Updated at 15:34,14-12-2017

Lukashenka to his military generals: We should be the first to die if necessary

By Iryna Lewshyna, BelaPAN

Alyaksandr Lukashenka on Tuesday presented general's shoulder straps to a number of senior officers of the Armed Forces, the interior ministry and the Investigative Committee who had recently been promoted to the rank of general major.

I am convinced that this rank is granted to those who deserve it most, the Belarusian leader said at the ceremony. Not everyone can wear these heavy shoulder-straps. I will say without pathos: You are really very special people and a special responsibility rests with you. You must primarily remember what our mission is. We have only one duty and one mission: we should be on the front line at a difficult moment. And if there is a need to die in the name of our people, we should be the first to die. We should always remember this.

The Belarusian people highly value peace and calm in the country, Mr. Lukashenka noted. The notions of state sovereignty, independence and territorial integrity mean a lot for us, he said. This is not just politics. This is our life, the life of our parents today and the life of our children in the future.

In order to preserve all this, the government pursues a peaceful multi-vector foreign policy and strengthens the defense capability of the country, he added.

By his June 28 presidential edicts, Mr. Lukashenka promoted seven colonels to one-star general.

In particular, the rank of general major was granted to:

Andrey Burdyka, head of the Main Planning and Logistics Support Coordination Directorate/first deputy head of logistics of the Armed Forces;

Andrey Zhuk, deputy commander-in-chief of the Western Operational Command Forces;

Henadz Kazlowski, head of the Missile Troops and Artillery Directorate of the General Staff of the Armed Forces;

Ihar Karol, head of the 72nd Combined Arms Training Center for Warrant and Junior Officers;

Syarhey Daroshka, head of the interior ministrys Corrections Department;

Uladzimir Zakharchuk, head of the Homyel regional police department.

Dzmitry Kanaplyanik, head of the Minsk city office of the Investigative Committee of Belarus.

In addition, the rank of Third-Class State Counselor of Customs Service was granted to Uladzimir Arlowski, first deputy head of the State Customs Committee of Belarus.