The army’s priority in a present situation is to protect the Fatherland, maintain stability and social cohesion, Belarus President Alexander Lukashenko said during his visit to the 38th Brest Independent Guards Air Assault Brigade on 22 June.
Below are just some of key excerpts from his speech:
- “Here’s my order to you. Do everything possible to protect the sovereignty and ensure the security of our state. We should not live under the oppression or wear lapti (obsolete bast shoes – BelarusFeed note), as I often say, again.”
- “Democracy, as it is understood, does not exist in any country. It is always fierce competition, especially in economy that is the core of everything.”
He also recalled the examples of response to the Yellow Vests movement in France, as wells as a tought response to the recent protests in the U.S.
- “I have assigned a reinforced-concrete task: if we want to protect ourselves, we have to produce the main kinds of ammunition and weapons independently. A lot has already been done in this regard but a lot has yet to be implemented. Certainly, we don’t have the capabilities other countries have. Nevertheless, we have discipline, duty performance, brains, the ability to make a fist little by little – you can see that we have learned how to do some things. It is our advantage.
- “We are taking steps to further enhance the prestige of military service. We will do everything for this. We provided great benefits to those guys who have served in the army so that the man who served in the army a year and a half or two years would not say that he wasted these years. (…) A soldier, an officer who gives something to his homeland, should be able to enjoy the same possibilities as those who did not serve in the army. In this respect, we will do everything from education to other life issues, as much as the economy allows us.”