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07 May 2023, 18:06

Lukashenko's secret meeting with security officers, combat mission for veterans in President's Week

The work schedule of the Belarus president is always full of events. Aleksandr Lukashenko holds conferences and working meetings on the most topical matters concerning the country's development, regularly visits the regions, goes on foreign trips and welcomes foreign guests, talks to reporters, signs decrees and laws. And even if there are no public events, it does not mean that the head of state does not work. It must be said that even when he relaxes, for instance, by playing ice hockey or chopping firewood, Aleksandr Lukashenko happens to find the time to give yet another instruction. All the decisions must be prompted by life, he likes to say.

The President's Week project is intended for those, who want to keep up with the head of state, be up-to-date on the latest statements and decisions of the Belarusian leader.

What allowed Belarusians to survive in the most complicated periods of history and build an independent state? What challenges does the country face now? And why did Aleksandr Lukashenko call a government conference with representatives of defense, security, and law enforcement agencies behind closed doors? Who did the president award in the run-up to Victory Day and what combat mission did he assign to veterans? All of that and many other things are in the regular episode of BelTA's special project President's Week.

PEACE, LABOR, MAY. What did Aleksandr Lukashenko wish to fellow Belarusians on Labor Day?

The Belarus president has a special attitude towards labor. Aleksandr Lukashenko learned the true price of bread when he was a kid and worked the land and helped out his mother at a farm. However modern technologies may develop, nothing grows on the Internet and nothing is manufactured on its own, the head of state likes to say. The true material values are what people use every day and without which one's life is unthinkable. They still appear as a result of hard work of people.

The Belarus president's website has a section dedicated to Aleksandr Lukashenko's quotes from the past. It has a collection of statements about social guarantees and labor. “Everything is up to us. If we work better, we will live better,” the head of state said once.

Aleksandr Lukashenko sent traditional Labor Day congratulations to fellow Belarusians on 1 May. “Having become truly popular, Labor Day unites people of different generations, all those who work for the good of the Motherland. A conscientious and responsible attitude to work helped Belarusians survive the most difficult periods of history and build an independent state. Serving a common goal has always been the measure of success and recognition in our land. By creating and implementing ideas and dreams, we give meaning to life, multiply the national wealth with personal successes and achievements,” the head of state said.

Aleksandr Lukashenko wished everyone to find their calling, which would bring the joy of new discoveries and self-realization. The president thanked representatives of all professions for their daily labor feats, skill and a constant desire for development.

BEHIND CLOSED DOORS. What did the president discuss with defense, security, and law enforcement officers?

On 2 May Aleksandr Lukashenko called a conference to discuss topical matters of ensuring security and public order and measures to protect the state border. The conference took place behind closed doors, this is why reporters heard only several phrases at the beginning of the meeting.

The president noted the situation around Belarus remains difficult. NATO is building up its military presence near the borders and there are provocations on the border. “We could not postpone this meeting: the situation forces us to respond to the recent developments. The government, defense, security, and law enforcement agencies have been instructed to work out measures on the border to prevent all kinds of infiltrators from entering Belarus. Such cases have been on the rise lately. Therefore, I would like to hear comprehensive proposals on counter measures,” Aleksandr Lukashenko said.

Chairman of the State Security Committee Ivan Tertel, Internal Affairs Minister Ivan Kubrakov, and Chairman of the State Border Committee Anatoly Lappo were among the key speakers at the conference.

Escalation of the situation

Chairman of the State Security Committee Ivan Tertel shared some details with reporters after the conference. The State Security Committee expects the situation along Belarus' perimeter to escalate greatly.

“First of all, this is due to the hostilities in the southern direction. Everything is connected with this now. Secondly, attempts to destabilize the situation inside our country do not stop. These attempts are undertaken, first of all, by the centers abroad that plan this activity with the direct support of curators, including from among foreign special services. A number of such serious events are planned on our territory. Sponsors do not offer another way out for those who have already fallen into their clutches. The sponsors are foreign interested parties, both individuals and special services and other organizations. Given these conditions, the head of state wanted us to present proposals on responding to all these challenges,” Ivan Tertel said.

Results of quiet work

According to the KGB chief, new facts of detentions and results of counterintelligence work will be made public in the near future.

“We work quietly every day. The head of state personally oversees it and knows all the details. In the near future (within a week or a week and a half) we will show results of this work. Unfortunately, not all of our citizens are yet aware of the dangers around them, around their families. Therefore, through the example of real materials, real detentions, counterintelligence work, work of the units in charge of protecting the constitutional order that prevent terrorist attacks we will show what we are dealing with,” Ivan Tertel said.

Upon the instruction of the head of state a number of measures will also be taken to step up counterintelligence measures. “In order to work proactively, to prevent things that we see in neighboring regions from happening here,” the KGB chief explained.

“Security of people, our citizens, families is the number one priority for the head of state. Accordingly, we report to him on the implementation of the instructions given by the president in connection with this difficult situation. But I would like to emphasize that the president has his finger on the pulse. Our citizens should keep their guard up and can rest assured that everything necessary is being done,” Ivan Tertel emphasized.

Situation at the border

Chairman of the State Border Committee of Belarus Anatoly Lappo did not talk much to reporters after the conference. It is understandable because excessive publicity can be detrimental to border security.

Anatoly Lappo had informed Aleksandr Lukashenko about the evolving situation at the border and about how mobile border service teams are being set up and how they are being equipped. “We set up one mobile team in the Mozyr detachment in the past. About 300 people. In light of the current situation we have to set up one mobile team in the Lida direction and another one in the Brest direction for backup. We may not need them there in autumn. In that case they will be transferred to another direction. The situation at the border is predictable and under control,” the chairman of the State Border Committee said.

JOY OF LABOR VICTORIES. Who did Aleksandr Lukashenko award ahead of 9 May?

On 5 May the president bestowed government awards upon outstanding Belarusians. The ceremony was traditionally timed to the holiday all Belarusians hold in the highest esteem, especially the older generation – Great Victory Day. The head of state said that 78 years ago (on 2 May 1945) Berlin was already captured and the 1st Belorussian Front under the command of Marshal Zhukov had played the main role in it.

“In those May days, workers and peasants celebrated with rallies and increased labor commitments: the war was over. We have preserved this holy tradition,” the Belarusian leader said.

Aleksandr Lukashenko said that on the eve of Victory Day state awards are presented to those who, like the heroic fathers, mothers and grandfathers of Belarusians, have not spared energy, talent, time and sometimes life to conquer professional heights for the benefit of their native country.

Combat mission

The president mentioned the presence of a remarkable woman at the ceremony, who belongs to the war generation. This is Valentina Petrovna Baranova. A frontline soldier who reached Prague, a telegraph operator, an athlete. “Valentina Petrovna, you turn 5 times 20 in November. One can only dream of it!” Aleksandr Lukashenko said.

Valentina Baranova participates in the work of the Grodno Veterans Council and 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 mission: live as long as possible and continue educating our youth. It will be very difficult for us without you,” Aleksandr Lukashenko addressed the veterans. “People like you are now worth their weight in gold. You are 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.”

In turn, Valentina Baranova admitted that she was glad to see the president not on a screen, but live. “I thank you very much for the fact that our Belarus has become a strong and free, independent, prosperous and peacemaking country during your rule. This is the most important thing!” she stressed.

The veteran also addressed participants of the award ceremony: “My dear, thank you very much, too! 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 Grigoryevich [Lukashenko], you will continue to build our peaceful, happy life.”

Peaceful professions

Dozens of people were invited to the ceremony at the Palace of Independence. Most of them have experienced the joy of labor victories and represent the most peaceful professions, the president said. State awards and honorary titles were bestowed upon a dairy manufacturing company, teachers and doctors, cultural workers and scientists, construction workers and industrialists, equipment manufacturers, transport workers and economists, inventors and lawyers. Among the awardees are also those who have chosen flying as their career, dedicated themselves to art, preserve the Belarusian nature and create beautiful things with surgical precision.

Aleksandr Lukashenko bestowed the Order of Honor upon Vasily Korzhov, Director General of the Narochansky National Park, and Valentina Baranova, member of the regional organization of veterans of the Leninsky District of Grodno of the Belarusian Public Association of Veterans. The award was also given to Mikhail Kovalev, Deputy Head of the State Prosecution Department at the Prosecutor General's Office, Vladimir Baranovsky, first deputy procurement director of the mechanical engineering company Amkodor, and Valery Yakubich, a tractor driver and machine operator of the agricultural enterprise AgroNiva.

The Order of Francysk Skaryna went to the artist-sculptor Ivan Misko. Medals of Francysk Skaryna were presented to Olga Brilon, lecturer-musicologist of the Zhinovich National Academic Folk Orchestra of Belarus, Lyudmila Rodionova, vocalist of the Youth Variety Theater, and Aleksandr Chizh, head of the laboratory of radio photonics of the state R&D industrial group Optics, Optoelectronics and Laser Technology.

The president also presented lapel pins to those, who had been awarded honorary titles. The Honored Artist title went to the leading musician of the Belarusian State Philharmonics Vladislav Pligovka, the Honored Figure of Arts title – to Director of the Mogilev City Choir Sergei Lishchenko, the Honored Teacher title – to Galina Belyayeva, deputy director for education at secondary school No.34 in Mogilev.

The president awarded the Order of Labor Glory to the Grodno-based dairy Molochny Mir. The company got the award in recognition of significant achievements in the processing industry, efficient operation, and manufacturing of high quality products.

“With all my heart I congratulate you on your well-deserved awards. I wish you good health, wellbeing and inspiration. Happy Victory Day! May this nationally beloved holiday and a special ceremony associated with it serve as a guiding star for you on the way to new professional and life accomplishments,” the head of state wished.

In defense of the country

The awardees also included those, who continue traditions of the generation of victors and protect the state against modern challenges and threats, those who soldier on to ensure public order and security.

The awardees included representatives of the Operations and Analysis Center under the President of the Republic of Belarus and the State Forensic Examination Committee, employees of the State Security Committee, law enforcement bodies and the border service. “All those who have recently been neutralizing infiltrators, who are being inserted into our territory. As you can see, history is repeating itself. Thank you, guys, for your excellent service. What you do is a daily victory over our enemy, an unscrupulous and ruthless one. But we are stronger. Because the truth is with us. Just like in the Great Patriotic War, we defend our homes and our children,” Aleksandr Lukashenko said.

TO WORDSMITHS AND MASTERS OF RADIO AND TELEVISION AIR. What words did the president tell reporters and not only them?

During the week that is about to end Aleksandr Lukashenko sent two congratulatory messages on the occasion of professional holidays related to mass media workers. Those are Printed Press Day (5 May) and Day of Radio, Television and Communications (7 May).

The president has repeatedly emphasized the role of reporters and mass media workers, who are now at the forefront of information warfare. Effective information warfare is one of the guarantees of preserving the country and preventing a hot war. “We cannot lose this war. If we lose the information war, it means we will enter a genuine war. In the near future we will take the relevant measures in order to step up our propaganda and agitation. We will propagandize the best and agitate for the better,” Aleksandr Lukashenko said in his address to the nation and the parliament on 31 March.

Aleksandr Lukashenko remarked that Printed Press Day unites thousands of enthusiastic and creative masters of the printed word, who continue the national traditions of journalism and enlightenment. “With the beauty of language and the power of talent you help to highlight the key things in the modern flow of events and facts, again and again revealing to people the world of information, analysis, reference books and fiction books, in which the knowledge and wisdom of generations are intertwined. Your every publication or publishing project contributes to the development of society, the strengthening of statehood and moral guidelines,” the congratulatory message reads.

And in his congratulatory message on Day of Radio, Television and Communications the president said the following: “Accuracy and timeliness, objectivity and a unique style, a modern broadcasting format of Belarusian media, their progressive approaches to the production and promotion of the national information product allow viewers and listeners to always be in the center of events and feel the rhythm of life. Thanks to the high qualifications and innovative spirit of telecommunications and communications specialists, conditions have been enabled in our country for the effective development of the digital environment at the level of the world's best standards.”

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