Why do Belarusian military men attach St. George's ribbons to their cars?

The St. George's Ribbon has become the most popular symbol for separatists in East Ukraine. Some Belarusians also use it. Black-orange ribbons attract attention on cars parked near Minsk military units. The cars definitely belong to military men: you can see uniform and pennants inside.

By the way, we noticed no black-orange ribbons in the inner yard of the Ministry of Defense.

Why do our military men use this symbol nowadays? Maybe they keep celebrating May 9? What if they support the annexation of Crimea and separatists in East Ukraine? This is alarming.

There are a lot of bad examples of the same kind in Ukraine too.  “The Ukrainian government, special services and army are full of Russian agents,” Donbass commander Semyon Semyoncheko told Euroradio.

We asked the Belarusian Armed Forces Headquarters about black-orange ribbons.

“Your anxiety is groundless. It depends on the sense the symbol makes for you,” head of the information department of the chief ideology department of the Belarusian Ministry of Defense Uladzimir Makarau said.  “The ribbon has always been and will remain the symbol of the Great Victory and release of Belarus from German fascist invaders. The ribbon is present on the majority of awards approved by the President. For example, you can see it on the medals ‘70th anniversary of the Victory of the Soviet People in the Great Patriotic War of 19941-1945’ and ‘70th anniversary of the release of Belarus from German fascist invaders.’ The ribbon has always been the main attribute of holidays and no one will cancel it.”

Euroradio: “The context of the symbol has changed after the events in Ukraine. Do you think that Belarusian officers still consider it a symbol of the victory in the Great Patriotic War?”

Uladzimir Makarau: “Of course, they do. It only means the victory in the Great Patriotic War against fascism. Our officers have always been and remain with the Belarusian President and people. Our Army prioritizes Belarus’ national interests, especially its independence, sovereignty and territorial integrity.”

It is worth noting that black-orange ribbons are not attached to all Belarusian military men’s cars. And you can rarely find messages in support of Ukrainian separatists and the annexation of Crimea on Belarusian Military Academy cadets’ profiles in social networks.

The black-orange ribbon is considered the main symbol of the victory in the Great Patriotic War in Russia now. It was made popular in Putin’s epoch. The symbol was founded in the Russian Empire in the 18th century. Interestingly, some Hitler’s collaborators also used the ribbon.

The ribbon was called the Guards Ribbon in the Soviet time and it was not associated with the epoch of tsars. It started being used in the USSR Navy in the 1940s and appeared on some orders.

The ribbon is called ‘Colorado beetle ribbon’ in Ukraine due to the current conflict with Russia. People wearing it are called ‘Colorados’. Hardly anyone knows about the difference between the Guards and St. George's Ribbon.