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"If a nation has heroes, then the nation has a future"

Pavel Latushka, deputy head of the United Transitional Cabinet of Belarus, head of the National Anti-Crisis Management gave a welcome speech at the solemn event commemorating Freedom Day - the 106th anniversary of the proclamation of the Belarusian People's Republic. 

"Belarus has its heroes: heroes fighting in Ukraine, Belarusian partisans, and unfortunately, heroes imprisoned. The majority of Belarusians yearn for freedom and democracy. They desire independence and continue to fight for it," noted Pavel Latushka.

The event took place on March 21, 2024, at the Free Belarus Museum in Warsaw.

Video messages were also delivered by Ivonka Survilla, Chairman of the Council of the Belarusian People's Republic, and Sviatlana Tsikhanouskaya, head of the United Transitional Cabinet of Belarus.

Representatives from the Office of the President of Poland, the Polish Sejm and Senate, and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Poland, including directors of contractual and legal and consular departments, as well as representatives from the Ministries of Culture, Internal Affairs, Justice, and Sports, attended the event. Ambassadors from Austria, Belgium, Spain, Luxembourg, Croatia, Latvia, Lithuania, France, Romania, Bulgaria, Italy, Estonia, Norway, Ireland, Moldova, and diplomats from other countries, along with a representative from the government of Flanders, were also present.

In the congratulatory speech by Piotr Zgorzelski, Vice-Marshal of the Polish Sejm, the shared history of the Belarusian and Polish European peoples and Poland's continued support in the struggle for a free and independent Belarus were highlighted. Krzysztof Śmiszek, First Deputy Minister of Justice of Poland, expressed the Polish authorities' support for the democratic choice of the Belarusian society in his speech at the ceremony.

Representatives from independent Belarusian and foreign media, including Belsat, Financial Times, Rzeczpospolita, Radio Racyja, and TVP World, participated in the event.

The event brought together members of the Belarusian diaspora, the Belarusian ethnic minority, democratic forces, social activists, and leaders of Belarusian initiatives. Representatives from the Council of the Belarusian People's Republic, members of the United Transitional Cabinet of Belarus, the Coordination Council, associations of Belarusian security forces ByPol and BelPol, the Belarusian Council of Culture, the association of Belarusian political prisoners "To Freedom," and “Partyzanka” were also in attendance.

The cultural program of the celebration included a fragment from the show "Words from behind bars" by the theater troupe "Volnyja Kupalaucy," featuring Honoured actress of Belarus Zoya Belakhvostsik, Aleh Harbuz, Siarhei Chub, and Kryscina Drobysh. The Concordia choir, under the direction of artistic director and conductor Halina Kazimirouskaya, and the Warsaw Free Orchestra also performed. The event included the opening of the REVISION 30 photo exhibition by Siarhei and Dzmitriy Brushko, father and son, who documented Belarus's journey of change over the past 30 years. Lawyer Anna Matsieuskaya donated artworks by Yury Stylski, Anton Radzivonau, and Yana Shostak to the Free Belarus Museum.

"Today, by celebrating the state holiday of Belarus, not legally but in practice, we must recognize the historical parallel in which Belarus and the Belarusian people find themselves. True nations are forged through trials. We, Belarusians, must fulfill our historical duty. Now is our time to determine the fate of Belarus. We must save our country. It is our responsibility. And we will return, we will undoubtedly return to a free and independent Belarus," emphasized Pavel Latushka during the event.

This event was solely financed by the patrons of the Free Belarus Museum.


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