In the run-up of Victory Day the independent newspaper Nasha Niva interviewed Belarusian veterans of the Second World War and prisoners of concentration camps and asked them about their past and present.
“Some have small pensions, million, 180-200 rubles (appr. $100 per month), how can one live on it?” In the video, the veterans are complain of Belarus’ problematic reality and the current economic crisis. They are set a letter to Lukashenka and inform him of problems they are facing. But will such a letter be a universa remedy?
Every year the Belarusian leader promises to take care of the seniors. In 2016, Lukashenka visited a home for elderly near Minsk. According to him, the country has done everything it could for war and labor veterans .
“In Belarus, only lazy people cannot earn money. Think of your times – everyone was thinking how to survive. The state will take care of the elderly who have no one to look after them,” he stressed.
This year, the veterans’ pensions have been raised, but as the prices are also growing, the old people are still struggling to make both ends meet.
There are about 11,000 veterans and invalids of the Great Patriotic War and 18,000 former prisoners of Nazi concentration camps and ghettos. Notably, the amount does not include prisoners of the Soviet Gulag.
Most European countries celebrate the victory on May 8 remembering the formal acceptance by the Allies of World War II of Nazi Germany’s unconditional surrender of its armed forces. Russia, Belarus and many other former Soviet republics commemorate Victory Day on May 9.
Belsat.eu, phot. Vasily Fedosenko / Reuters / Forum