* Report: July 15th, 2023: The Belgians Parade to the London Cenotaph *

Awarding of an honorary distinction

* The Memorial
* Ceremony of unveiling - 12/10/2019)
* Ceremony of awarding of an honorary distinction - 22/10/2020)
* History of the Soviet Partisans in Belgium
* Soviet P.A. graves in Belgium

Embassy of the Federation of Russia: Ceremony of awarding - October 22nd 2020

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On October 22, 2020, Wilfred Burie, President of the Belgians Remember Them Association, was invited to the Embassy of the Russian Federation, To Brussels, in order to be awarded the honorary distinction awarded by the Ministers of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation, Sergei Lavrov for the work of remembrance done towards the Russian Armed Partisans who fought alongside the Belgian Resistance in 1943 and 1944.

The award ceremony took place at the Embassy residence. Due to the restrictions imposed by the health situation, a small number of personalities attended the event: MM Dmitri Borodin, Minister Counsellor of the Embassy, Igor Minaev, Counsellor of the Embassy, Dimitri Legasse, Deputy in the Walloon Region, Marino Marchetti, President of the CPAS of Rebecq and Eric Verly, Vice-President of the association «The Belgians Remember Them».

Ambassador Alexander Tokovinin welcomed the recipient saying:
The Medal of the Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation Sergei Lavrov is awarded to those who have fostered the rapprochement between peoples and strengthened the bonds of friendship between the Russian Federation and Belgium. In particular, Wilfred Burie is awarded this honorary distinction for the work done to preserve the memory of the Red Army soldiers who had joined the Belgian Resistance and fell in battle against the Nazi occupier.
On October 17, 2019, on the occasion of the 75th anniversary of the Liberation of Belgium from the Nazi yoke, we inaugurated the National Memorial dedicated to the Soviet Armed Partisans who fought in Belgium in 1943 and 1944. This was happening in Rebecq and your initiative was praised by my compatriots.
By virtue of the powers vested in me, I have the honor and pleasure to present to you, on behalf of the Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation, this decoration».

Wilfred Burie replied:
Sir Ambassador, I thank you for the friendship you have shown me and my companions. Thank you for this recognition for the work we are doing in Memory to restore that of your compatriots who have fallen for our Freedom. Know that when I wear this decoration, I will do it thinking of them, I will wear it with them.”

A lunch followed this protocolary ceremony.

The “National Memorial to Soviet Armed Partisans in Belgium – 1944” was inaugurated by His Excellency Alexander Tokovinin, Ambassador of the Federation to the Kingdom of Belgium. This Memorial was created thanks to the initiative of Wilfred Burie and the association of which he is the President: «The Belgians Remember Them».
This memorial recalls the resistant actions of the Red Army soldiers who, during the Second World War, had been taken prisoner of war by the Germans on the Eastern Front and taken to Belgium to work in the Belgian coal mines. Many attempted to escape from the place of their detention, either by simply escaping, or by «engaging» in the Wehrmacht. From then on, it was easier for them to desert. These men put themselves at the service of the networks of the Belgian Resistance. Thus, these seasoned soldiers gave the Resistance an effective aid in the fight against the occupier by sabotage actions, fighting, etc. They were on the front line at the beginning of September 1944, when the Allies entered Belgium.
For example, in Rebecq, there were a dozen of them fighting the German fugitives during the debacle. Ten Wehrmacht men were killed in the Battle of Montgras and one Russian Armed Partisan, Vladimir Talda, lost his life there. He rests in the communal cemetery of Rebecq

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The medal of the Russian Ministery of Foreing Affairs

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The awarding certificate

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The Ambassador, Alexander Tokovinin explains the reasons of Wilfred Burie is awarded

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He gives the decoration to Wifred Burie

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This one thanks the Ambassador

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Dimitri Legasse Regional Députy régional hangs the decoration on the jacket of the recipient

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A toast is offered

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MM. Dmitri Borodin, Minister-Counsellor et Igor Mineaev, Counsellor

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The lunch

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Wilfred Burie, The Ambassador A. Tokovinin et Eric Verly, Vice-president of "The Belgians Remember Them"...

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... and Marino Marchetti, Alderman of Rebecq


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