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01 September 2022, 15:03

Lukashenko gives its take on Soviet period of Belarusian history

MINSK, 1 September (BelTA) - Belarus reclaimed its lands in Soviet times. This is an important date on today's national calendar – 17 September 1939 - the Day of Reunification of the Belarusian people after decades of Polish occupation. Now it is our National Unity Day which we will celebrate soon. Because we remember everything, Belarusian President Aleksandr Lukashenko said during the open lesson "Historical memory - the road to the future" in Minsk on 1 September, BelTA has learned.

Speaking about the Belarusian history, Aleksandr Lukashenko touched upon the Soviet period. In a contradictory and troubled time Belarus became one of the republics - founders of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics, the most powerful state association, which became a real alternative to the Western capitalist world order.

He stressed that before the Great Patriotic War, a lot was done for Belarus in the USSR. The country was reviving, although, as always, there were shortcomings and even systemic errors. One of these systemic mistakes was building a military strategy in the face of the threat of war. Aleksandr Lukashenko believes that not everything was done to, if not prevent the war, then more effectively repel the blow of the German fascist army and make its advance extremely difficult. "We were reckless. And it cost us millions of lives," the head of state said.

"Next thing. What do you know about this time? Why am I asking? Because during the years of perestroika and the collapse of the Soviet Union, buckets of dirt were poured on that period," the Belarusian leader stated. “Everything was besmirched: the Great Victory, great achievements in culture and art, breakthroughs in science and technology. The Soviet Union collapsed, its memory was tarnished."

"But it was the country that your grandfathers and great-grandfathers built, that was respected and reckoned with and whose achievements, such as the first flight into space, first nuclear reactor, first computer and many others, shook the world. We were leaders in this regard. No issue in the world was solved without the Soviet Union. The bipolarity balanced the planet," the head of state said.

It was in Soviet times that Belarus reclaimed its lands. We have an important date on today's national calendar – 17 September 1939. It was the day when the Belarusian people were reunified after decades of Polish occupation."Now this is our National Unity Day, which we will celebrate soon. Because we remember everything," the president said.

"Fortunately, at least we, Belarusians, have preserved the historical memory and truth. We remember the unparalleled heroism of the multinational Soviet people, thanks to whom we withstood these terrible trials. We did not forget that it was the Western democracies that raised the Nazi monster - fascist Germany - to crush the Soviet Union and then to conquer the whole world. This is a tragic page in our history. The Belarusian people were subjected to a real genocide. We are yet to comprehend and evaluate its scale and tell the world about it," Aleksandr Lukashenko said.

The president asked young people if all of them knew the names of the heroes who stopped the Nazi death machine and in whose honor streets in their towns were named.

Among the Belarusian nationals alone there are 73 holders of the Order of Glory, 449 Heroes of the Soviet Union, including 4 two-time Heroes: Ivan Yakubovsky, Stepan Shutov, Pavel Golovachev, Iosif Gusakovsky, and also heroes-peers of today's young people: Evfrosinya Zenkova, Zinaida Portnova, Marat Kazey, Boris Tsarikov and others.

“As for the assessment of the Soviet period in general, what are the neoliberal elites silent about? They keep silent about the fact that it was in the Soviet period that the economic, social, cultural and scientific potential was formed, thanks to which many post-Soviet countries live and develop to this day. Including us. Tell me: should we have destroyed it all? The way our neighbors did following the orders of their Western advisors?” the Belarusian leader wondered.

Aleksandr Lukashenko recalled that he became a “totalitarian dictator” when he refused to carry out policies and write textbooks following the dictation of the West.

He suggested taking a look at the modern Baltics states and Ukraine, where plants and factories have been abandoned and unique competencies and skills have been lost forever: “Why did this happen? Because they have become a market for the products of Western industries and a cheap labor force for their corporations. How are these people different from the natives in the European colonial empires? I mean these Lithuanians, part of the Ukrainians. Only in the fact that they have put on Nazi uniforms and are at war with monuments that cannot respond. The monuments are silent, but we are living people. We have to respond to that.”

Similar things - the war on monuments and not only that – took place in Belarus, too, but in the 1990s the authorities managed to stop it.

Aleksandr Lukashenko continued the open lesson by talking about the current events around Ukraine and the region in general. “What do we have now? We live and we do not know what will happen. War is at our doorstep. As it has already happened in our history, the so-called Western partners have pushed the three fraternal peoples - Belarusians, Russians and Ukrainians - against each other. This however does not make us look good. Are we brainless or have we been like that before. Why have we allowed anyone to make us confronted? And again on the horizon we see the same Polish elites. Taking advantage of the situation, they are recreating a new Rzeczpospolita. They have already legally formalized their special privileges in Ukraine,” he said.

The president said that now Poland and Ukraine are on one way, and everything looks as if Poland “forgot” about its territorial claims to Ukraine, about the Volyn massacre, while Ukraine forgave everything that Poles did on their, as they still think, Eastern Borderlands.

“Along this way, the Polish government profits from refugees and increases its weight in Europe. Ukraine, on the other hand, is falling into an abyss. The Ukrainian people are being robbed. Everything repeats itself. As in the years of the First World War and the Great Patriotic War, timber, peat, cattle, and grain was taken out of Belarus, today they are taking black earth, grain and other resources out of Ukraine. Do you think all this is taken out to feed poor Africa. No, they take it all to rich Europe,” said the president.

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