15 November 2019, Friday, 14:38
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Pavel Yukhnevich: Hundreds Of Thousands Belarusians Ready To Defend Our Country’s Independence

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Pavel Yukhnevich: Hundreds Of Thousands Belarusians Ready To Defend Our Country’s Independence
Pavel Yukhnevich

The idea of “Pahonia” is laid down in the genetic code of Belarusians.

Parliamentary candidate from the European Belarus civil campaign in the Pushkinski electoral district # 103 in Minsk Pavel Yukhnevich, spoke about his campaign to the European Belarus press-center.

- Tell us about your impressions of the first month of the campaign. What happened, what didn’t?

- According to the results of the first month of the campaign, it did attract attention. The start was worthy, dozens of pickets were held in Minsk. Maybe it did not work out to involve more people, but now, after registration, new supporters come and join in the active work.

- You talked to people at the pickets. What is the most memorable?

- The cheerful mood of people, everyone really liked the flags with the “Pahonia” image Our emblem is not in vain has a long history and is one of the oldest in Europe. The idea of “Pahonia” - the protection of their land - is laid down in the genetic code of Belarusians. This is what unites a huge number of our compatriots, regardless of their political views. A positive reaction of people to national symbols is what I remember most.

I would also like to note the critical attitude of the majority of Minsk residents to today's authorities.

I can say that there was notable reaction not only at the pickets, but also in social networks. People began to react positively when I published information that I would participate in these “elections”. There were many personal messages, both from my friends and from the people I had never met before. The people who supported me in the social networks were the first to join my initiative group.

Everyone understands that the “election” is a dubious event in our country, but at the same time, they understand that we are not just taking part in this campaign. I feel strong support from people.

- Some members of our team were not registered, despite the fact that they complied with all the requirements of the law. Why do you think it happened?

- This is not the first time the authorities hold such “elections”, and they have already worked out a scheme according to which they decide whom to register and whom not. All of us were ready for such a scenario. This is no tragedy, since we don’t have a task to get into the “parliament”, our mission is to be in the streets of the city and communicate with people. I don’t see anything this bad with non-registration, since we will continue working together to achieve common goals.

- What questions and problems will you raise at the stage of agitation?

- First of all, the question of maintaining the independence of our country, because without it, everything else does not matter. Too much alarming information has appeared recently. The atmosphere of secrecy created by the authorities around this topic does not reassure people, on the contrary. Obviously, Russia's strategy is to take over Belarus. It is also obvious that the current authorities do not have an adequate answer to this.

No less acute is the problem of the Astravets NPP. It is being built by the Russian experts, it is located near the border with Lithuania. Almost every day comes information about accidents and violations at the construction site. This is a security issue not only for Belarusians, but also for the entire region.

- You listed the defense of independence as one of the main topics. How can we achieve this, given the secret negotiations between Lukashenka and Putin, as well as the information that appeared in the media?

- Everyone must decide for themselves: whether they want to live in an independent European state, as we are formally considered now, or in some Russian province. If we want to protect independence, we can simply speak our native Belarusian language, wear national symbols, explain to our children, relatives, and colleagues what opportunities are opening up before them in the European free Belarus, how important this is for our future.

Not so long ago I read the opinion of one person who, frankly, is far from politics. He wrote that if Belarus faces a real threat of losing sovereignty, then a minimum of 150 thousand will take to the streets of Minsk. I was very pleased with such optimism. I myself agree that at some critical moment, hundreds of thousands of Belarusians will take to the streets of their cities. Not only the opposition supporters - we have one independence for all.

- You are one of the founders of the legendary Zubr movement, you have carried out many street actions. What do you recommend to a new generation of young activists?

- I can say one thing to all the young activists : Guys, it's time to take responsibility for the country. Nobody but us needs a strong and free Belarus. We are a great nation with centuries-old traditions of struggle and resistance. We challenged the world's strongest empire. We survived, despite 300 years of occupation - there are not many examples of this in history. Can't we really cope with the challenges that exist today?