Ukrainian intellectuals in solidarity with the Belarusian population
Ukrainian intellectuals and academics, journalists and political scientists support the demonstrations in Minsk and the resistance of the Belarusians to Lukashenko. Yesterday a human chain of 30 km in the Baltic republics. In the Belarusian capital, 200,000 people challenge the ban on demonstrations and demand the president’s resignation. Lukashenko publishes photo in a bulletproof vest and Kalashnikov.
Kiev (AsiaNews) - "Your freedom" is tied to "ours"; "Your victory will be our victory": thus some leading figures from Ukrainian civil society - mostly intellectuals and academics, including AsiaNews columnist Kostiantyn Sigov - have expressed solidarity with the Belarusian demonstrators who arecalling for new elections and since yesterday also the explicit expulsion of President Alexandr Lukashenko, in power for 26 years.
Yesterday, two weeks after the elections suspected of fraud, almost 200,000 people took to the streets in Minsk, demanding the dictator’s resignation. The police forces warned that the demonstration was not authorized and blocked many metro stations, forcing demonstrators to walk to Independence Square, the site of the rally.
Lukashenko strengthened security around the presidential palace and had himself photographed holding a Kalashnikov and wearing a flak jacket, saying he would fight to the death to maintain power.
Visiting the Grodno military base, the day before, on the border with Poland and Lithuania, Lukashenko denounced foreign powers whom he claims are fomenting the revolution in Belarus. Poland and Lithuania have denied the charges.
What is happening in Belarus in recent weeks’ recalls what happened in Ukraine in February 2014, when a series of demonstrations from all social strata and bloody clashes with the military forces forced the pro-Russian president Viktor Yanukovyč out after a few weeks.
Yesterday, as a sign of solidarity with Belarusians, tens of thousands of people in Estonia, Lithuania and Latvia formed a human chain of 30 km, renewing the so-called "Baltic Way", which in 1989 saw 2 million people linked to each other to the other through the three Baltic states which after several months declared independence from the Soviet Union.
Here is the appeal of "Ukrainian civil society" in solidarity with Belarus:
Dear Belarusian sisters and brothers!
We are following events in your country with a mixture of joy and apprehension.
We feel joy because we are watching how your great nation, our neighbor and friend, is waking up. We worry, however, because we have been hearing from the news about new and new victims.
We, Ukrainians, have also come through these trials and ordeals. They are certainly not over. But we have chosen our path. The path is long and difficult, but we will not let it slip away.
We don’t have any intention to lecture you, because today it is not us but you who are showing to the whole world what it means to stand for freedom and dignity.
We only want to express our fraternal solidarity with you.
We worry about you, we are proud of you, and we love you.
We wish you victory, as your victory will also be our victory.
For Your and Our Freedom!
Long Live Belarus! Glory to Ukraine!
For the full list of 25 signatures of philosophers, writers, historians, journalists, entrepreneurs, scientists and political analysts follow see here.