MINSK, 4 March (BelTA) – Belarus President Aleksandr Lukashenko has presented state awards to distinguished workers, mothers having many children, as well as general's shoulder straps to high-ranking officers. The ceremony took place at the Palace of Independence on 4 March, BelTA has learned.
The head of state emphasized that the traditional ceremony of presenting state awards and general's shoulder straps acquires a special significance in the Year of People's Unity. “No matter how pompous it may sound, for me you represent the vanguard of the forces of good and creation, you are creative people, and most importantly – you are focused on achieving results. This is very important. After all, a nation that cares about tomorrow can pull together and develop successfully only on the back of positive ideas and deeds. Each of you works to the benefit of our Fatherland and people. Your work makes our country stronger and more beautiful,” Aleksandr Lukashenko stressed.
“Over the years of independence, we have grown into a society that knows very well that the unity and successful future of a nation are underpinned by persistent work, solidarity and mutual assistance. It shouldn't be otherwise. After all, we live on our native land, we are one nation, we love our country and we will do everything to make sure that children and grandchildren will live in peace and harmony,” the president said.
More than 30 people took part in the ceremony. Those were representatives of the army, law enforcement and security forces, as well as mothers with many children and women who have reached great professional heights.
“In line with a tradition, today we present general's shoulder straps to real men who are used to confronting the danger and know the true value of peace and human life,” the president noted. He greeted the policemen, thanked them cordially and congratulated them on their professional holiday that is observed on 4 March. “Let me express my great appreciation to all of you on this day on behalf of Belarusian people,” Aleksandr Lukashenko added.
Addressing the female participants of the ceremony, the head of state emphasized the enormous role of women. “Men are born to protect, while women are born to make a home, to cherish family values and to support national traditions,” he said.
“Women are literally life-givers, they help a little person to take the first steps, they open up a huge world for them. You find time for everything: to take care of family and friends, to create an atmosphere of comfort and warmth at home, to study continuously, to achieve great professional success, to be socially and politically active, and you often surpass us, men,” the president continued. “You have made a great contribution to building and defending an independent Belarus. Our contribution is also considerable, but remember: we have done all this for you. No matter how puffed up with pride we are, no matter how self-important we might look, everything we do, we do it for you. If not for you, men would not be able to prove themselves, ” the head of state said.
Aleksandr Lukashenko expressed particular gratitude and admiration to mothers with many children: “You are fulfilling your main and important mission on earth. To be honest, you make up for one-child or two-children families. Do not say that women are delicate and meek. You are strong, stronger than us.”
“You are not only responsible and conscientious workers, but you also motivate and inspire us, men, to work harder and think more creatively, you support us in difficult situations. Belarusian women are not just our asset. This is the pride of the Belarusian nation,” the head of state said.
Having once again congratulated all those present on receiving awards and titles, Aleksandr Lukashenko noted that holding such ceremonies became a good tradition in Belarus.
“I am absolutely convinced that this good tradition will continue,” he stressed. “Please, accept my deepest appreciation for your loyalty to the country and people, for your work for the good of our Fatherland,” Aleksandr Lukashenko added.
The Order of Honor was awarded to Head of the Vitebsk Regional Maternity Hospital Yelena Leonovich and milking machine operator at the Tishovka company Svetlana Dobrovolskaya. The Order of Francysk Skaryna was presented to Director of Minsk Gymnasium No. 33 Oksana Yakubovskaya, the Medal of Francysk Skaryna to artist of the Yanka Kupala National Academic Theater Olga Nefedova. Among the recipients of the Medal For Labor Merits is First Deputy Chairman of the National Statistical Committee Yelena Kukharevich. The Order For Service to the Homeland 3rd Class was presented to Head of the Minsk Police Department Mikhail Grib and to Head of the Rescue and Emergency Mitigation Department of the Emergencies Ministry Sergei Novik.
Aleksandr Lukashenko presented the Order of the Mother to women who raise five or more children. Among the awardees were music teacher Anna Bodrak and special disciplines teacher at the Technological College of the Yanka Kupala State University of Grodno Inna Postnik.
Honorary titles were conferred on employees of the agricultural industry, law enforcement and the Armed Forces.
The president handed over the general's shoulder straps to Chief of Staff - First Deputy Commander of the Western Operational Command of the Armed Forces Vladimir Kupriyanyuk, Deputy Chairman of the State Border Committee Roman Podlinev, Deputy Minister of Internal Affairs - Commander of Internal Troops Nikolai Karpenkov, Chief of the President's Security Service Dmitry Shakhrayev, Head of the Operations and Analysis Center Andrei Pavlyuchenko, Deputy Minister of Internal Affairs - Head of the Criminal Police Gennady Kazakevich.
Having presented orders, medals and general's shoulder straps, Aleksandr Lukashenko once again reiterated that these awards have a special meaning in the current situation. “Just like the ranks our colonels have received today. These are people who have fully deserved them having gone through serious trials last year. These are people you can rely on, these are people who can protect our country. You should be rest assured that not only you, but also your children are under our iron protection. We will never leave you high and dry,” the head of state said addressing the female attendants.