Historic and Cultural Complex «Stalin Line»
Historic and Cultural Complex «Stalin Line»

The Stalin Line was built in the 1930s, it consisted of 21 fortified area, over 4.000 long-term fire points, usually made from reinforced concrete, which are divided into machine-gun (armor tower, armor digger, command and observation posts) and artillery (semi-guardhouses with two 76-mm guns and guardhouses with 4 guns). Circular observation was carried out with the help of a periscope, telephone service was maintained through underground cables and a radio station. Embrasures of machine guns were equipped with devices for sealing. Additional protection from toxic substances and powder gases was provided by a filtering system. The logn-tern fire points had sets of spare parts, tools, water supplies, food.

After joining in 1939-1940 a number of areas, including the Western Belarus, to the Soviet Union, when the border was moved to the West by 350-400 km, a need for the Stalin Line became no longer necessary. Armament, optical instruments, electrical equipment was removed from the long-term fire points, part of ammunition were taken away. Construction of a new set of fortifications, which became known as the Molotov Line On the new border of the USSR started. But they had not enough time to finish. It is considered that the disarmed Stalin Line, except for some long-term fore points, has not played a special role in those terrible early days of the Great Patriotic War.

On the territory of Belarus there were four fortified areas: Polotsk, Mozyr, Slutsk and, the most powerful, 140 km length - Minsk. Only here the Germans lost about 10.000 soldiers and more than a hundred of tanks. Nearly 80 long-term fire points, built near Zaslavl, kept the road to Minsk under fire. The Germans seized Zaslavl, where it was already a stone's throw from Minsk. With support of the long-term fire points, the Red Army drove them from Zaslavl and held this strategic town under control during more than two days. Even longer he Hoth Group of the German Army was held during attack to Minsk from Vilnius, which had about a thousand of tanks, by long-term fire points, built near Radoshkovichy.

Some long-term fire points continued fighting from two to four days, and in some areas, restricting the enemy's forces, held out for over a week. Mozyr reinforcement area and some of its long-term fire points held until August 1941. The Germans were shooting them out by artillery shells, tried to get by flamethrowers, gases ... But even then, the Stalin Line long-term fire points continued fighting. They hosted the Belarusian partisans, sometimes th soldiers kept fighting. In 1942 the Germans began to blow up these facilities. Only those survived that were near the German garrisons.

Today, after more than 60 years of oblivion, the Stalin Line has regained its name, interest to its defenders has increased again. Historical and Cultural Complex «Stalin Line» was created in less than six months under the guidance of the President to preserve the historical heritage of the Belarusian people associated with protection of the Motherland during the Great Patriotic War.

The Inauguration of the Historical and Cultural Complex «Stalin Line» with participation of the President of the state Alexandr Lukashenko was held on June, 30 2005. The event took place within celebration of the 60th anniversary of the Great Victory Day, the Independence Day of Belarus and the date of liberation of the republic from the Nazi invaders. The complex is located on the 28-kilometer of the highway Minsk - Molodechno. The memorial dedicated to the heroic defense of the Belarusian land from the Nazi occupiers. In 1930s the headquarters of the Minsk Fortified Area, which was part of the Stalin Line, were located near Zaslavl. On the area of about 40 hectares they restored the place of fire fighting: front-line crossing, artillery batteries, in long-term fire points they installed mannequins of armed fighters in the form of the Red Army of 1930-40-ies. During the opening ceremony a memorial fight, held in June 1941 between the Soviet soldiers and the Nazis, was re-established. More than 3.000 people - the Great Patriotic War veterans, representatives of youth organizations - became participants of this perfomence.