A New Year’s Eve Ball for the youth took place in the Palace of Independence on 29 December, the press service of Lukashenko reports. Some 314 young men and women from different regions of the country were invited to the ball. Among the attendees were Alexander Lukashenko, Ministers of Culture and Education Anatoly Markevich and Igor Karpenko, Deputy Prime Minister Igor Petrishenko. Besides, Lukashenko presented state awards to honoured workers in various fields of expertise.
The participants of the ball were university students, students of institutions of general secondary, vocational and secondary specialised education. Among them were scholarship holders of the president’s special fund for social support of gifted pupils and students, winners, participants and laureates of various competitions, Olympiads, conferences. They traditionally opened the ball with a polonaise.
Addressing young Belarusians, Lukashenko said: “We are going through difficult times. Yes, young and hotheads, your heads are sometimes at the forefront of events. It has always been like that. And in my time, and later. But I am convinced that eventually, our children will come to their senses instead of listening to calls of foreign Telegram channels. And they will thank those on the frontline fighting for the future today.
Meanwhile, we will brace ourselves and will continue to serve our country in order to preserve it for you. This is the historic mission of the generation of creators of independent Belarus. And we will accomplish it in a proper way. I promise you that. You have all learned history and must remember: our land was under the boot of foreigners for centuries. All of it happened and must not be repeated if we truly want to be independent.”
In a separate ceremony, Lukashenko presented state awards to distinguished industrial workers, healthcare workers, teachers, law enforcement officers, artists, coaches, athletes, and clergy. “All of them make Belarus richer and stronger with their daily work,” he said. He also congratulated everyone on the upcoming holidays, noting that the outgoing year “was not easy, but very useful for our country”. “We have seen who is who, realized what we have and what we can lose if we do not think for ourselves,” said Lukashenko.