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7 February 2020

Armenians who liberated Belarus during WWII commemorated in Vitebsk

Armenian soldiers who died in battles for Belarus' liberation in the Great Patriotic War were commemorated in Vitebsk Oblast on 4 February. The commemorative event was attended by Armenian Ambassador to Belarus Armen Ghevondyan, BelTA has learned.

The ceremony to hand over the soil from a military grave site took place in the village of Shapury. It is home to the largest military mass grave in Belarus where around 17,000 people are buried, including 84 Armenians.

Armen Ghevondyan thanked local residents and representatives of the administrations of Vitebsk Oblast and Vitebsk District for their responsible attitude to the common historical heritage. "The Great Victory united people not only on the battlefield but also in the trenches. The war left a lot of sorrowful places in Belarus, and Shapury holds a special place in this endless list," the ambassador noted.

Chairman of the Vitebsk Oblast Council of Deputies Vladimir Terentyev said that the Armenian embassy closely cooperated with the local authorities during the celebrations timed to the 75th anniversary of Belarus' liberation and helped unveil war monuments in Gorodok and Vitebsk.

A presentation of the book about Armenian soldiers who fought for Belarus in 1941-1944 took place in the Vitebsk regional library after the meeting. The book tells about 6,500 Armenians who fought or died in Belarus during the Great Patriotic War and provides a map with sites where some of them are buried.

Armen Ghevondyan added that a Belarusian-Armenian team worked on the book for almost seven years. Copies of the book will be sent to the largest libraries in Belarus. "Thanks to this book, relatives of some Armenian soldiers finally found out where their family members are buried," the ambassador noted.

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