MINSK, 6 May (BelTA) - The monument to Hero of the Soviet Union Ion Soltys from Moldova was unveiled in an official ceremony in Minsk on 6 May, BelTA has learned.
The bronze bust has been installed at the intersection of Vaupshasov Street and Soltys Street on the initiative of the Moldovan diaspora and with the support of the Moldovan Embassy in Belarus. The opening ceremony was attended by Speaker of the Moldovan parliament Zinaida Greceanii, ex president Igor Dodon, representatives of the embassy and the Belarusian executive authorities.
"Millions of Soviet citizens died in the Great Patriotic War, including hundreds of thousands of Belarusians and Moldovans. The price of these sacrifices was victory, our freedom. All the Soviet people fought for it. We won together and should keep the memory of that Great Victory forever,” Igor Dodon said. “I want to thank all who were involved in the Ion Soltys monument project. I am sure that this monument is here for centuries, and it will always remind us that Belarusians and Moldovans are brotherly nations."
“We went through the war shoulder to shoulder and never wondered about the ethnicity of each other. We were united by one goal - the victory. Today it is important to remember that we live thanks to the guys like Ion Soltys. These heroes will always be honored on our land," said Andrei Bugrov, chairman of the Minsk City Council of Deputies.
The sculptor is Khizri Asadulaev. The bust made of bronze has been installed on a pedestal of red granite. It is 3,5 meters high.
Ion Soltys (1923-1945) was born in the village of Kuzmin that is now part of Moldova. When the war broke out, he joined a partisan unit. In April 1944, he enlisted in the army. The first battle he fought was the crossing of the Dniester River. He was wounded and sent to hospital. After two months of treatment, he joined the 548th rifle regiment. During a battle on 11 February 1945, Ion Soltys was one of the first soldiers to cross the Bobr river (in the vicinity of the Polish city of Trzebien Maly) and covered the crossing of the rest of his company. He was already wounded when he blocked a machine gun with his body. Ion Soltys was buried near the battlefield. He was awarded the title the Hero of the Soviet Union posthumously on 10 April 1945.
Photos by Ramil Nasibulin