A new, completely different Belarus is emerging.
A splashy way of Lukashenka's and his inner circle's ruling causes more and more irritation among Belarusians. If earlier people treated ambivalently these "Potemkin villages" and tried to derive some benefit from Dazhynki and other events, now the situation is completely different.
"This is a show-off. They pull on pants, and they tear off," this is how people characterize preparation efforts of local authorities before the arrival of Lukashenka to the Slutsk district.
Is it possible to talk about changes in people's sentiment and what does it mean for those who have consistently fought against the Lukashenka's regime? Charter97.org asked a well-known Belarusian film director Yury Khashchevatski about it.
- In the regions people more often express their thoughts in public. How would you comment on this?
- The first thing I would like to do is to address these people from Slutsk and from other cities and villages. It's very good that they have finally waken up and seen all this essence of power.
It is important not to stop. Many saw this more than 20 years ago, others took part in "elections". Of course, they have recently voted against Lukashenka, but later their votes were stolen. And here comes the key moment: it is necessary to take squares and protest, not just express strong feelings.
It's time to take the path of actions to change something. These pants dwellers of the Slutsk district talk about have become torn because the Square-2010 failed.
It's good that may people now understand that it's better later than never. Protests are needed in order not to wake up wearing these torn pants and to find out that this is partially our fault.
- But there is another side - the authorities. What do these symptoms mean for them?
- There is a proverb: the higher the ape goes, the more he shows his tail. This is about our authority. The more they conduct various inspection trips, the more residences of million dollars they will build for themselves, the clearer a huge social gap will be.
They think that a young PE teacher can survive on $40 a month, and young people do not need higher education; it is enough to teach them how to use a file. The more the authority allows such words and deeds, the clearer a complete failure of their policies is to people.
The authorities have received a clear signal that people are being resented. Some of them definitely understand it, but keep the warning under their belts. The longer this silence lasts, the harder to pull off these torn pants that have become the symbol of the authority. And this collective Sharikov looks ridiculous.
- What is the conclusion for our opposition politicians?
- Strictly speaking, they do not owe us anything: they have a hard life and it is really hard to fight the Lukashenka regime.
But I'd like to say that it is needed to have a finger on the pulse and pay attention to tips the life itself gives. For example, to things that happened in Lida.
We saw the rise of a new, completely different Belarus. For a few days Lida became the very country that we have long dreamed of. Why did it happen? Because educated, civilized people gathered there. They understand what the future of Belarus should be and imagine the value of national symbols, ideals and the native language.
Therefore, politicians should come up with one conclusion - Belarus we are fighting for exists. It is waiting on new steps, a course directed at unification and attraction of the rest of the population to its ideals. Here are a lot of people who are aware of the situation. Now this circle should be extended, people must have excess to unbiased information.
Of course, we must understand that this new Belarus is waiting on our unification. Everyone has his own truth and all contradictions can be postponed. Our common interest is to remove this kolkhoz power that drives us into degradation. To make it collapse, it is worth forgetting about minor things and joining forces. And where there's a will there's a way.