,” he stressed.
In Grodno, on Victory Day, people were invited to watch a colourful car parade of stylised cars. Each vehicle was actually a mini-installation on the theme of the war years. Grodno’s major enterprises took part in their design.
The Chairman of the Grodno Regional Executive Committee, Vladimir Karanik, addressed citizens and guests of the city, “Victory Day is so far away and at the same time it is near to us. It is distant in time, but close to everyone's heart. It continues to unite all of us, young people and the elderly. The Red Banner that flew over the Reichstag became a symbol of the Victory over crushed fascism. The Soviet people not only stopped the brown plague, which brought devastation, ashes and ruins: in a short time, it restored the republic in a single creative impulse.”
In Vitebsk, thousands of citizens came out to celebrate Victory Day. The military of the 103rd Vitebsk Separate Guards Airborne Brigade, cadet units, delegations of enterprises and organisations of the city have taken part in the parade heading to the Three Bayonets monument which honours the immortal feat of Soviet soldiers, partisans and underground workers.
The Chairman of the Vitebsk Regional Executive Committee, Aleksandr Subbotin, said that May 9th is a solemn and mournful holiday, “It is scary to realise how many new lives have not been born, how many children have not matured, how many destinies have been cut short because of crazy ideas and the bloody cruelty of the genocide policy. The mournful silence of these and other places has kept the crying of children, the cries of mothers, the moans of those dying from bullets for years. It also keeps the sadness and longing of the dead – as a stern reminder to descendants...”
In Gomel, more than 25 thousand people have taken part in the Victory Day celebrations. A large-scale parade featured hundreds of posters with photos of soldiers who won peace and independence for the future generations. The procession participants gathered at the Eternal Flame on Labour Square.
The Chairman of the Gomel Regional Executive Committee, Ivan Krupko, said, “We are obliged to restore the names of all those who died for our freedom and independence. Our heroes are our future! Our history is an irrefutable argument against fascism, which even today shows its bestial grin in different parts of the world.”
In Braslav, the festive events started with We are the Heirs of Victory patriotic action. Schoolchildren and representatives of youth organisations jointly performed the Stork on the Roof song on the city square. Meanwhile, in the local Brukovka park, Braslav residents sang war songs, danced a waltz and participated in exhibitions of equipment and weapons presented by the district departments of the Emergencies Ministry and Internal Affairs.
Photos by Braslav District Executive Committee
In Beshenkovichi, flowers were laid at the monuments and gifts were presented to veterans. A theatrical show was staged on the central square, and brightly decorated columns marched through the city streets. A minute of silence took place at the monument to Komsomol underground members, on the Alley of Heroes, near the mass grave. Concerts will last until late in the evening – to be followed by a festive salute.
Photos by Beshenkovichi District Executive Committee
In Mogilev, representatives of state bodies, public organisations, labour collectives laid wreaths and flowers at the Eternal Flame. After that, the Memory of Generations festive concert began.
Mogilev schoolchildren congratulated veterans and all citizens on May 9th with the Victory Waltz on the Square of Stars which transformed into a retro-style dance floor. Thirty pairs of boys and girls from different schools of Mogilev were whirling in a waltz to the music of a brass band.
The city and regional leadership, representatives of public associations, active citizens, veterans and young people gathered at the mass grave of Soviet soldiers and partisans in the central park of Grodno, laying flowers at the Eternal Flame.
The Chairman of the Brest Regional Executive Committee, Yuri Shuleiko, addressed the Victory Day participants at the Brest Hero Fortress Memorial Complex, “Crippled destinies, burned villages and tortures… We still feel the tragedy that fascism brought to our land. We have chosen the right to control our own destiny independently. Together with our President, we are writing the history of our modern sovereign state, which main values are the anthem, people and memory. We continue the baton of creation on this basis, strengthening the economy, improving the quality of life, and educating patriots of our country.”
The Mound of Glory Memorial Complex has been the main location of the Victory Day celebration in the Minsk Region. Residential districts, organisations and enterprises prepared thematic interactive platforms for guests, and anyone could feel the atmosphere of the war years, learn of Minsk’s heroic history and its modern achievements.
The Chairman of the Minsk Regional Executive Committee, Aleksandr Turchin, said about the significance of the Victory Day holiday for history, “Our generation has luckily not witnessed the horrors of war, but – thanks to the stories of our grandparents, when they were still alive – we remember what trials they went through. At present, thanks to this memory, we understand the value of peace – like no one else. The main thing is to prevent war. Just a few years ago, for example, it seemed to us that a battle for the harvest in modern conditions is not at all what it was before. However, peaceful creative work is now taking on a different meaning – like the peaceful sky above our heads.”
In the village of Lyshche of the Pinsk District, a restored memorial plaque has been unveiled at the military burial of pilots who died during the liberation of the district in 1944. Three new names have been added on the plate.
Photo by Pinsk District Executive Committee
A parade with the participation of military equipment, servicemen of the Brest garrison and border service agencies has taken place in the centre of Brest.
The capital of Belarus has also widely celebrated Victory Day. Representatives of the Patriots of Belarus public association held a POBEDA [VICTORY] rally along the Minsk avenues under the accompaniment of well-known war songs.