Updated at 15:34,14-12-2017

Belarusians remained unvanquished people during German invasion, Lukashenka says

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The Belarusians remained an unvanquished people during the occupation by Nazi Germany in World War II, Alyaksandr Lukashenka said while inaugurating the new building of the Belarusian State Museum of the History of the Great Patriotic War in Minsk on Wednesday.

Mr. Lukashenka paid tribute to the "fearless defenders of the Brest Fortress and Mahilyow, the heroes of the Minsk underground and Belarusian partisans," who he said knew that they were right and courageously fought the aggressor. "Belarus became a partisan republic. And in 1943, way before the opening of the Second Front, almost 60 percent of its territory was under partisans' control," the government's news agency BelTA quoted him as saying.

The Belarusian people paid a very high price for the victory, said Mr. Lukashenka. "One in three residents of Belarus died, hundreds of thousands of people became prisoners of death camps, thousands of cities were destroyed and villages were burned down - this is the ghastly price of our freedom," he said.

Belarus is proud that its people joined other Soviet nations in fighting Nazi troops in different parts of the Soviet Union, said Mr. Lukashenka.