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09 May 2024, 21:20

Belarus president’s speech at ceremony to lay wreaths, flowers at Victory Monument

The speech President of the Republic of Belarus Aleksandr Grigoryevich Lukashenko made at the ceremony held to lay wreaths and flowers at the Victory Monument in Pobedy Square in Minsk as part of the patriotic campaign “Belarus remembers!” on 9 May 2024.
My fellow Belarusians! Guests of Belarus! Dear veterans and courageous warriors!

Less than eighty years ago the bloody tornado of the most terrible war in history was stopped by sacrificial deeds of Soviet people. This fact is forever secured in ruins of the Reichstag and the instrument of unconditional capitulation of fascist Germany.

The German war machine fell apart after encountering the unprecedented heroism and valor of our fathers, grandfathers, and great grandfathers. The Great Victory was forged on the frontlines and on the home front for four long years. Both elderly people and kids rose up to fight the enemy.

By spending millions of lives of its sons and daughters in exchange for freedom, our great Motherland – the Soviet Union – saved humanity from enslavement and some nations from full extinction back then.

Today we take pride in our forefathers and veterans, who won the war. We praise their heroic deeds. As we stand at the Eternal Flame, we swear an oath that we will do everything to remember them forever. Remember: we come here to prevent a repeat of the terrible past. If we forget this past, if we stop coming to monuments, the past will come to us. And remember one conclusion drawn by humanity: the way you treat the memory of your ancestors, particularly those, who gifted life and freedom to you, is the way the future generations will treat you. We cannot live forever. We are mortal. Remember, please: come to the monuments, come to the Eternal Flame. Calmly and quietly. Without any organization. Remember and bow to those, who gifted us freedom, if we don’t want to fight a war.

We urge our kids and grandkids to hold sacred the truth about that war as the greatest value. For us it is a symbol of the unbreakable link between generations, one of the foundations of the spiritual unity and solidarity of the nation.

The Great Victory is the central and key moment in the history of revival and establishment of the Belarusian nation. Today its lessons allow taking a glimpse of the future if one remembers and knows the past. While the zest for life and the creative energy of the generation of victors, who restored the country from ruins, set an example of how we should live and work.

Belarus needs peace. Tomorrow. In a year. Always. It is important for us to endure and stay out of conflicts. Time has chosen us. We have been chosen to preserve the independence of our land and everything created by many generations before us. Everything we jointly take pride in and admire.

With this in mind we develop the economy, reinforce defense, and raise young citizens as patriots. We keep peace and wellbeing in the native land as the ancestors willed it. 

The Great Victory they secured inspires us with the belief that Belarusians are capable of overcoming everything and persevering.

Honor and glory to the victorious warriors! Honor and glory to our dear veterans! Eternal remembrance to those, who fell on battlefields and perished in fascist prisons and concentration camps.

(A minute of silence accompanied by metronome sounds is observed).

The victory in May 1945 brought invaluable peace to humanity. However, not everyone appreciated its value. Our former allies pictured themselves as the sole vanquishers of Hitler’s Germany.

Just like in the early 1940s the West is ready to strike a deal with any evil in order to preserve supremacy.

The terrifying experience of apologists of the fallen Third Reich has already found followers over there. It received a new interpretation and a pretty wrapper. Today’s Nazis no longer wear boots and black shirts. They act more subtly and cunningly.

Without feeling any shame Europe glorifies and welcomes SS troopers and nationalists of all kinds. Heads of state give them a standing ovation having forgotten the outcome of the Nuremberg Trials. Without heeding history, morals, and laws they have once again started pitting countries and nations against each other. Ideas and methods of the Nazi have been revived for that.

Dialogue and cooperation are rejected from the start and material gains and riches are prioritized above everything. It is exemplified by events in Ukraine, Syria, the Gaza Strip, and other troubled spots of the planet. Thousands upon thousands of people die all over the world every day. Even more are left without a roof above their heads. They live in inhumane conditions and suffer from hunger and thirst. Explosions once again rock former battlefields, fill them with the smell of gunpowder, and kill civilians.

Today the voice of everyone, who speaks up to defend peace, who desires cooperation, and shares ideals of justice and global equality, has never been more important. But we don’t hear these voices, unfortunately. We know how such silence ended last century. Today they want to once again push us into the same abyss.

But we should do everything to prevent World War Three. Otherwise, a nuclear apocalypse will be unavoidable. All of us have to unite for this purpose.

In the course of its history humanity has already managed to get united once against a universal evil. This unity led to victory. Back then we crushed fascism because we stood together: Russians and Belarusians, Ukrainians and Kazakhs, Lithuanians and Uzbeks, Moldovans and Tajiks. All the peoples of the large Soviet country. Tens of other nations fought with us against Hitler’s horde. Including nations of Europe and the United States.

Our memory and truth act as a reliable shield in the way of chaos and ideas of supremacy bent on world domination. They immunize us against false ideas and covert manipulations. They represent a beacon in the sea of challenges and threats of modern age.

We didn’t bend the knee before the enemy back then and have no intention to bow to them today.

The war taught Belarusians how to hold sacred the native land, protect it with their lives, and preserve memory about the heroic deeds of the ancestors. We will not allow a repeat of what they saw and lived through.

Today we use the example of war heroes to raise young Belarusians. Moreover, the practice plays the key role in preserving the memory about the heroic deeds of the fathers, grandfathers, and great grandfathers. We should preserve this memory primarily in families. Then no passing political considerations will be able to cancel out and weaken the spiritual unity of generations.

Otherwise, talks about friendship and peace, about support of all the good things and opposition of all the bad things will make them and hence our future defenseless in the face of modern age threats.

Manipulations are futile if people have brains of their own. External challenges and attempts to put pressure on our country have resulted in stronger Belarus. We will do everything to discourage even thinking about testing it in practice.

Dear friends!

With the deepest gratitude we bow to the courage and tenacity of all those, who paid with their lives for the freedom of future generations, for our freedom and yours. And at the same time we say an emphatic no to those, who try to cancel out the pages of history written in blood.

Dear veterans!

You have taught an unforgettable lesson to all the consequent generations. A lesson of valor, patriotism, love of freedom, and the strength of spirit. I bow low to those of you, who live, and those, who are no longer with us, for this unprecedented heroic deed, valor, courage, and faithful service to the Fatherland.

I wish strong health, long years, and prosperity to our esteemed veterans and happiness, peace, and wellbeing to every Belarusian family. 

I congratulate everyone on the holiday! Happy Great Victory Day!
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