Belarus is experiencing a true economic genocide.
Belarusians often compare prices to those in the neighboring countries: Ukraine, Poland, Lithuania. It is obvious that it makes more sense to buy many things abroad.
The film director and public activist Volha Mikalaychyk is now in Ukraine and is amazed at better living standards despite all difficulties in Ukraine. She shared her impressions with Charter97.org:
- Belarus now is experiencing a true economic genocide. Now I am in Kyiv. Despite the war waging in the country, I go shopping, walk along the streets and I can say that people wear better clothes and buy products of better quality.
There are many people in cafes, meanwhile our cafes are half empty. The situation is quite the opposite despite the war! When I go shopping I see people with almost empty baskets. It is sound.
We have neither free medicine nor education, these are myths. The easing of the situation is not foreseeable. And what prices are in Belarus! You convert 10 dollars and they are not enough for anything, and three years ago they were enough to live for a few days. And this desperate situation is observed actoss the country. But Belarusians deserve a better life!
- You are now talking about life in Minsk. What is the situation in the regions?
- In terms of the economic crisis, the regions are like Minsk "squared." Or even "cubed". The regions constantly inform about miserable salaries. For example, BelAZ driver was paid $4 a month, and the worker of the collective farm received the payslip of "zero" rubles for 31 working days. Independent media should cover such news.
This driver should arrive and stand next to the Government with a poster "Where is money?" People need to realize that they can resist and achieve their goals.
As for the woman, who earned a "zero", this figure symbolizes the attitude of the authorities towards Belarusians. We live in the Gulag, and working people have become slaves. The Belarusian reality is that people can get nothing after a month-long work and it will be "normal" in the center of Europe. In general, it's serfdom.
Therefore, I believe that we need to say that we live in the country where we earn "zero." It is necessary to go out with posters on the Square and do everything to quickly putt off this yoke! Even in the Stalin's times people were paid. It turns out that Lukashenka is a neo-Stalinist.
- Last year "spongers" were protesters. And who can become protesters now?
- Today they will be people who have worked for 20 years and cannot survive on their pensions. People who spent seven years at the university to become a doctor and cannot survive on $100, or engineers who cannot find a job.
This the country with the unemployment of the elite, because no sphere takes improvements. Today's pensioner, and yesterday's engineer or doctor; these are people who should have been the middle class in the country. So they should be in the forefront.
While the Poles are traveling all over the world, Belarusians are forced to cultivate their gardens to grow cabbage or cucumber to have something to eat in the winter.
It turns out that people who made up the elite of the country and worked for the state for 25 years and now retired, now are beggars. But they worked for the state. I stress they are those who must take a stand and say: "We studied and worked a lot and now we are beggars."
Belarusians have been waiting on the time Lukashenka to resign for almost two decades. He should have resigned after his first term. There are enough outstanding people among Belarusians able to replace him. There will be more intelligent, educated, aristocratic in spirit, we will choose one! I'm sure as soon as Lukashenka resigns, the whole country will have fun and sing.
I believe that the task of Belarusians is to make Lukashenka understand that we do not need him. We want another president! He is a servant, and we are the people.
- How can we do it?
- Young pensioners and "spongers" should go out to the Government House and stand there from 9 am to 6 pm and do it every day. Then Lukashenka becomes nervous and starts making regular mistakes. After all, a person who is wrong and nervous begins to make mistakes. Then changes will come to the country.
I arrived to Ukraine, the country in the state of war. And I saw freedom the Belarusians should take a look at. Go to Kyiv and admire it! People took the streets here and required resignation of Yanukovich, and it happened. Now the country is recovering.