There's a real opportunity to remove the dictator.
This was stated by famous Belarusian film director Yury Khashchevatski in an interview with Charter97.org. He commented on the situation in Belarus in early 2020.
- The year 2019 was full of events. What do you think was the most significant for Belarus? What can serve as an impetus this year?
- It seems to me that this is the re-opening of talks about the "union state" and attempts of Russia to create it.
In my opinion, this is the most complex and hazardous "event" for the Belarusian sovereignty. We should watch out, realise that we may lose the country.
The matter is not only that a country is a treasure for any nation. A treasure in the sense that one can live as one wants. One can live in a cultural environment one builds. One can follow the traditions that one believes are useful.
It's not just that. The point is that the Eastern Horde, which is trying to come here (and has already succeeded in many ways), will change the way of thinking and cultural traditions before destruction. It will ruin everything and leave only lack of self-esteem, slavery, obedience, anger and hatred for everything nearby.
We can see this. We see it both in Russia and those countries where Russia starts to dictate its interests. It happened in Ukraine and Georgia. We have to be very careful and do everything to prevent this.
All this is closely connected to the ruler who has seized power and stuck to the "presidential chair" to ensure carrots for himself and his entourage.
He poses the greatest danger because this very man has been in charge for 25 years. He has driven us into a trap, and now we must somehow fight back. I know it can be done if we all rise against this so-called "brotherhood". I know we will succeed only if we all realise that Lukashenka poses the greatest danger to our sovereignty.
- As of the beginning of 2020, Lukashenka has failed for the first time to agree with Russia upon oil prices for the next year (this issue used to be negotiated before New Year). How would you comment on it?
- This intensifies the pressure from Russia on him. That is, the client was finally required to pay for benefits he had been given for 25 years: the frivolous life of the Belarusian vertical and officials, the continuous money support from Russia (not only in the form of loans but also discounts, abolition of duties and excise taxes), the blind eyes to the Belarusian smuggling, the black and grey schemes created in Belarus (remember the story with thinners and solvents).
As a result, Aliaksandr Ryhoravich is about to pay this bill.
- How can events develop?
- Little will change on the part of Russia. It may seem that Russia wants some kind of deeper integration: to seize Belarus with its six regions.
It makes no use for a huge number of Russian structures and groups. It is better for them to let Belarus remain a "black hole" as it has become for Russian business over these 25 years. Belarus is the one which ensures success for all the black and grey schemes. This is an opportunity to steal huge amounts of money from Russia bypassing the budget, trade in oil and gas, traffic everything, including, as I understand it, even drugs.
It is unlikely that they will destroy such a suitable option. Besides, one should keep in mind that the toughest Western sanctions against Russia, including even disconnection from SWIFT, may be imposed. In this case, the Russian authorities need Belarusian banks as an opportunity to bypass all these restrictions.
Belarus is a kind of "neutral" territory, like Switzerland during the Second World War. Therefore, I guess current events are an idle talk and everything will remain as it is.
Changes can begin only in case of serious changes overthrowing dictators in Russia or Belarus.
In the case of Belarus, I mean the elections. We can try to change the situation because we are going to hold presidential elections in August. I think it's high time for us to prepare for this. Citizens of Belarus should realise that our future, the future of our children and grandchildren, the future of the country is much more important than a vacation in Turkey or summer garden.
Secondly, all efforts should be made to finally control these elections by society. All our political forces must at least agree on this.
- You have mentioned overthrowing elections and events. Do we have a real chance to overthrow the dictator in 2020?
- Yes, we do. After all, many people do not believe that anything can happen today. They do not believe that a Belarusian voter can finally remove Lukashenka from power at elections.
It especially sounds ridiculous from democratically-minded people. I guess this very myth unintentionally created by people is our major obstacle.
Why? Because if we persuade ourselves that the Yermoshyna structures can deceive us, it will come true. We'll give them a green light to do it.
I think it's time for us to quit this depression. We need to come to senses, block all possible polling stations with real observation and finally prove that Lukashenka has been losing all the elections for many years.
This is true. He has been losing to democratic candidates. People just need to see this. It may happen through some tension. Not to sit on a sofa and share on Twitter or forums how to win, but to really observe, defend the real result and so on. This is the minimum to be done.
- What would you like to wish the Belarusians in 2020?
- To cherish themselves, to appreciate their opportunities, to love their families. Not to let anyone fool you. To ignore this deception, broadcast by social media.
To realise that you are neither fools nor idiots. You see everything. You know how they want to trade you in. You should gain self-esteem. In my opinion, the main thing every Belarusian should do in 2020 is to believe in yourself.