Today, on February 19, a rally took place in Debaltsevo to mark the fifth anniversary of the liberation of the town during the Uglegorsk-Debaltsevo offensive of the DPR armed forces. According to a correspondent of the DPR Official Website, those present shared their memories of those terrible days and honored the memory of the fallen.

“Dear friends,

First of all I want to congratulate all of us on the anniversary of the victory of the Donetsk and Lugansk People’s Republics over the armed formations of Ukraine and the liberation of Debaltsevo!

It is very important for us to realize the heroic feat thanks to which everything worked out. The feat of those who took up arms, the men who went forward despite the numerical superiority of the enemy and slim chances according to all the canons of military science. Nevertheless, the firmness, courage and understanding that this is our Motherland, our land, our home, let us win and liberate the town of Debaltsevo. Of course, we should not forget the steadfastness and courage of peaceful citizens who did everything possible to defend it.

Five years are both a long time and no time at all. During this time, children have grown up, they are persons already. But on the other hand, it seems this was just like yesterday,” Head of the DPR Denis Pushilin said.

The Head of State came forward with an initiative to establish a new state decoration, medal for the liberation of Debaltsevo.

“I think it is right and even necessary to establish a medal for the liberation of Debaltsevo in honor of the fifth anniversary. I am sure it will be a reliable guardian of memory for future generations. We must remember the Debaltsevo operation, we must honor those heroes who are no longer alive and those who are still in the ranks and keep fighting. We must remember those peaceful citizens who took part in the liberation of Debaltsevo and those who continue to restore Debaltsevo and do everything possible for the development of this town,” Denis Pushilin emphasized.

During the event, the DPR Head awarded several soldiers with state decorations, DPR George Crosses of 2nd, 3rd and 4th classes.

On behalf of LPR Head Leonid Pasechnik and the brotherly people of the Lugansk People’s Republic, LPR Minister of Foreign Affairs Vladislav Deynego addressed the audience.

“The victory in the Chernukhino-Debaltsevo operation is a common merit of the LPR and DPR military. In 2015, thanks to their concerted action, heroism and determination, they managed to liberate this long-suffering land. Remembering those tragic events, each time we realize the high cost of the victory. These victims are on the conscience of the criminal Ukrainian government, which is ruthless in its desire to destroy Donbass. Blessed memory of the fallen!” he said.

“Debaltsevo is a story of courage and selflessness. It is a story of victory, which once again shows how selfless a person can be in the fight for his choice, for the right cause. The upside is that Debaltsevo has been living a peaceful and, most importantly, free life for five years now,” DPR People’s Council Chairman Vladimir Bidyovka added.

At the end of the meeting, those present observed a moment of silence in tribute to the memory of all those who died for the liberation of Debaltsevo, then they laid flowers at the memorial.