GOMEL, 14 February (BelTA) – Memory of the heroism of internationalist soldiers should teach patriotism and loyalty to the native land to future generations, member of the House of Representatives of the National Assembly of Belarus, internationalist soldier Aleksandr Danchenko said at a meeting marking the 30th anniversary of the pullout of the Soviet troops from Afghanistan, BelTA has learned.
According to Aleksandr Danchenko, war veterans and internationalist soldiers give an example of mutual help and support. “We annually gather at the memorial to commemorate those who gave their health or lives to fulfill their duty and stay true to their oaths. Gomel Oblast lost 124 people in the War in Afghanistan,” he said.
Gomel Oblast commemorated the fallen soldiers with monuments in various parts of the region and exhibitions in museums. “All this is meant to preserve the memory. Let it serve as a lesson of patriotism and loyalty to the native land for future generations,” Aleksandr Danchenko stressed.
Three decades have passed since the War in Afghanistan, but the time has not diminished the courage and heroism of Soviet soldiers, Gomel Deputy Mayor Vitaly Adamanchuk said.
Chairman of the the Belarusian Union of Afghanistan War Veterans Mikhail Zhukevich pointed out that neither veterans, nor families of the fallen have been forgotten. The government and public associations support them and help settle issues with housing, health, and employment.
Speaking about the importance to preserve the memory of those events, Mikhail Zhukevich said that Gomel Oblast made two films: about veterans of the War in Afghanistan and mothers of internationalist soldiers. Materials about witnesses of that war were compiled in the photo-books “Forever in Memory” and “Gomel Oblast residents about distant war”.
Gomel resident Anatoly Vdovenko served in Afghanistan in 1986-1989. He participated in the pullout of the Soviet troops from Afghanistan. “These memories are very painful and sad. Every year I come here to honor the memory of my fallen comrades who died during the war or later,” he said. Anatoly Vdovenko often meets with school and university students, cadets to tell them about those times which he hopes will never return.
There are a total of 3,705 internationalist soldiers in Gomel Oblast who served in eleven countries, including 3,574 people who served in Afghanistan.