On the evening of 21 March, the All-Belarusian Prayer for Peace was held in Khatyn. Alexander Lukashenko and his sons took part in the requiem meeting on the anniversary of the Khatyn tragedy. The event was broadcasted by the ATN YouTube channel.
Commemorative events timed to coincide with the 78th anniversary of the Khatyn tragedy took place at the Khatyn memorial complex on 21 and 22 March. On 21 March, a mourning rally-requiem and a flower-laying ceremony with the participation of ministries took place in Khatyn.
Alexander Lukashenko came to the commemorative rally with his sons. Among the attendees were also Chairperson of the Council of the Republic of the National Assembly Natalya Kochanova, Chairperson of the House of Representatives of the National Assembly Vladimir Andreichenko, and Head of the Presidential Administration Igor Sergeenko. They laid flowers at the monument to the Unconquered Man and the Eternal Flame.
“The tragedy of Khatyn and thousands of villages and towns with the same fate is an unstoppable pain in the hearts of Belarusians and all Soviet people. Today we, representatives of different generations, religious communities, philosophical and political views, have come together to honour the memory of the innocent and defend the truth about that war. This truth is merciless, this memory is hard. Think about it: the invaders and their accomplices in the police, burned down 9,200 Belarusian villages. More than five thousand of them were burned together with residents.
And we know where it all starts: from the ideas of racial, genetic and any other superiority of some peoples over others, with the division of people into the supreme and second-class. The scary thing is that these theories today find their adherents all over the world. But, thank God, the fascist ideology is alien to Belarusians, whose genetic memory has become a real national immunity,” said Lukashenko, noting that World War II was not just a war, “it became systematic extermination of our Slavic peoples.”
He said that on the eve of the anniversary of the Khatyn tragedy he wants to appeal to those “who are deliberately trying to revive the symbols of Nazism.”
“Even if these are just a few. As they say, the family has its black sheep. Unfortunately, there are such people in modern Belarus. I appeal to everyone who is convinced that fascism brought civilization to our land, who heroizes the murderers, who worships the white-red-white flags under which the genocide of Belarusian people took place. We have tackled this problem, and we will prove and show the whole world what genocide is and we will prove that those who are trying to teach us how to live have no right to do so. To all of you, lost and intoxicated, I say: “Come and see!” Go to Khatyn, Borki, Ola, Dalva, Usakino, Shunevka, Ozarichi, to the memorials Trostenets, Yama, Krasny Bereg”.
[…] Go and listen to the Khatyn bell, in the ringing of which children’s cries, motherly crying and the bitter paternal grief of millions of Belarusians merged together. Belarusians who have experienced inhuman suffering, but unconquered and undefeated. We must always remember this and no matter what misfortune befalls us, be it the COVID pandemic or other diseases, we should not be afraid of coming here on the great holidays, on the bright Victory Day to pay tribute to those who died for us. Had they not died, there would not have been us. Let these voices from the past remind each generation of how fragile the world is, how valuable human life is and how easy it is to lose it all. As long as this bell rings, Belarus will remember.
We will never forget the terrible pages of the history of the Great Patriotic War. We will never forgive the cruelty, inhumanity and atrocities of the enemy on our land. We remember this, and this is our strength. Eternal memory to the killed, tortured and torn to pieces.”
After Alexander Lukashenko’s speech, a minute of silence was held, and then the All-Belarusian Prayer for Peace with the participation of representatives of the four leading traditional religious confessions began. Earlier it was reported that participants of the pro-government rally would arrive in Khatyn.