15 July 2020, Wednesday, 22:00
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Nickname ‘Sasha 3%’ Stuck to Lukashenka

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Nickname ‘Sasha 3%’ Stuck to Lukashenka

The Belarusians want sooner change of power.

The situation in Belarus is pre-revolutionary, said Natallia Radzina, Belarusian journalist, editor-in-chief of Charter-97, in her commentary to Gordon publication.

"The situation in Belarus is pre-revolutionary. Many people say that the velvet revolution has already begun. Tens of thousands of people take to the streets of Belarusian cities and line up to sign for independent presidential candidates. First of all for Sviatlana Tsikhanouskaya, wife of a famous Belarusian blogger Siarhei Tsikhanouski, who's arrested and imprisoned. Tsikhanouski is a people's leader, who appeared not long ago. His courage and ability to talk to people evoke great affection among Belarusians. He is called Belarusian Lech Wałęsa, and many people hope for changes with him. They should happen in Belarus in the near future. Not only these long lines demonstrate it. There are pickets almost in every city in the country," said Radzina.

She recalls that an election campaign is being held in Belarus now.

"These actions are legal because of an election campaign and the collection of signatures for presidential candidates is allowed. That is why people have taken advantage of this legal opportunity. This happens in Belarus for the first time. Opposition candidates, of course, took part in the "elections" to be able to communicate with voters, but there were not so many people at those pickets. Today, Belarusians not just stand there, but share their indignation. We can see how much they hate Lukashenka, how they are tired of him and how much they long for sooner change of power," said the journalist.

In her opinion, nicknames given to the dictator by people also demonstrate their attitude towards him.

"The slogan Stop the Cockroach! has become very popular. People bring slippers to pickets. It symbolizes their intention to get rid of Lukashenka. They compare him to a cockroach. It shows how disgusting he looks. It's a logical result of his reign in Belarus. Another popular nickname of Lukashenka is "Sasha three per cent". It relates to independent polls that show his real rating of 1-3%, not more. The dictator was furious and tried to ban online polls. As a result, the nickname "Sasha 3%" stuck to him," said Natallia Radzina.

She notes that both the economic crisis and the coronavirus epidemic have affected the protest mood in the country.

"Many factors played their part: poverty and fear, corruption of officials, impudence and impunity of Lukashenka, who lives on Russian money. There is an economic crisis in the country, a huge number of unemployed people in all regions, low wages, miserable pensions, absurd decrees and laws. Against this background, Lukashenka is building new residences. There are 18 such residences in small Belarus. He holds sports competitions, buys Maybachs, planes, builds ice palaces, and continues to hold tournaments with his participation.

Naturally, it causes rejection among people. However, when the coronavirus epidemic began, everyone saw that Lukashenka was also a direct threat to human life. He is the only dictator in the world who has categorically refused to introduce quarantine," stressed the interlocutor.

Radzina says that the official statistics distort the real picture of morbidity and death rate in the country. Thus, the authorities are trying to hide the true scale of the epidemic.

"It has also served as a trigger for people to realize that the struggle for freedom in Belarus is a struggle for life," said the journalist.

According to her, the confrontation between the government and civil society in Belarus will continue.

"Of course, Lukashenka will not give up so easily, but neither will the Belarusians. There will be a confrontation. I hope there will be people in the country, including in the government and law enforcement agencies, who can stop the usurper. Lukashenka is not a legitimate president. The execution of his criminal orders is a double violation of the law. The situation in Belarus cannot be changed through elections. It means that it will change through street activity," summed up Radzina.