Source: President of the Republic of Belarus
6 July 2020
Belarus President Aleksandr Lukashenko presented shoulder boards to high-ranking officers at a ceremony in the Palace of Independence on 6 July.
Major-general’s shoulder boards were given to Viktor Gulevich, commander of the Western Operational Command; Yuri Nazarenko, Deputy Minister of Interior Affairs – commander of the interior forces; Dmitry Reutsky, head of the KGB’s Department for Minsk and Minsk Oblast; Oleg Stolyarchuk, head of the KGB’s Department for Vitebsk Oblast; Sergei Zhilinsky, head of the Border Service Institute.
The head of state also presented shoulder boards of major-general of justice to Oleg Shandarovich, head of the Grodno Oblast Department of the Investigative Committee. Head of the Gomel Customs Service Feliks Yashkov became the state councilor of customs service, 3rd class.
Aleksandr Lukashenko remarked that there are not many commanders of such level, and the conferment of major-general’s ranks is a public recognition of merits of people who are fully committed to defending the Homeland.
At a ceremony in the Palace of Independence the head of state also awarded graduates of military universities for academic excellence. The President awarded letters of commendation to them. He congratulated soldiers on graduation and said that this event is important not only for every one of them by also for military management bodies, military units and law enforcement agencies. “They have received new, well-trained, experienced replenishment of officers,” the President explained. In his words, it is symbolic that the soldiers received their diplomas in the year when a big historical event – the 75th anniversary of Great Victory – is celebrated.
“The threat of the global arms control system, including nuclear one, being destroyed is a reality today. This is despite the fact that 75 years ago everyone knew what war was,” Aleksandr Lukashenko.
He noted that the clashes of geopolitical interests of the superpowers fuel simmering local conflicts and create new ones. Moreover, there are no acceptable universal recipes for their resolution, the head of state said.
“It is obvious that the militarization of Eastern Europe and the intensification of military activity, including near our borders, do not lead to anything good. Risks and challenges in the military sphere are growing, trust between countries is being undermined. Against this background economic, demographic and environmental problems will be exacerbating,” the President is convinced. At the same time, Aleksandr Lukashenko stressed that Belarus is an active participant in the process of strengthening international security.
Addressing the participants of the ceremony, the head of state outlined major objectives for the military and law enforcement. He remarked that Belarus has to pay paramount attention to ensuring its own military security, and Armed Forces play a crucial role in it. “We equip the army with new and modernized tanks, communication devices and radio warfare, radio detectors, constantly upgrade the aircraft fleet. And now the officers, who are present in this hall, will be doing their best to maintain the combat readiness of military units and formations,” Aleksandr Lukashenko said.
The main task of police officers is to ensure public order in the country and safety of citizens, the President stressed. Among the priorities are combating drug addiction, corruption, strengthening the fight against high-tech theft and crimes, he added.“The services, units and offices of the Emergencies Ministry should work even harder to prevent and eliminate incidents and accidents. Particular attention should be paid to the safe operation of the nuclear power plant,” the head of state said.
Border guards must protect the state border. One of the main tasks of the special services is to neutralize threats of terrorism, extremism, national and religious strife, and to prevent attempts to damage the economy, Aleksandr Lukashenko noted.
“Each of you is a competent, well-trained professional officer, a patriot who has dedicated his life to selfless service to the country and the people. I am convinced that you will be able to properly protect our Fatherland, citizens and social stability. Remember that you continue the victorious traditions of our grandfathers and great-grandfathers,” the President stressed.
The head of state added that the current participants of the ceremony – new generals and the officers who have excelled in studies – have a lot of things ahead of them. “Presenting commendation letters and the general’s shoulder boards, I thought of the chiefs, commanders who have reached such heights and are now standing opposite you, trying to understand what they are thinking. To some extent, they are proud to become generals and occupy such positions. But perhaps most importantly, they envy you because you still have whole lives ahead of you,” the President noted.
He wished the participants of the ceremony good health and reliable rear – for the officers it is very important, said the President. “Never disgrace your name, and most importantly, an officer’s rank. You are officers, generals, and this speaks volumes,” the Belarusian leader summed up.