On May 9, the Minsk authorities staged two ceremonial events on the occassion of the 76th anniversary of the victory over Nazi Germany – one in Victory Square and the other in State Flag Square. Moreover, everyone who wanted to had an opportunity to join the more informal celebration near near the Palace of Sports.
To taste some soldier’s porridge, get an insight into re-enactors’ activities, dive into a rave of red and green colours, see the photo report by street photographer Alyaksandr Zyankovich below.
By contrast with the previous year, Victory Day parade has not been staged; at 11 am, Alyaksandr Lukashenka and his sons laid flowers at the Victory Memorial, later, he addressed the people who gathered in State Flag Square.
“We know that our emblem, flag, anthem, and the Great Victory are inextricably interlinked symbols of the greatness and independence of the Belarusian nation,” the politician said.
In his opinion, Belarusians will never abandon the red-green flag and the current emblem; however, even in the festive speech he was not slack at blasting ‘those with white-red-white bands’ and comparing them to Nazis.
At least seven people were detained in Belarus on May 9, human rights centre Viasna reports. According to TUT.BY, among the detained near Victory Square there were two youngsters who had a bouquet of red carnations tied with red and white ribbons.
In 1991, the white-red-white flag and the emblem Pahonya (Pursuit) were adopted as national symbols of the country. However, they were official until the 1995 referendum, when on the tip from Belarusian leader Alyaksandr Lukashenka, who is an ardent adherer of the USSR, they were replaced by the Soviet ones. For years, pro-Lukashenka officials have been linking the white-red-white colours to the opposition. Last December, the authorities warned that those Belarusian citizens who would hang out ‘unregistered symbols’ even on their windows or balconies might be penalised under administrative law.
Аlyaksandr Zyankovich for Belsat.eu