Belarus celebrates Independence Day, liberation from Nazi invaders

MINSK, July 3 (Itar-Tass) - Belarus is marking on Friday Independence Day and the 65th anniversary of the republic's liberation from German fascist invaders. President Alexander Lukashenko congratulated Belarusians on the main state holiday and the great historical date of the country.

"Liberation day has the first priority importance for our sovereign state. It is a symbol of the national pride, valour and glory, a sacred thing that has major influence on the formation of the consciousness and character of the present generations of Belarusians," the president noted.

Having lost its every third resident and surviving all the horrors of war, Belarus today is actively and consistently calling in the international arena for the settlement of disputes by way of negotiations.

The central events of Friday's celebrations will be a parade of the Minsk garrison troops and a youth-sports procession. A gala concert named "We won!" will be given at the Minsk - Hero City Monument in the evening.

About 70 foreigners - participants in the fighting for Belarus' liberation from German fascist invaders - are expected to take part in the festive events. Participants in great WW2 battles and heads of organizations of veterans will represent 14 countries of the CIS and the West.

"For the Belarusian nation the victory over the aggressor epitomizes the triumph of justice, freedom, and endurance over slavery, barbarism, and violence. We bow to all those who did not spare themselves on the frontlines and in the rear, bringing closer the Day of Liberation! The Day is very important for our sovereign state. This is the symbol of national pride, valour and glory; this is the spiritual treasure, which has a big impact on the formation of the identity and mentality of the generations of the Belarusians. It helps us overcome the difficulties with dignity and move confidently toward our goals," Alexander Lukashenko was quoted by the Belta news agency.

Alexander Lukashenko views the Victory over the fascism in the Great Patriotic War as the basis consolidating all peace-loving forces of various countries and nations. "When we are untied, we are invincible. Nobody will be ever able to break us, intimidate us, and lead us astray from our aim to build a strong and flourishing Belarus," says the President in his message of congratulation to the Belarusian people.

Belarus will foil attempts to defile the Great Victory and distort the heroic history of our country, Lukashenko said at a solemn meeting to mark the 65th anniversary of the liberation of Belarus from the Nazi invaders and Independence Day on 2 July, the agency reported.

"The new generation of Belarusians has an active civil stance and is able to stand against neo-Nazi and racist propaganda," the head of state is certain.

The President noted that unfortunately there are quite a few people today who want to misinterpret the events of the Second World War and thus to steal the Great Victory and shatter its moral underpinnings. "The most horrible sacrilege is a thesis that there allegedly was no nationwide resistance movement in Belarus, instead there was "a civil war" between the supporters of the Soviet system and "combatants for a new European order," Alexander Lukashenko said.

The head of state reminded that Belarus is the only country where a special course "Great Patriotic War" is studied at secondary and vocational schools, and universities. In order to perpetuate the heroic deeds of Belarus' defenders, in the run-up to the holiday 22 Belarusian settlements were awarded a pennant "For the Courage and Fortitude during the Great Patriotic War."

"Respect for the past of our Homeland, unbreakable bonds and succession of generations are the traditional underpinnings of stability and well-being of Belarus," the President concluded.

Alexander Lukashenko in his congratulatory message also wished compatriots inexhaustible energy, good health, happiness and well-being.



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