LOGOISK DISTRICT, 22 March (BelTA) – Khatyn's tragedy will forever remain set in stone and in the heart of the Belarusian nation. Belarus President Aleksandr Lukashenko made the statement during a ceremony held on 22 March to commemorate the 80th anniversary of the Khatyn tragedy, BelTA has learned.
Aleksandr Lukashenko said: “Dear compatriots, dear friends, guests of Belarus! Memory and duty have brought us to Khatyn today. To the village that is no longer and will never appear on the geographic map of Belarus. Time stopped here exactly 80 years ago: the history of Belarusian families, who peacefully lived in their own land, stopped. As many as 149 lives of the elderly, women, and children, including yet unborn children, were snuffed out. This tragedy as well as thousands of equally horrible crimes committed during the Great Patriotic War remains set in stone and in the heart of the Belarusian nation forever. In the heart of the victorious nation, a powerful and magnanimous one that knows how to forgive.”
The president went on saying: “Up till now we've been trying not to burden with the feeling of guilt children and grandchildren of the butchers, who came to our land in order to conclusively put the problem of Slavs to rest. Eastern Slavs. We have not previously underlined that most of the Western Europe countries had joined Nazi Germany and the world capital had paid for this crusade. Today they enforce sanctions against us and have launched an economic and informational war. But we haven't forgotten and will remind descendants of the death squads how the Belarusian land became one big death camp back in 1941. How people were burned alive, crushed by tanks, drowned, and killed with direct heavy cannon fire. How children were buried alive in order to save bullets. How chemical agents were sprayed over our towns and villages.”
The president remarked that on 22 March Belarus mourns residents of nearly 11,000 villages, towns, and isolated farmsteads that were burned partially or completely. “We mourn all the innocent victims of Nazism, all the heroes who didn't come home from that war. We mourn 50 million residents of the planet. Most of them were our Soviet people. Never forget,” the Belarusian leader said.
During the ceremony the memory of those who died during the Great Patriotic War of 1941-1945 was honored with a minute of silence.