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11 June 2021, 14:44

Opinion: Memory of Great Patriotic War is sacred for Belarus, Russia

MINSK, 11 June (BelTA) - For Belarus and Russia, the memory of the Great Patriotic War is sacred, the head of the representative office of the Standing Committee of the Union State of Belarus and Russia in Minsk Marianna Shchetkina said at an event to welcome the Victory Train exhibition project at the Minsk-Passazhirsky train station in Minsk on 11 June, BelTA has learned.

“The memory of the Great Patriotic War is sacred for both Belarus and Russia. Soviet writer Fyodor Abramov once said: ‘A nation dies out when it becomes a population. It becomes a population when it forgets its history'. Indeed, it is very important to understand what feat the Soviet people accomplished," said Marianna Shchetkina. “76 years have passed since the end of the war. Generations have come and gone, with the baton of remembrance now in the hands of young people.”

According to her, the youth policy of the Union State is aimed primarily at promoting traditional values, spiritual, moral and patriotic education. “The Union State has gained a good experience in exchanging best practices. The Union State has a great future. For this future to come we need unity of our peoples, mutually beneficial fruitful cooperation,” Marianna Shchetkina noted.

“Today the most important thing for us is to preserve the historical truth that unites us and always will. There is no need to embellish anything, to reinvent. It has to be the way it is. We will not allow anyone to turn the facts upside down," Marianna Shchetkina said. “Our Victory Train confidently moves along the rails of history. We don't advise anyone to get in our way."

In Belarus the project is run by Belarusian Railways and Russian Railways. In Belarus it was launched in the Year of People's Unity to commemorate the 80th anniversary of the beginning of the Great Patriotic War. It is supported by the Belarus President Administration and the national volunteer center.

The Victory Train project will be running in Belarus on 11-28 June. According to Belarusian Railways, on 11-13 June the exposition will be in Minsk, on 14-15 June it will travel to Orsha, and on 16-17 June to Vitebsk. The train will make a stop in Polotsk on 18 June and in Grodno on 19-20 June. After that it will travel to Brest where it will stay on 21-24 June. On 25-26 June it will be in Gomel, and will make a final stop in Mogilev on 27-28 June when the city celebrates the liberation from the Nazi invaders.

The Victory Train is a large-scale historical and educational project set up in Russia by the Nevsky Batalist [Neva Battle Painter] team of artists together with the Red Square media group with the support of the Ministry of Science and Higher Education of Russia, Russian Railways and Victory Volunteers public organization to celebrate the 75th anniversary of the Victory in the Great Patriotic War and the Year of Memory and Glory in Russia. The first train departed from the Belorussky railway station in Moscow in October 2020. The project has traveled to 38 cities of Russia drawing about 92,500 visitors.

This project is a unique interactive exposition based on a presence effect created as part of a mobile exhibition and lecture complex. The Victory Train consists of 12 cars, nine of which are used as an exposition. One of them is dedicated to the feat of the Brest Fortress defenders - soldiers and commanders of the Red Army, women and children - family members of soldiers, who were the first to encounter the enemy.

The exposition features 3D-panoramas: picturesque paintings, layouts, and other items. The Victory Train's exhibition walks visitors through different episodes of the war: the pre-war period, the Great Patriotic War, the Victory. At present, no museum in the world can boast such complex sculpture compositions, Belarusian Railways added.

“Another element that makes the exposition unique is its multimedia content. It also featured 3D audio, mechanical effects, presence sensors, holograms, VR panoramas of battles, filmed historical reenactments, 3D computer graphics showing military machinery and equipment. Every zone of the exposition has its own background music,” the press center of Belarusian Railways noted.

The Victory Train project is recognized as social both in Russia and in Belarus. The exhibition is open from 10:00 till 20:00, with the break from 14:00 till 15:00. It invites adults and children aged 12 and older. One car of the Victory Train can accommodate no more than 10 visitors at a time, one audio guide runs for 5 minutes, and the excursion lasts 45 minutes in total.

“Due to the limited throughput capacity of the train and the current epidemiological situation, the exhibition is open only for organized groups by invitation extended to organizations and educational institutions of Belarus by local executive authorities. The organizers will enforce all recommendations of the Healthcare Ministry to prevent the spread of diseases. Wearing face masks on the train is mandatory,” Belarusian Railways added.

Photos by Oksana Manchuk

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