On 9 May President of Belarus Alexander Lukashenko took part in the Victory Day celebrations.
As tradition demands, the head of state took part in a solemn procession along Independence Avenue from Oktyabrskaya Square to Victory Square to mark Victory Day in Minsk. The Belarusian leader was accompanied by war veterans, Soviet Union and Socialist Labor heroes, Armed Forces veterans, soldiers-internationalists, top officials, representatives of the state bodies and civil organizations, young people and labor collectives.
Alexander Lukashenko laid a wreath at the Victory Monument. The participants of the march laid flowers and wreaths at the Victory Monument. Foreign diplomats and the clergy came to pay tribute to the deed of the Soviet people.
The attendees observed a minute’s silence in honor of the fallen.
The President greeted the heads of the foreign diplomatic missions and talked with war veterans.
The head of state thanked war veterans for the victory. “Our young people need you to see and understand what a huge deed you have performed,” he added.
No one can deny the Soviet people the right to Great Victory, Belarus President Alexander Lukashenko told reporters after the parade.
“As for whether we were able to win the right to preserve this memory, this day, I spoke about it long time ago when talking about it was not even accepted, when the responsible executives who should have talked about it felt shy to do it,” the head of state noted.
“We were the first on the post-Soviet space to sound the alarm that an attempt to rewrite the history and accuse the then leaders of the Soviet Union was nothing but the beginning of an attack on our victory. We put it straight then: yes, there were many mistakes in the history and not everything went smooth, but no one can deny us the right to the victory,” the President said.
“We won then. Over 30 million Soviet people gave their lives for this victory. It has left its impact on the whole postwar history,” the head of state said. “We have saved mankind from the Nazis. We protected Great Britain and the United States of America which seemed to be far away from this theater of war. We have saved the German nation from Nazism. And ordinary Germans are grateful to us for this. Europeans are grateful to us for the liberation of Europe,” the President noted.
Alexander Lukashenko also turned to the speech of the President of the Russian Federation at the Victory Day celebrations in Moscow. “He speaks there without disguise that it was the Soviet people who took the victory over Nazism and that we are the inheritors of this Great Victory,” the head of state said.
“Therefore today we can say with confidence that we have defended the victory our past generations brought us. This is our victory,” the President underlined.
Patriotism lies at the heart of all our achievements, the President said.
“There would have been no victory but for mass patriotism. We won thanks to the spirit of our Soviet people who did not have normal weapons early in the war to defend the country. Soviet people defended our land with their own blood. Would it be possible if there were no patriotism?” the head of state said.
Today patriotism means economic achievements, preservation of social foundations, traditions. This is a multifaceted concept, the President said. “I do not know how some sociologists define patriotism. In my opinion patriotism lies at the heart of all our successes. If there is no patriotism there is no success. We must love our homeland,” Alexander Lukashenko said.
The head of state cited the United States of America as an example: "Take a look at the Americans. This is the Soviet Union squared. Everything is permeated with patriotism in that country. They are engaged in wars of conquest, but they do believe that they are right. Patriotism and pride for the motherland have been rammed into the heads of the Americans, the President stressed.
“We must be even bigger patriots. For that we have good historical background and traditions,” said the head of state. According to the President, "if you are a patriot, everything else will come along. If you love your own country, you will work for the good of it, generating economic successes, good salary, development, and well-being.”