The army parade to mark the 75th anniversary of the Soviet people’s Victory in the Great Patriotic War of 1941-1945 took place in Minsk on 9 May.
Veterans, officials, and diplomats attended the event. There were noticeably fewer spectators than in previous years. However, only some of them wore masks and kept a safe distance. A gala concert and festive fireworks are planned as part of the programme in the evening.
Giving a speech during the parade President Alexander Lukashenko said: “In this crazy world that has lost its reference points and guidelines there are people, who condemn us for choosing this place and time for organizing this holy celebration.
I would like to tell them as a human being: don’t rush to make conclusions or condemn us, the successors of the victory, Belarusians. We just couldn’t act differently, we didn’t have a choice.”
The president noted that although this year the army parade in Minsk is the only one in the post-Soviet space, it will honour all the Soviet soldiers, who liberated the world from the Nazi.
Earlier, Dr. Hans Kluge, the head of the European Regional Office of the World Health Organization (WHO), has expressed gratitude to the country leaders who decided to postpone the Victory Day celebrations.
“I would really like to commend those governments that have made a brave decision to postpone or cancel Victory Day parades, putting the people’s health first. The regional office has a great respect for the historical date, but now it is the time to look for alternative solutions in order not to jeopardise human lives,” Kluge stated.
About 3,000 military personnel and over 150 vehicles took part in the parade. As many as 36 aircraft and helicopters flew over the nation’s capital. A concert “To the Glory of the Common Victory!” will take place at Plošča Pieramohi in the evening.
As of 9 May, 22,052 people were diagnosed with the novel coronavirus, 126 patients have died. Recall that Belarusian authorities have not introduced any quarantine measures. The head of state believes that imposing a nationwide lockdown won’t improve the situation.
However, the Belarusian leader admitted that the WHO recommendations should be studied in detail, but stressed that the country will follow its own path in fight against the COVID-19.