MINSK, July 03. /ITAR-TASS/. Belarus that celebrates the 70th anniversary of liberation from Nazi invaders became stronger, wiser and was prepared to tackle any modern challenges, President Alexander Lukashenko said in a congratulatory address to compatriots over the main state holiday - Independence Day. On this day, the republic also celebrates a remarkable date - the anniversary of liberation from fascist aggressors.
“This is a remarkable date in the historical calendar. We protected peaceful future of the Motherland exactly 70 years ago, and this is a priceless heritage which we should preserve for our descendants,” Lukashenko noted, adding that “over these years, we have become stronger, wiser and are prepared to address any modern challenges.”
Numerous congratulations from foreign leaders, famous public figures and politicians are coming to the president and Belarusian people on the occasion of the landmark event. Congratulatory messages were received from the Chinese president, leaders of the CIS states, several European and Asian countries. Patriarch of Moscow and All Russia Kirill and Pope Francis also congratulated the republican president.
The celebrations are being held throughout the country. War veterans who are arriving in the republic these days from different countries are main participants of festivities. “A train of memory and glory” with war veterans, who participated in the battles for Belarus, were fighting in guerrilla formations and on three Belarusian fronts, arrived from the northern Russian capital of St. Petersburg to the Belarusian capital of Minsk. The same train has also delivered veterans of besieged Leningrad and young activists. Guests laid down wreaths and flowers to the monument on Victory Square. They will visit the History Museum of the Great Patriotic War and attend a parade. War veterans from such foreign countries as Belgium, Israel, Poland and Germany are also arriving for celebrations in Minsk.
Great Patriotic War veterans who liberated Belarus will be awarded with jubilee medals and congratulatory letters from the president. The geography of countries where fighters for liberation of the republic live encompasses 26 countries. More than 23,000 jubilee medals are planned to be presented only in foreign countries.
The main venue of Thursday celebrations will traditionally become the territory at the Minsk Hero City Monument, where a military parade and a youth sport march will be held in the evening. Several thousand people will participate in the event titled “Let’s sing the anthem together!” at this venue.
A festive inauguration ceremony of a new building of the History Museum of the Great Patriotic War involving presidents of Belarus and Russia, Alexander Lukashenko and Vladimir Putin, was held at the Minsk war memorial on Wednesday. The Russian leader presented to the museum a gift - original copies of wartime newspapers that reported about the liberation of Belarus in 1944.
Celebrations are also being conducted in two Belarusian cities and localities on these days. A flower-laying ceremony to the Monument of Liberation will be held in the city of Brest at Victory Square and to the Eternal Flame at war memorial Brest - Hero Fortress on Thursday. The renovated Hall of Glory was opened at a regional local history museum in the eastern Belarusian city of Mogilev. A memorial sign dedicated to the 70th anniversary of strategic operation codenamed Bagration was unveiled near the village of Rakovichi in the Gomel Region. Exactly at this place, next to the 71st kilometer of Bobruisk-Mozyr highway, Soviet military operation Bagration was launched on June 23, 1944, and ended in the complete liberation of the republic from Nazi invaders.
As many as 20,700 veterans of the Great Patriotic War live in Belarus. Three heroes of the Soviet Union and the full cavalier of the Orders of Glory are among them.