MINSK, 5 May (BelTA) - Veterans of the Great Patriotic War are the guardians of the truth and a counterweight to those who deny the genocide of the Belarusian people and who whitewash Nazism, Belarusian President Aleksandr Lukashenko said at a ceremony to present state awards, BelTA has learned.
"I am very glad that today in this hall we have this wonderful woman who belongs to the war generation. This is Valentina Baranova. A front-line soldier who reached Prague, a telegraph operator, an athlete. Valentina Petrovna, you turn 5 times 20 in November. One can only dream!" Aleksandr Lukashenko said.
Valentina Baranova participates in the work of the Grodno Veterans Council, leads an active life. In her person, the president thanked all veterans and participants of the war. "I bow low to those who fought at the front, who fought the enemy in the occupied territory, survived concentration camps, worked selflessly in the rear," the head of state said.
“I have a big request for you, even a combat task: live as long as possible, being an example to our youth. It will be very difficult for us without you," Aleksandr Lukashenko addressed the veteran. “People like you are now worth their weight in gold. You are the guardians of the truth. You are a counterbalance to those who deny the genocide of the Belarusian people, who whitewash Nazism, no matter what guise it takes."
Valentina Baranova, in turn, admitted that she was glad to see the president not on the screen, but live. "Our Belarus has become a strong and free, independent, prosperous and peacemaking country during your presidency. This is the most important thing!" she stressed.
The veteran also addressed the participants of the ceremony: "My dear, thank you very much! After all, you are the generation that has replaced our generations - participants in the war. We will pass away, you will stay. Together with Aleksandr Grigorievich, you will continue to build our peaceful, happy life."