MINSK, 7 May (BelTA) – War veterans are looked after in Belarus, and this is an axiom, Belarusian Minister of Foreign Affairs Vladimir Makei told the media after a wreath-laying ceremony ton the occasion of the 76th anniversary of the Victory in the Great Patriotic War, BelTA has learned.
"The state takes good care of war veterans. Someone is trying to use isolated facts and blow them out of proportion [the matter is about news reports alleging that the state refused payments to veterans ahead of Victory Day]. In fact, by this date and, I am convinced, by the national celebration, the state will make lump-sum payments to support veterans. Our veterans are lavished with care and this is an axiom for me,” Vladimir Makei noted.
According to him, by spreading the information of this kind various media resources are trying to distort the current situation in Belarus. The goal is to show that everything is bad in the country, that there is a political crisis. "The most important thing is that Western politicians are buying this. The political crisis is in the minds of these fugitive criminals," the minister said.
Speaking in general about Victory Day, Vladimir Makei said: "We were born, raised and lived in the Soviet Union. We were pioneers, Komsomol members. I was a member of the Communist Party for a while. For us, these topics related to the Great Patriotic War, Victory Day, are sacred. I think it's deeply ingrained in the Soviet mindset. It is very important that it continues to live in the mindset of the younger generation, people who know it only from books or movies."
The minister urged to further strengthen the ideological and informational work on this front. "For example, my youngest son knows what fascism is, what Nazism and Nazis are, what crimes they committed on Belarusian soil. We need to continue working on this, to make younger generations interested in books that fascinated us in our time,” he added.
“This date is sacred. I personally view as sacrilegious the calls of these fugitive criminals who call to celebrate this date in a different way. They view it as another opportunity to express their attitude to the so-called regime, to show how much Belarusians hate the ‘regime' as they claim. You know, if they act like this, why don't they act as true democrats they pretend to be? Why do they resort to demonizing, canceling to use a modern term, and attacking people, for example, singers who will take part in a concert for war veterans today?” Vladimir Makei added.
Such festive concerts are very important and have always been an indispensable part of the program of celebrations, he stressed. “Why would they humiliate and threat people who do such a good thing? It is nothing other than cynicism, sacrilege, and desecration of the memory of the Great Patriotic War victims,” the minister said.
BelTA reported earlier that Belarus President Aleksandr Lukashenko also commented on payments to veterans ahead of Victory Day. The state has supported war veterans and will continue doing so, Belarusian President Aleksandr Lukashenko stressed. “A few of them are alive. They are our moral compass, our rock. As long as they are alive, they will be our bedrock to preserve our state," Alexander Lukashenko said.
“We pay them monthly benefits. It is not true that we do not pay lump-sum payments: we pay three payments monthly and we also pay lump-sum payments. We have allocated considerable funds to support the participants of the war, Leningrad siege survivors, the workers of the rear and others: all in all about Br65 million. We will definitely pay these one-time payments to the participants of the war. If someone does not get the payment by 9 May, they will be compensated on 9-11 May," the head of state assured.
How does the state support war veterans?
More than Br6 million will be earmarked for social services to Great Patriotic War veterans and war-affected citizens in 2021.
Every year, the country conducts a survey of the living conditions of this category of citizens. This year, 852 people submitted applications (for repair of living quarters, furnaces, electrical wiring, gas equipment, washing of windows, provision with stove fuel, chopping of wood, cleaning house yards, help in allotment gardens). All applications were satisfied by 1 May. The 2021 budget has set aside more than Br1 million for these purposes.
Social home services are used by 647 veterans and 1,400 citizens affected by the war. By resolution of the local executive and administrative bodies, all veterans of the Great Patriotic War are exempt from the payment for social home services. In addition, 711 citizens are cared for individually by family members who receive a monthly subsistence allowance (Br273).
Some 132 veterans and war-affected citizens living in residential homes receive round-the-clock social and medical care.
All in all, expenses on social services for war veterans and war-affected citizens amounts to Br5 million per year.