MINSK, 28 July (BelTA) - Hero of the Soviet Union Vasily Michurin turned 105 on 28 July. The Belarusian president sent a congratulatory message and gifts on the occasion of the anniversary of the war veteran. The greetings were delivered by Chief of the General Staff of the Armed Forces - First Deputy Defense Minister Major General Viktor Gulevich, BelTA has learned.
Vasily Michurin is receiving numerous birthday greetings mainly online. After a successful surgery, the war veteran is recovering in a boarding house where he receives continuous professional care.
Given the age, state of health and epidemiological situation, Vasily Michurin did not arrange a large-scale celebration and did not invite guests. But he was very touched to receive birthday greetings from the head of state, flowers and gifts from the Chief of the General Staff.
“You are a guiding star for all servicemen, for all citizens of our country, a symbol of determination to defend the country, a symbol of patriotism,” Viktor Gulevich said congratulating the hero.
“I live, and I want to live,” Vasily Michurin said with a smile.
According to the Defense Ministry, Vasily Michurin participated in the Soviet-Finnish War and the Great Patriotic War from the very first day to the end.
Vasily Michurin was awarded the Hero of the Soviet Union title for his feat in the battle in the Karelian Isthmus in early February 1940. He was 24 years old at the time. In August 1940, Vasily Michurin enrolled in the military and political college in Minsk. At the start of the Great Patriotic War, he was living near the Belarusian capital. He joined the army and reached Czechoslovakia with it. Vasily Michurin defended Minsk and Mogilev, took part in the battles for Konigsberg and Berlin. He was awarded two Orders of the Red Star, the Orders of the Great Patriotic War 1st Class and 2nd Class, and the medal For Battle Merit for liberating Gomel and Slutsk, Baranovichi and Brest. Participation in the liberation of Warsaw and battles in East Prussia earned him another Order of the Great Patriotic War 2nd Class.
At present, only two Heroes of the Soviet Union are living in Belarus: Vasily Michurin and Ivan Kustov.