Belarusian Authorities Save Money on Medals for War Veterans
Military commissars giving medals say they have never been so ashamed.
Military commissars give war veterans medals "65th Anniversary of Victory in Great Patriotic War" cast down their eyes and say the state didn’t afford such disregard towards the soldiers even during the war.
As the newspaper "Yezhednevnik" writes, the Ministry of Defense of Belarus announced a competition to make 85,000 medals "65th Anniversary of Victory in Great Patriotic War" at the end of 2009. The very approach of the Ministry to competition conditions arouses interest.
No attention was given to quality, which was rather strange taking into account ideological importance of the event.
Four companies, three of them state-run, put forwards their offers. The tender was won by Vitsebsk Instrumentation Engineering Plant, which doesn’t specialize in making medals and other state awards.
Vitsebsk Instrumentation Engineering Plant offered the lowest price for the work allowing the Ministry to save about 85 million rubles.
The plant doesn’t know necessary technologies, doesn’t have any experience in making awards, but produced medals of questionable quality. Military commissars, who give medals to veterans, were shocked as they saw the awards.
War veterans receive the medals that look as if they were home-made. Even during the war, when the country was starving, such sloppy work was inaccessible.
This picture illustrates how a medal should look like and a medal offered by the Ministry of Defense. According to the standards agreed with Russia, which makes the same awards on occasion of the 65th anniversary of the victory in the Great Patriotic War, the medal should have a special coating that makes embossing look more accurate and allows differing fake awards from true ones. Vitsebsk plant made didn’t use this coating. According to a military commissar, it is like writing white letters on white paper.
Even making this "bald" embossing, the plant didn’t obey the regulations. Instead of a special coating the medal was covered with varnish, which gathers dirt on the surface. Varnishing state awards is nonsense, but the Ministry of Defense seems not to be interested in this. The officials think war veterans don’t notice the difference due to their poor eyesight.
One could discuss where the violations of the technological process, but no long disputes are needed to see dirt on the medal surface and blurred letters. There’s no surprise. As it is mentioned above, the Ministry of Defense wasn’t interested in quality. In fact, the tender winner could have made medals from wood or modelling clay. The main thing was to save money.