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Victory Day: what does it mean for the Belarusian society?

As annual measurements of public opinion show, Belarusians sincerely respect the historical heritage. The vast majority of citizens (85 percent of respondents) recognize the significant influence of the country's historical past on their worldview and values.

The annual monitoring of the assessments of the Belarusian society in relation to historical memory is conducted by questioning by the Institute of Sociology of the National Academy of Sciences of Belarus on demand of the BISR since November 2020. The sampling for each sociological survey is 1,500 respondents, representative by gender, age and place of residence of citizens.

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The society also highly appreciates the historical policy implemented by the state – for example, such measures as the holding of the Year of Historical Memory, the establishment of National Unity Day, the activities of the Republican Council for Historical Policy under the Presidential Administration, the investigation of the facts of the genocide of the Belarusian people during the Great Patriotic War, the opening of new memorials.

According to polls, citizens consider the events of the Great Patriotic War and the partisan movement on the territory of the BSSR to be the most important milestones in the history of Belarus. The high interest in the heroic past of the country is manifested in wishes of the respondents to film the events of military history – in the course of the polls, people proposed the themes of ”the battle of Buinichi field“; ”liberation of Belarusian cities“; ”the first "Katyusha's" salvo in Orsha“; ”how women raised Belarus from the ruins.“

Belarusians perceive the war as a great trial and a great feat of the Soviet people, and maintain a reverent attitude towards the graves of Soviet soldiers and civilians who died during the occupation. At the same time, the majority of respondents (over 66 percent) believe that attempts to rehabilitate Nazism in the Republic of Belarus should be prosecuted.

Moreover, despite the frequent attempts of Western and some post-Soviet countries to belittle the importance of Victory, Belarus has noted an increase in the value of the May 9 holiday for society. The contribution of the Belarusian people to the Victory is the main point of pride of the current generations of Belarusians. Victory Day, in fact, serves as a moral standard of modern Belarusian statehood and identity.

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