28 November 2021, Sunday, 20:29
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Natallia Radzina: Lukashenka Commits One Self-Shot After Another

Natallia Radzina: Lukashenka Commits One Self-Shot After Another
Natallia Radzina

Belarus can gain freedom in a short time.

Natallia Radzina, editor-in-chief of the website Charter97.org, has become a guest of Mikita Melkazerau's show Life is Raspberry. The conversation turned out to be not just about politics.

- This is the Life is Raspberry Channel. My name is Mikita Melkazerau, and we are in Warsaw, where a strike takes place right outside our window. In democratic countries, it is possible, and nobody is punished for it. Against this background, we are talking with the editor-in-chief of the Charter'97 portal Natallia Radzina. Do you think the Charter’97 site is about journalism?

- About journalism and the struggle for freedom.

- That is, this is journalism plus some kind of civic activism?

- I have always believed that a journalist is obliged to write the truth, he is obliged to tell what is happening in Belarus. And in countries like Belarus, where a dictatorship reigns, the journalist cannot be above the fray. By the way, I once had a conversation with a French journalist, with one of the heads of the France Press agency. It was five years ago, I told him: "To be honest, I am already tired of the attacks of some theorists from journalism that the Charter is not journalism, they do not give two points of view, only the opposition's point of view, there is no official point of view, and so on." First, we give this official point of view. Well, what else can you answer here to these theorists-mentors? To which a French journalist with 40 years of experience told me: “Natasha, no need to pay attention to this, this is all nonsense. Imagine, the Second World War and the press are forced to write that, for example, according to the Jews, 6 million people died during the Holocaust, and according to Hitler and the Nazis - 0. These are the two points of view about the situation in such countries, like Belarus.”

- Do you remember the day when you decided to call Lukashenka exclusively a dictator on your website? Whose decision was it?

- What do you mean whose decision? Lukashenka, in fact, became a dictator back in 1996, when he dispersed parliament, usurped power, held an illegal referendum, and since then, all election campaigns in Belarus, all elections, referendums have not been recognized by the international community as either free or democratic. Therefore, Lukashenka is in fact a dictator. He ended his five-year presidential term in 1999. Since the 1996 referendum was illegal, he ceased to be President of Belarus in 1999. That's it, he's been a dictator ever since.

- Tell me, please, is Nexta such a Charter 2.0 or do you see any differences?

- No, this is a separate independent project. Stsiapan Putsila knows what he is doing, he is doing his job.

- But both these projects, are they more about journalism or activism? Are there any differences?

- Frankly speaking, I don't really care whether people consider me a journalist or an activist. I know that I have to do everything I can to change the situation in the country. And the Charter, Nexta are tools.

- How did the guys from Nexta bring you to work on the film "Lukashenka. Criminal Files"?

- We were the ones who brought Stsiapan in. We talked and decided that it would be nice to make a film that would explain to the younger generation who Lukashenka is. Because many years have passed, and they do not write textbooks. It was necessary to tell the youth about the 26 years (at that time) of the Lukashenka regime. And we helped Stsiapan with the video archive and advice. And we made this film together: he is a young man, we are more experienced, with knowledge. It turned out, in my opinion, a very good film “Lukashenka. Criminal Materials,” which I recommend everyone who does not know what has been happening in Belarus since 1994 to watch.

- Why should people watch it?

- In order to know and understand the nature of Lukashism.

- Why do you criticize the departed editorial offices, which continue to work according to their Belarusian metrics?

- To be honest, I don’t understand why, if your colleagues are in prison, and you've gone somewhere safe, you don't fight for their release or even air elementary things, like announcing a pre-strike state. It's not about journalism at all, it's not about position. What kind of metrics are these?

- Aren't the arrested colleagues a deterrent, in your opinion?

- As soon as the Charter was attacked, we became even more active and worked even better. Because if you take a step back, you will be forced to take one more step back, then one more step back, and you, in the end, will hit the wall and will be shot. Therefore, you go on the offensive, only go on the offensive. And when they killed Aleh Biabenin, when I went to prison, then came out, when we were blocked - we continued the offensive. You can't give up, you can't retreat.

- How did Sviatlana Tsikhanovskaya appear in your life?

- She called me in the summer of 2020 and told me that she was under pressure, that the authorities were threatening to take her children away from her if she did not withdraw her candidacy from the elections. Of course, I was surprised because I had never met her before. I knew Siarhei Tsikhanouski, but I didn't know his wife.

- Did you know Siarhei over the phone or did you know that he was there?

- We were in touch, we communicated because I noticed that such an interesting blogger appeared somewhere in the fall of 2019.

- Did you like what he does, the content?

- I was interested in what he does. Because I saw that he travels to the regions, talks with people, discusses the situation, the difficulties they face, and it seemed to me that this is a very interesting format. Because at that time, there was a lack of bloggers like that, of that kind of information. We contacted him and began to talk, communicate, discuss his videos. He sometimes asked for advice, he was not very well versed in the political situation at first. And then I saw that he was very actively involved in the struggle. And in general, I respect Siarhei Tsikhanouski, because he became one of the engines of the revolution.

- And what do you remember most from this communication, from its features?

- He is lively, active, and energetic. He was curious, everything was interesting, he looked at the world with his eyes wide open, and it was obvious that he really wanted to change the situation.

- That is, if you imagine that he was allowed to participate in the elections, is he your candidate?

- I think that if there was an opportunity for those people who are worthy to become the president of Belarus to run for office, I think we would all have a huge choice. But you must understand that many were not allowed to participate in the 2020 elections, including former presidential candidates who went to jail, opposition leaders who went through imprisonment, and, of course, all worthy candidates were not allowed in 2020.

- That is, if we imagine that we would have a real democracy, then the race would be real.

- Of course, I am convinced that it will be so. In fact, there are a lot of worthy people in Belarus, a lot of strong leaders. Unfortunately, many of them are in prisons today, but there are a lot of these people, and we'll have a very rich choice.

- OK. Let's imagine that everyone has now been released, and you vote today. Who would you vote for?

- But I want to look at these candidates, I want to read their programs. Then I will make a decision.

- Okay, about Sviatlana Tsikhanouskaya. It's some evening in Warsaw, and you get a call from an unknown number. Yes?

- Yes, they called me and said that there is such a difficult situation, talk to Sviatlana. Her assistants called. I talked to her and saw that the woman, of course, was scared, that she was in a difficult situation, and I offered help - to take the children abroad.

- Were you asked about it right away?

- No, she said that she didn’t know what to do in this situation, because they were threatening to take the children away, maybe she needed to withdraw and really not participate in these elections. I told Sviatlana that she shouldn't stop. This would be a betrayal of those people who signed for her; Siarhei Tsikhanouski wanted to keep the campaign going, and I suggested a way to keep the children safe and continue participating in the elections.

- How did this evacuation take place?

- I won't tell you everything now. It wasn't that easy. But there were agreements with Lithuania, the Lithuanian diplomats provided comprehensive assistance, they managed to get visas and get Sviatlana's mother and children out.

- You understand that, from the outside, it looks very strange, at least that a woman trusts a complete stranger with her children and her mother.

- I think I was not a complete stranger to Sviatlana, because I knew her husband, and I am somehow known in Belarus. I'm a public person, and if I promise to do something, I'll try to fulfill it.

- How did you communicate after that? You did what you promised. What were your subsequent interactions?

- We talked, discussed the campaign. I cannot say that the communication was very close; nevertheless, we discussed some key points right up to Sviatlana's departure from Minsk to Vilnius.

- And what happened then?

- Then I stopped communicating with Sviatlana because I did not see the determination and desire to act, even from abroad. Because I called on Sviatlana to go on strike in August, to urge people not to go to work after the protest. At that time, this could radically, in my opinion, change the situation. She refused to do so.

- Okay, but how did you leave things? That you understood her, or you didn’t understand her and decided to end communication altogether, or did you just not declare it?

- I just saw that the person is not decisive enough, not independent enough, and chose not to communicate anymore.

- Now you, if I understand correctly, are very far from the headquarters?

- I am a journalist and do not have to be close to the headquarters.

- With your neutral, let's call it, attitude to Tsikhanouskaya, can you name her competitive advantages nonetheless?

- Sviatlana is a woman who found herself in difficult circumstances, a woman who was certainly not ready for this. Nevertheless, she committed a serious, very courageous step - she took part in these elections, and it deserves unconditional respect. Sviatlana Tsikhanouskayahas already gone down in history, it seems to me that this is a lot. But although she remains a symbol, I do not believe that she can manage the difficult situation that has developed in Belarus. I don't see any really strong initiatives from the headquarters during the year.

- Explain, please, to me two of your phrases about Tsikhanouskaya. First, she and her advisers need to understand that nothing comes of anything.

- Because it is necessary to work, to really work with people. I do not see this work from the side of the headquarters.

- That is, you're talking about this emptiness.

- I don't see real work. I see that the headquarters has turned into such a small NGO (non-governmental organization - ed.) and nothing more.

- And the second phrase: I urge the new leaders to take a more principled position and travel less as a tourist.

- The point is, first of all, that it is necessary to insist on toughening sanctions against the Lukashenka regime, to insist on monitoring the observance of these sanctions. Because there are already warning signs, we see that politicians in the West do not really want to impose sanctions, business is suffering losses, the coronavirus epidemic has affected the whole world, a certain crisis is brewing, and they don’t really want to implement even those sanctions that have already been imposed.

That is why, if opposition leaders meet with Western politicians, they must constantly keep on the agenda the topic of economic sanctions, which must be constantly strengthened, and their implementation must be monitored. So that there are no loopholes through which Lukashenka's oligarchs and enterprises can try to get away from these measures. This is what the leaders of the opposition, who travel the world today, should do.

- Are you somehow controlling or diminishing your criticism of the new opposition politicians so that it does not turn into some kind of split and "bulbasrach" ("potato fighting" in Belarusian)?

- I am against splits, of course. But we must objectively assess what we have and discuss it honestly and directly. If a politician fails, then he must leave. And it seems to me that one should not be afraid to discuss this because we do not have enough discussions in the Belarusian society, honest, open discussions.

- Are we ready for it now?

- I think so. And we should just discuss it. Because if we want changes, if we really want to resolve the situation which has developed, we must be honest, first of all. Both to ourselves and to one another.

- What is your thesis now? You are saying that Tsikhanouskaya is not coping well, which means that she must go.

- Come on, we will not discuss Tsikhanouskaya. I do not consider Sviatlana Tsikhanouskaya a national leader, I do not consider her the leader of the revolution. I consider her a brave woman who took a serious step, but she was absolutely not ready and does not have to be ready to be a politician. This, in my opinion, is quite obvious.

- For more than 10 years, you have been talking about sanctions and their great importance. Why?

- Because it hits the regime, it is a real financial blow to the regime. How does Lukashenka get rich? First of all, due to the sale of oil products to the West from Russian oil, the sale of potash fertilizers. The lion's share of this money does not actually go to the Belarusian people, the lion's share ends up directly in the pockets of Lukashenka and his family - a real and so-called family. Often this business is under the control of the special services and the KGB, especially the oil business. Therefore, if the West hits these specific articles, then it causes, first of all, damage to the regime.

- A person who looks at it from the outside. That is, conditionally, Radzina has been advocating for sanctions for 10 years. What's happening? Lukashenka is here, Lukashenka is getting rich.

- The sanctions have just been introduced, and they were introduced, by the way, thanks to him. He greatly contributed to this. By landing the Ryanair plane, and by provoking the migration crisis today and waging a de facto hybrid war against NATO countries. That is, Lukashenka himself provoked the introduction of serious economic sanctions against his criminal regime. And this, of course, makes me happy.

- That is, do you support this thesis that the most successful opposition politician is Lukashenka?

- In principle, yes, our main ally in the matter of the revolution is Aliaksandr Ryhoravich Lukashenka. Because he really commits one self-shot after another.

- Behind the scenes, we recalled the broadcast of Belsat, yours with Milinkevich, when you staged a fighting game. His logic was this: he was against the sanctions then and spoke about our dependence on Russia. If we follow his logic, our dependence on Russia is even greater now. Despite this, you are still standing your ground.

- Undoubtedly. The sanctions have not yet entered into full force, they must be continued. And we see that Russia is also reacting to this. Russian businessmen and officials are extremely worried about the imposition of these sanctions because this could reverberate back on them. By the way, when was Putin last time in Minsk? He does not come to Belarus after 2020. Right now, in October, the EAEU and CIS summits were to be held in Minsk. Putin did not come, the heads of state of these associations did not come. That is, Lukashenka is an outcast, a pariah, even Putin and the leaders of the post-Soviet countries do not want to meet with him.

- He is unwilling to come, but he still...

- Well, he still supports him, because I think he is very afraid of the example of the Belarusian revolution. That is, he is at a certain dead end: on the one hand, he is afraid of the victory of the revolution, on the other hand, he is a freeloader, on whom, according to Russian media, more money is spent than on all Russian healthcare. Now, on NTV, they were actively discussing whether it is worth supporting this pariah, this outcast at all, and how much money it costs for the Russian budget. That is, in Russia, they are already beginning to ask these questions directly and openly. Maybe it's time to stop?

- You mentioned Belarus, singling it out along with Ukraine. They say that if democracy wins in these countries, it will be a global victory. Why are Belarus and Ukraine so special in this context?

- Because the events in our countries affect the entire post-Soviet space. If Belarus becomes free, it will have an impact on Russia itself. And completely different processes will begin there, and people will rise. Perhaps this is exactly what Putin is afraid of. But the Belarusian example is very contagious.

- How do you react to complaints like: "Here you are, Radzina, sitting in Warsaw and talking. Enough already, what about us there, in Minsk?"

I don't respond to that.

- Why?

- Because everyone is doing their job.

- Nevertheless, I observe a very complex process of internal strife, at least now. What to do when this internal discontent is multiplying?

- We have to be understanding. We have to understand that it is hard for people there, that people are scared, and their irritation is natural and normal.

People still try, no matter how, to support each other. Recently, an entrepreneur from Pinsk told me that even the grandmothers' neighbors come to his wife and ask him to show them how Telegram works, how to subscribe to telegram channels because they want to know what is happening in Belarus. Then, too, a wonderful story was recently told about the so-called "yabatska," who had stickers all over his car in support of Lukashenka, something about green flags. He has removed them all now, and not because he changed his mind, but he is simply afraid; he met such rejection from his neighbors and acquaintances that he realized that it was already unsafe.

- Listen, how objective is this picture?

- I am a journalist, and I take into account different factors, I read different media, I talk with different people. Well, people suddenly didn't like Lukashenka after 2020. So he beats them up, arrests them, arranges lawlessness, prices rise, wages fall, mass unemployment grows, and people suddenly fell in love with Lukashenka? Why? You have to look at things realistically.

- You noted that you do not consider Babaryka your candidate, but you actively respected him. Why?

- Because the man risked everything, his whole life, his loved ones, his family, and went against Lukashenka. This deserves respect.

- Another quote from you: “Of course, it would have been possible to understand who Lukashenka was several decades earlier, but the fact that Viktar Babaryka challenged the tyrant and announced his intention to become president is certainly a brave and respectable act.” About several decades - like some kind of grudge or complaint?

- No, but, indeed, a lot of people in Belarus could have understood who Lukashenka is even earlier. Some people objectively did not notice it, some people thought that he could exist outside of politics, some people thought that he does his small things and helps them, some people simply worked for the regime. But a lot of people in 2020 did have an epiphany and started to do something to change the situation. That deserves respect, I'm glad it finally happened.

- But there is some condescension in your words.

- No. These are already your insecurities, there is no condescension. I am very glad that the number of active people who went to protest has grown so much. This is actually happiness.

- Explain in simple terms, formulate why it is important not to allow division into the seemingly old position and the new one?

- Because you shouldn't separate people at all. We are all in the same boat now, we are all against the Lukashenka regime, we need to fight together and not divide people into old and new. We saw who Lukashenka was back in the 1990s, we realized that we had to fight him, we tried to warn the others so this hell would not come in 2020. We have experience - we are ready to share it, but, at the same time, we are very happy that more and more people, such a huge number of people, have finally joined us. We are all one people.

- The question from Leopold the Cat: why are the headquarters not united?

- Because there are no headquarters. Babaryka's headquarters has not existed for a long time. There are several people who are either in Warsaw or in Vilnius. Tsikhanouskaya's headquarters today, as I said, is a small NGO with a small number of people who do not unite democratic forces today but rather try to subjugate them, judging by the information I receive from various Belarusian politicians. Valery Tsapkala's headquarters seems to consist of him and his respected wife. Yes, of course, they have people who work in Belarus, but they are not visible today and cannot speak publicly.

So this is a myth. There are no headquarters. There is the Belarusian opposition, there is the Belarusian people, which today oppose Lukashenka. There are a lot of leaders, there are a lot of people. Look, even an appeal in support of the general strike was signed by a huge number of opposition leaders, sports stars, journalists, and creative people. And this list is constantly growing. Look at how many leaders there are in Belarus.

- So how to unite them?

- To understand that our goal is to get rid of the Lukashenka regime as soon as possible. That's all. Just unite people in action for one goal.

- How would you formulate why is Lukashenka an enemy of the Belarusian culture?

- Well, because, in general, he is an enemy of civilization. It's a barbarian. Initially, the Belarusian language and Belarusian culture were alien to him and any identity of Belarusians was hostile to him. Because a person who knows his story and language - he respects himself. And Lukashenka always tried to turn people into such a thoughtless herd that he wanted to subjugate, the ideology of the shot of vodka and a pork crackling, which he preached and still preaches, is the main thing which he hoped will help him stay in power.

But he did not succeed, because in 2020 we saw how the national consciousness of people awoke. And this happened, among other things, because Lukashenka was opposed by courageous people for tens of years, because there has always been opposition in Belarus, there have always been strong leaders, people who sacrificed their lives, their freedom for the sake of the country, who tried to convey the truth about what is happening; they wrote, among other things, history textbooks, told the Belarusians what kind of nation we are, who we are, because they don't teach this in schools and universities.

- Look, you are talking about history now; some very Russian trend has started: they began to actively fight fascism. It seems to me that this comes from Russian propaganda. Do you think the presence of a large neighbor, the presence of a large neighbor, its breath, has a detrimental effect on the country?

- Undoubtedly. This influence has always been detrimental over the past centuries. First, when we were part of the Russian Empire, then under the Soviet Union, and finally, when Lukashenka came. He was and is the conductor of the Russian imperial policy. He has always shown loyalty to Putin and the entire Russian system. In this situation, Belarusians just need to realize that we are a European nation and pay more attention to studying our own roots, our history. It's very interesting to know who your ancestors were. National identity gives you strength, self-respect.

- You or someone else once said, and I picked up this phrase: “Charter is one of the oldest and largest websites in Belarus, which actively and openly fought Russian propaganda.” Explain to me, please, how exactly did you fight it?

- First of all, we have always written about what is actually happening in Russia. For example, I have no illusions about Putin. It is absolutely clear that this is the same dictator as Lukashenka, and we see that, if Belarus was initially a training ground for Putin, where repressive measures against the opposition were applied, which were subsequently taken in Russia, now we see that the processes are going in parallel. Sometimes they even overtake each other.

- In your opinion, these experiments that have been going on here, did they just sort of happen, or were they deliberate?

- They were deliberate. Because Russia used the example of Belarus to see what else could be done, what other repressive laws could be introduced against the opposition, and looked at how the people inside the country would react to this, and how the West would react to it. Unfortunately, until 2020, the West often turned a blind eye to what was happening in Belarus. This concerned not only the falsification of the election results, but also the use of repressive measures against non-governmental organizations, the closure of independent media outlets, and the blocking of independent websites. It was all there. First in Belarus, then it happened in Russia.

- Well, as I understand it, it's the same with the events of 2020 and the protests. How do you formulate the difference between Russians and Belarusians for yourself?

- Belarusians are a completely different nation. We are Europeans. Yes, we are neighbors, we are forced to coexist together, but we are separate countries, and this is evident from the mentality. Belarusians are European, calm people, mainly of Balto-Slavic origin. It seems to me that it is quite obvious for Belarusians that we are different from Russians.

- Not for everyone.

- Well, maybe not for some, but, for the most part, yes. For example, although I was born in the Soviet Union, I've heard from my parents since childhood that we are different from the Russians.

- You were born in Palessie, you are different from Belarusians.

- I have always considered myself Belarusian, my parents also consider themselves Belarusians.

- Following the example of our neighbors who left the Soviet Union, should we, for example, disconnect Russian television in Belarus?

- While this rabid propaganda is going on there, of course, it is necessary to disconnect from it. I think that when the situation changes, this should happen.

- When you gave an interview to the Ukrainian journalist Alesia Batsman, she asked you a question: who is loved more in Belarus - Lukashenka or Putin? Let me also ask you: who is loved more in Belarus: Lukashenka or Putin?

- I hope Belarus doesn't like either Lukashenka or Putin. But almost everyone hates Lukashenka - it is a fact for me. The overwhelming majority is against him today. There is a rejection by the whole society. As for Putin, again I admit the influence of Russian propaganda, I even admit that some people may have the feeling that, if Lukashenka is a monster, then Putin may seem the lesser evil against this background, but this is a mistake. You can't choose between two evils. In fact, we need to strive for freedom, we need to strive for independence and stop looking back at our eastern neighbor.

- You very often talk about the fierce and mass hatred of Lukashenka. I think you even mentioned a figure: 80 percent. But why doesn't anything happen?

- It's a forced phase right now. Because, for various reasons, it wasn't possible to win in 2020 and, indeed, Lukashenka is holding a lot of people in fear right now. So far, there has been no public outcry in the country, but I am convinced that critical mass is building up, and there is bound to be an explosion. Pressure on this regime must be exerted both from outside and inside the country. There is pressure from the outside.

- You understand that this is the basis for the conflict between those who left and those who stayed. That, they say, Radzina, you are now sitting in Warsaw and calling us to go on strike in Minsk. Can't you find a conflict here?

- Firstly, there is no conflict between the people who left and the people who stayed. We are all doing one common cause, and the people who have left are doing a lot to make Belarus free. As for the rest, as a person who lived in Belarus for a very long time and went through different things, who had a lot of losses, I can say that a person has no right to surrender never and under any circumstances. And while we have a chance, we must fight.

- What do you think, the biography of which current figure will definitely need to be studied by children at school in a few years?

- They'll need to know about their heroes. They will include Mikalai Statkevich, Pavel Seviarynets, Yauhen Afnahel, Siarhei Tsikhanouski, Viktar Babaryka, and a huge number of people who are now in prison. I think at least three thousand people are political prisoners in Belarus at the moment. We have to study and know the biographies and stories of these people.

We should be proud of the heroes and remember them. For example, Poles value their heroes very much, a huge number of books have been written about these people, there are thousands of them. People know them, people read about them, they continue to write books about them. And we have a lot of such heroes. These are, of course, Yury Zakharenka, Henadz Karpenka, Viktar Hanchar, Viktar Ivashkevich. It is very important to remember all these people.

A huge number of heroes were in Belarus, and we know very little about them. Therefore, I think that writers, journalists, historians have a lot of work to do, and we must, by learning the nation, by learning history, learn ourselves. I think it is very important for us to learn to appreciate people, to learn to appreciate each other, and to be proud of our heroes.

- Should we turn Akrestina into a museum?

- Yes, probably.

- Why?

- Because people have to remember what happened there. For example, in Lithuania in the building of the KGB, there is a museum of genocide, and in the basement of this museum, they preserved the prison that existed there, in which political prisoners were kept, where they were tortured, where they were shot. And I went down there.

- You had an interview there.

- Yes, I had an interview with Deutsche Welle. I went down to this prison, and it made an overwhelming impression, I walked along these corridors, these cells... My own memories came over me, I couldn't hold back the tears, but it's necessary, people should remember, people shouldn't forget what was going on.

- You had the same feeling in the Stasi prison?

- And in the Stasi prison, but that was a few years later. It was already easier to experience, but all the same, the prison in me evokes certain associations. It was difficult, of course, to be there.

- Name three people whose portraits should be placed on Belarusian money.

- It can be the leaders of the Belarusian People's Republic, it can be the princes of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania.

- Why is it all so minimized? Is this a deliberate policy of Lukashenka?

- Yes, because there are no heroes besides him. He wanted the Belarusians to know nothing, remember nothing so that Belarus would be associated only with Lukashenka. And, by the way, it was like that for a long time, but in 2020, there was a turning point, and now Belarus is associated with a huge number of people under the white-red-white flag - brave, courageous, beautiful people. And this is the kind of Belarus it should be.

- When will Belarus be a part of Russia, if everything continues as it is?

- If we don't fight and stand up for our national interests, stand up for freedom and democracy, then the economic crisis will intensify and Lukashenka may sell Belarus to Russia, it is possible.

- Whose is Crimea?

- Of course, Ukrainian.

- Do you want it to be like in Ukraine?

- I want us to have 6 presidents, like in Ukraine at the moment. So far, we have only one dictator. In Ukraine, yes, people fought for freedom. I want people to have a choice like Ukrainians do today.

- Do you want it to be like in Poland?

- Yes, I like this country. I see that the economy is quite strong here, private business is developed, a strong society knows its history, its roots. Therefore, yes, I would like Belarus to be more like Poland.

- How much will Schengen cost in the new Belarus?

- I really hope for a visa-free regime.

- What part of Belarusians will not return from emigration?

- Some part will prefer to stay, but I think that these people will not lose their ties with their homeland and will help the country.

- What results will the EU and US sanctions lead to?

- I really hope that they will put serious pressure on the regime and will be forced to make concessions. But, at the same time, pressure is needed within the country. If there is a complex - pressure outside and pressure inside - we will win.

- What to do if you no longer believe in victory?

- Try to believe, you must never give up under any circumstances.

- What role does Aliaksandr Lukashenka play in the historical process?

- The dictator.

- What role does Natallia Radzina play in the historical process?

- A journalist who tried to write the truth.

- Your colleagues from the Russian media once asked you: have you, Belarusians, learned any lessons from 2020, and do you want to become tougher? Do we want to?

- You see, the problem is that when they say that peaceful protests have not worked, and Belarus is an example of this, I do not agree. Because peaceful protest does work. Belarus simply made systematic mistakes in 2020.

First of all, revolutions are not done on weekends. We shouldn't have left the streets. We had to stay and go out every day. Then I could never understand why people had to go to Stele, what is the sacred meaning of it? People should have gone to the Belarusian television and demand airtime. With the number of people who took to the streets at that time, given that then BT employees themselves went on strike or resigned in protest, it would have been possible to get airtime. If we had achieved the broadcast, the whole country would have stood up. It would be a completely different situation.

100-200 thousand people should have gone to the Government House and stood there every day, demanding negotiations with the authorities. And this did not happen. Therefore, when we say that the peaceful protest in Belarus did not work - we are talking about different things.

We should talk about specific miscalculations and mistakes in the strategy, about the fact that the so-called new leaders were not decisive enough. That the Coordination Council confused rather than coordinated. That there were vague demands. That it was not clear to people what to do. That the telegram channels made people walk 50-60 kilometers every Sunday without purpose. That's what happened then, and it certainly shouldn't happen again in the future.

- How do you react when the authorities think they have won?

- I don’t react at all, it’s ridiculous. Because they definitely lost. The question now is how much time they have left, and here it all depends on us.

- How do you react when the authorities consider the mass emigration their victory?

- These people will return. People are very active today, and I can say that, in previous years, when Belarusians left the country, a smaller percentage were active. And now I meet a lot of people who are eager to return, do not get jobs in new places, and try to do everything possible to bring change closer.

- You once quoted: "Emigration is the most unfortunate decision for a person who wants to change the world." Explain to me how this fits in with your current life and, in general, with our current situation?

- Now the world has changed, and wherever you are, you can do a lot for your country. The world is open, there is the Internet. The things which were difficult to do, for example, for Soviet dissidents who were forcibly kicked out of the country, deported, stripped of their Soviet citizenship, are much easier to do today if you communicate with your compatriots. So, everything has changed, and I think it's important not to give up, not to fall into despondency, depression, but still look for ways to help people in Belarus.

- You said, about your emigration, that, as a matter of principle, you're not going to get citizenship here or buy a home. Why?

- Because I want to return. I want to have a home in Belarus, to retain Belarusian citizenship and, I think, I have very little to wait.

- And what is not long?

- To all those who emigrate now, I say: you're lucky, you'll spend much less time outside my homeland.

- The Poles there already joked that it's hard only for the first 10 years.

- In general, this is what the Solidarity activists said back in the 1980s in Poland. And it was about a prison term. That is, it’s hard to sit in prison for the first ten years, and then you get used to it. But this also applies, in general, to emigration. After ten years, of course, you take it easier than in the first years. In the first years, of course, it is very difficult to be away from your country, from your close friends and family, it's difficult, I really sympathize with you. But, believe me, everyone who left now - you will be back much sooner. Or rather, we will all be back together. I think, in a short time.

- A question, the answer to which may be useful to everyone. And those who stayed, and those who are here. Have you ever laid at the bottom of an emotional pit and thought you'd never go home?

- There are all sorts of moments, but, fortunately, they were temporary. I understand that such a condition can happen. It's important to deal with it, it's important to get out, put on sneakers, and walk a few kilometers at a brisk pace, walk, walk, air out your head. That helps. That is, it is important to do something, to come, for example, to some cafe, get a coffee, and be among people. Not to remain in this situation alone in any case, not to lie on the couch, and not to be sad. You have to do something, you have to go out.

- What do you miss the most?

- First, of course, my hometown of Kobryn. I really want to sit with my parents by the fire near the house, we had a tradition. We could chat until three o'clock in the morning, just sit and chat. Evening, campfire, gazebo, when it's warm and nice. I want to walk the streets of Minsk. Walk by the places where I studied, where I lived in the dorms, where we hung out as students with friends, mostly central Minsk. I hope it all happens.

- "The main thing is to believe in yourself, and the dictatorship will inevitably collapse." Where do you get such optimism from?

- Because I know that the dictatorship will inevitably collapse. This is a historical process, all dictatorships fell. There are no eternal dictatorships.

- Is Radzina a personal enemy of Lukashenka?

- I have no idea, I have to ask Lukashenka.

- What do you feel when you hear this phrase?

- Honestly, I don't feel anything.

- Isn't it honorable? How did people start calling you a personal enemy, and how did it happen?

- Again, how I ended up on his list of personal enemies is a question to Lukashenka. It seems to me that this list is quite long for him, but for paranoids, it is generally endless.

- Have you ever crossed paths?

- We crossed paths somehow in 2001 when the official registration of the presidential candidate was taking place at the Palace of the Republic. Personally, I did not communicate with him.

- Tell me, how it was?

- It was casual. At that time, he was still present at the presentation of the certificates of the presidential candidate; there was a joint candidate from the opposition Uladzimir Hancharyk then and some more candidates-extras. Yarmoshyna was handing out certificates in the Palace of the Republic, and we, journalists, were watching everything. I remember only the angry look in his eyes when he was looking at the people standing in front of him. It was already obvious then, of course, what kind of person he was.

- Right then?

- Well, of course. In 2001, excuse me, the opposition leaders have already been killed, Viktar Hanchar, Yury Zakharenka, Anatol Krasouski have already been killed. In 2000, Dzmitry Zavadski, our colleague, operator, also disappeared.

- Is Lukashenka a personal enemy of Radzina?

- No.

- Why?

- The feeling is too strong. In fact, I know that Lukashenka is evil. I know that Belarus needs to get rid of him. I know he is a criminal. I see what he does with people. Of course, he must be punished for this.

- From your interview: "What will I say to Lukashenka when I am alone in the room with him? That I feel sorry for him." Explain why.

- This interview was given before 2020. When I talked about this, I thought that he would definitely go to jail, end up badly, and it is not known whether he will survive. Now I'm not sorry.

- What will happen?

- Nothing good. He will certainly be punished for what he has done. There are no good options for him.

- Let me ask you this question again. If now you find yourself alone with Lukashenka in some room, what will you tell him?

- To leave. What can you tell him? You see, it's useless to talk to people like Lukashenka. With his entourage, yes. And when there are calls for talks now, I support them. But with Lukashenka himself, I think, a dialogue is impossible. He is fixated on himself, he is not sane, he is not able to hear the interlocutor. What should I talk to him about?

- So, as a journalist, you wouldn't be interested in an interview with Lukashenko right now?

- No. I think that Lukashenka will have talks with investigators.

- You say that negotiations with Lukashenka are impossible. Perhaps negotiations are possible with his entourage. At the same time, you consider them slaves.

- I hope that not everyone is a slave. I hope that there are sensible people there. The bureaucratic apparatus we have, after all, is vast. And I hope that they will finally realize that Lukashenka is a dead end. In general, many people already understand that. It is absolutely obvious. Because officials, for the most part, in my opinion, are now in a state of such an Italian strike, and I think they need to think now about their future, about the future of their children, their families, and finally take some definite steps to change the situation. And the right thing to do in this situation is to negotiate with the people.

- Who do you think is capable of this from Lukashenka’s apparatus?

- From the top officials, from the ministers who are heard, today there is hardly anyone because they are already too dirty. Therefore, I hope that these can be their deputies, middle-level people, maybe even the military. I'm not talking about GUBOPiK and AMAP now. I hope that, after all, most of the power structures do not participate in direct repression. But they should also understand that these units, which are not so numerous in reality, stain the reputation of absolutely all law enforcement officers. Now is the time to think about it, to move to the side of the people, to stop carrying out criminal orders, to stop participating in the suppression of dissent.

- Why is Lukashenka so afraid of losing power?

- This is a very insecure person, he does not imagine himself outside the power, and, of course, he is afraid of responsibility for crimes.

- Do you think he at least roughly understands how many lives he influenced?

- It is unlikely that such people are aware of something.

- Nexta or Charter?

- Let all flowers bloom.

- Why?

- Because the more independent media in Belarus, the better.

- Putin or Lukashenka?

- None of them.

- Why?

- Because both are dictators. Two of a kind, as the people say.

- Minsk or Kobryn?

- I love Kobryn very much, but I prefer to live and work in Minsk.

- Tsikhanouskaya or Tsikhanouski?

- I think we will have a wider choice.

- Valery Tsapkala or Veranika Tsapkala?

- By the way, I recently talked to both of them. In my opinion, wonderful people.

- Warsaw or Vilnius?

- Minsk.

- Prison or emigration?

- Freedom.

- Sanctions or negotiations?

- At a certain stage - sanctions, and then, possibly, negotiations.

- Statkevich or Sannikau?

- Both are very decent people, I cannot choose.

- Babaryka or Latushka?

- Babaryka.

- Why?

- Because he took a risk and lost a lot, from a prestigious job to the fact that his son ended up in prison. That is why I respect Viktar Dzmitryevich.

- Did you have a rough idea of what would happen on the 2010 square?

- I believed that a lot of people would come out, I knew that the Belarusians would protest against the falsifications. Lukashenka also lost those elections; he falsified the results of all election campaigns since 2001. I went there and knew that I would see a lot of people who did not want to live under a dictatorship. And I was not mistaken, there were really a lot of people.

- Did you expect that there would be such a hell?

- I anticipated it because I did not expect anything good from this government. Therefore, I cannot say that I was very much surprised.

- Your quote: "The Special Forces were hitting me on the head. If I hadn't been dragged away from under their boots, they would have killed me for sure. Looks like a concussion, but gotta work." How did all this happen? From the very beginning, you are in the square...

- Yes, I was in the front rows in the square, because, as a journalist, I wanted to see what was happening. We did online reporting on the website. I was constantly on the phone reporting what was going on.

- It should be noted, it was still a text broadcast.

- Yes, then it was still text broadcasts. I was, respectively, in the first row, and when they threw AMAP officers with shields against the people and began to beat them, I ended up under the feet of these AMAP officers, fell to the ground one of the first, and they started hitting my head and entire body with their boots and truncheons. I remember that I was still without a hat, I covered my head as best I could, but at some point, fortunately, one of the protesters simply grabbed my jacket and pulled me on the ice from under the boots of the AMAP officers. I, unfortunately, do not know this guy, but he saved my life.

I had a very headache, I understood that all the blows were inflicted on the head. I should have probably gone to the doctor, but I didn’t do this, because I had to work, and I went to the editorial office.

- And you walked by yourself?

- Two guys helped me to go. And I remember there was a tremendous moment when someone said: "Let her through, the Charter is coming." And I remember the voices: "The Charter is coming, the Charter is coming." And then people parted and began to applaud. And so I walk through this column, they lead me, people clap - it was, of course, amazing. A lifelong memory.

When I walked through Independence Square, I turned around and saw that the paddy wagon was already arriving. People were being taken away en masse and beaten up, and I realized that I would not go to any doctors, although ambulances were standing nearby. I ran to the editorial office because I understood that I had to write. And I was already working until 4 am when they came to arrest me.

- How were you detained?

- They came to the editorial office, first began to call, then knock, then they began to break down the doors. In the end, I opened the doors, officers of the KGB Alpha special forces, armed, in bullet-proof vests and balaclavas, burst in. And one man in civilian clothes who showed his KGB documents. First, they took our documents, and then all were arrested. Volunteers and journalists were taken to the ROVD, and I was taken directly to the KGB prison.

- Look, on December 21, if I'm not mistaken, it became known that you were detained. A week later, the parents received word that you feel bad, that your ears are bleeding. Was that how it was?

- Yes. There was a severe headache, I asked to call an ambulance. They eventually called a few days later, but the doctors were not allowed to take me to the x-ray scan. Although they insisted and said that it was necessary to run a scan because there might be a concussion, but they refused.

- While you were in prison, they tried to recruit you.

- It i.s true

- How did it happen?

- It was different, because the investigator, for his part, worked, but the investigative actions were conducted in parallel by the head of the prison and operatives - already without lawyers. Although with the investigator, the lawyer rather fulfilled the function of furniture, because he had no right to advise you, I could not ask him questions, be alone with him. It was extremely difficult to communicate with him in any way.

I remember an investigator for some reason took me to another office one day, put me on a chair behind some cupboard, and said: “Natallia, you must write a petition addressed to Lukashenka.” I say: "Why? Why?" "You must ask him for pardon." I say: "I will not ask him for pardon. Who is conducting the investigation? KGB. So, investigate, what does Lukashenka have to do with it?"

And then the head of the prison began to recruit me directly because he said that I should sign a paper on cooperation with the KGB. Otherwise, I will have at least 5 years in prison, but if I sign the paper, they will give me valuable information as a journalist, and I will constantly have insights. I said: "No, definitely not."

- Is this the same person who promised that you will not have children?

- Yes, it's the same person. These threats were also made during the recruitment process. It was, in fact, one conversation, and these arguments from his side were also heard. And there were threats to my parents.

- When a man tells the woman that she will be in jail so that she will not have children, with what feeling does he do this, with what appeal? Is he aggressive?

- He's a bastard, just a bastard. He said it in a calm tone, for him it was a usual thing.

- You had house arrest after prison. Is this also some kind of special torture or not?

- Rather, it was such a grave state of uncertainty. Because, first of all, you didn't know how it would end. First of all, I was very worried about my parents, who at first were very happy that I seemed to be released and came to them. And then, the more time passed, the more worried they became because the time of court was approaching. They understood that anything could happen. Moreover, I was constantly bothered. If they did not like something on the website, the police came to me without warning, they gave me 15 minutes to get ready and took me to the local KGB office, where they threatened me and told me not to write this, not to do this, otherwise, we would bring me back to jail.

There was an attempt to pressure, an attempt to censor the site. For example, I was forbidden to write articles with value judgments. But I still continued to work, give interviews, and write about the fact that we cannot stop. It was necessary to save political prisoners, sanctions from the West were needed. It was impossible to be silent in this situation. But I understood that, of course, sooner or later, they might find an opportunity to press me or shut me down. And I realized that I had to leave because I didn’t want to be on a short leash.

- At that time, there was a story from a novel that a classmate interrogated you.

- Yes, there was a funny story, of course. I sat with this boy at the same desk in the second grade, it was Dzima Navitski. And then this boy grew up, graduated from the KGB school in Moscow, and at the moment when I was in Kobryn under recognizance not to leave, he headed the local branch of the KGB. And he interrogated me several times.

- What was the nature of his interrogation?

- It was rather a conversation. That is, he conveyed what he was told in Minsk. He was a repeater and pretended that it was supposedly extremely difficult and inconvenient for him, but he had to pass it on to me.

- How did you feel? Disgusted?

- I didn't care. I was even somewhat ironic about this situation. What different fates we had, but once sat at the same desk.

- Did you decide to leave at one moment or has it accumulated?

- I hesitated for a long time because I absolutely did not want to leave Belarus. I wanted to live in my country and could not imagine myself anywhere else. But at a certain point, I realized that if I did not leave now, I would not be able to work. And I realized that I could do more if my hands were untied. I would be able to speak freely about political prisoners, tell about all tortures in prisons, address the West, and finally call for economic sanctions against the regime. In Belarus, I would have to leave the profession, because I wouldn't be able to work under the surveillance of the special services.

- Luninets played an important role in all this.

- I was in a cab recently, and the driver was from Luninets. He said: "Do you know that you're a celebrity among the Luninets cab drivers?" I said: "How, why?" He said: "Well, because when you escaped through our town, cab drivers were all summoned by the KGB and interrogated." Are they complete idiots? Did they think I ran away by cab?

Yes, I had to run through Luninets, because it is a railway station. I was traveling by train from Kobryn to Minsk, where I was summoned for interrogation by the KGB. And I specifically chose this train, because it runs at night, and the stop in Luninets at 1 am lasts 40 minutes. As a rule, people wake up at this time and go to the buffet at the station. And the station is through. Therefore, I got off at that time at the Luninets station, told the conductor that I was going to buy a Coca-Cola, and I got out on the other side, and a car was already waiting for me there, away from the video cameras so they couldn't detect it.

- How did you leave by car? What was the route to Moscow?

- It was not immediately the way to Moscow because I was hiding in Belarus for another 6 days. I was in a city in which I had never been before, where I had never known anyone and no one could find me there. I had no phone, no computers. I didn't leave my apartment in that city for six days.

- You don't name this city?

- No, I will not name. At that time, the website gave information that I had already left Belarus. There was a wave of searches and interrogations, they searched the houses of my parents, my grandparents. Then there were searches, it turns out, and at the premises of opposition activists in Luninets. A large number of people were summoned for interrogation, they even interrogated railway workers, conductors, taxi drivers, as it turned out. And six days later, I left Belarus by car, also at night, to Russia, not along the main roads but along country roads; we made a circle and were able to cross the border.

But I was still lying down, on the floor of the car, I didn’t have any documents. The difficulty was that my passport was taken away. Why was I forced to run like this? If I had documents, I could somehow go somewhere, but I did not have any documents. Only a certificate from the KGB that they have my documents. And then I demanded this certificate from them.

- You ended up in Moscow, stayed 4 months. And then, thanks to the Dutch, you were able to...

- First of all, thanks to Svetlana Gannushkina, a Russian human rights activist. Because she saved me in Moscow, she helped me. Together we turned to the UN High Commissioner for Refugees in Moscow, then the Dutch embassy in Moscow began to help us at a certain stage when I was already recognized as a refugee by the UN.

- How did you solve the purely technical problems with your missing passport?

- Technically, I was given a Laissez-Passer at the Dutch Embassy, a so-called one-way temporary document. I was able to use it to travel from Moscow to Amsterdam.

- And what is your passport now?

- Now I have political asylum in Lithuania. Because, having arrived in Holland, I gave up the asylum there, it was too far for me. And thanks to the support of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Lithuania and mainly Dunja Mijatović, my dear friend, the OSCE chairman on freedom of speech at that time, I managed to come to Lithuania and get political asylum there. Because I wanted to be as close to Belarus as possible.

Of course, in Holland, they were shocked, they said: "This is the first time we see this, that we are giving asylum, here’s an apartment for you, here’s an allowance, here’s a loan. Live, rejoice, and work." I said: "I cannot work that far for Belarus. I need to re-create the editorial office, I need to invite journalists. I cannot do this in the Netherlands. And I gave up all these wonderful advantages, came to Lithuania, and received political asylum there.

- So far, it is hard to imagine that Belarus will have a female president. But with one woman president, you even had some kind of conflict in absentia. This is Dalia Grybauskaite. Can you tell me what was that story?

- We are fine with Dalia Grybauskaite, we made up when we met. It's just that when I arrived in Lithuania in 2011, I had to say that, unfortunately, Dalia Grybauskaite became one of those European politicians who removed the international isolation of Lukashenka. Lukashenka was invited and in 2009 to Vilnius and became a person whom people shake hands in Europe precisely after a visit to Lithuania and a meeting with Dalia Grybauskaite, who decided to establish a certain dialogue with the dictator. But in the end, it all resulted in 2010 when again mass arrests took place, including practically all candidates for the presidency.

And when I arrived in Vilnius, a large number of people were imprisoned at that time, among whom were many of my friends; in an interview with the Lithuanian media, I said that it was impossible to meet with Lukashenka, it was impossible to interrupt international isolation, it was impossible to lift the sanctions against him because it only led to an escalation of violence in the country. And then, several years later, we met with Dalia Grybauskaite in Warsaw, talked, and clarified all our misunderstandings.

- How does this happen? Here you are talking to the president. How did you meet, did she know you, how did she react?

- It was the presentation of the Solidarity trade union prize by the President of Poland, at that time Bronislaw Komorowski, the prize was then received by Mustafa Dzhemilev, the leader of the Crimean Tatar people, and the presidents of many countries were invited, including US President Barack Obama. Stanislau Shushkevich and I, as a former political prisoner and editor-in-chief of the Charter, were invited from Belarus. Then at this dinner I met, among others, Dalia Grybauskaite, she recognized me immediately, and we were able to talk.

- Is it cool when the president recognizes you?

- It's usual. Presidents are people just like all of us.

- That is, you do not think that some special people become the president?

- Of course, strong people become presidents, but they are the same people as we are. Yes, they carry a heavy burden and responsibility. I'm not talking about dictators now, but about the presidents of normal civilized countries.

- About a civilizational country. It was dinner and evening with Obama.

- Yes.

- How do you like it?

- He is an absolutely normal, calm, intelligent person.

- How does everything happen? Do you just sit at the same table?

- It was in the royal palace, there was a large table where we sat, talked, dined.

- Was there a lot of security guards around there?

- No, not that many.

- How were you checked when you came?

- By the way, that did not stick in my memory. That means that everything was kind of routine, nothing special.

- Continuing about the presidents, you once had a conversation with Putin.

- I had.

- Tell us.

- It was a funny story. In 2009, I was in Poland. I was invited to a seminar on the occasion of the anniversary of the founding of the Solidarity trade union. And the Polish embassy informed me that when we would be in Gdansk (and we toured many Polish cities), at this time in Sopot, which is nearby, there will be a press conference of Polish Prime Minister Donald Tusk and Vladimir Putin, Russian Prime Minister at that moment. I became interested in this and decided to get accredited for this press conference in order to try to ask a question about Belarus. On the day of the conference, I just took a taxi and went from Gdansk to Sopot.

There were a huge number of journalists, maybe three hundred, and we began to wait for the premieres to appear. They came, but only journalists from the Polish and Russian “pools” were allowed to ask questions, and the rest had practically no chance to ask a question. After thinking it over, I decided to move towards the exit, calculating that when the premieres will come out, maybe I will be able to ask a question. I crawled so as not to interfere with anyone, under the cameras to the exit, at the moment when the premieres came out, the journalists began to shout their questions, but the guards pushed everyone aside.

I realized that if I just shouted a question, no one would answer me and just shouted: “Answer for Belarus!” Then I saw that Putin heard me, turned around, looked tired, and said: "Well, what is there for Belarus?" Apparently, he expected it to be a question from Belarusian television or Sovetskaya Belorussia, the guards drove all the journalists back, I went to the center, Putin was standing opposite and asks: “What is there for Belarus?” So I blurted out: “How long will you support Lukashenka’s dictatorship in Belarus?”

Putin was clearly at a loss, he did not know what to answer and used a psychological trick, asking: "What is your name?" I say: "My name is Natasha, but still answer the question." And then he already began to vaguely answer: "You understand, Natallia, your question is incorrect, we do not support the dictatorship in Belarus. We support the choice of the Belarusian people, but the legal situation in the post-Soviet space is so ambiguous that we prefer to maintain stability." In general, he let it slip out in this situation because he was confused and had no prepared answer.

- Finishing about Putin. Some consider him to be the most influential politician in Europe. Do you agree?

- He is trying to be such, trying to influence, trying to bribe Western politicians. But this is a very dangerous person in the first place.

- Why?

- Because he is at war with almost the whole world today. Because he does not let the post-Soviet countries live freely, at least. Because he finances terrorism around the world. By killing dissidents, by killing opposition leaders inside the country. I was friends with Boris Nemtsov, and I am convinced that his assassination was ordered by Putin, like of many, many other worthy people. Politicians, journalists, and human rights activists who were killed in Russia.

- Why does Putin love Lukashenka so much?

- I do not think that he loves him, on the contrary, absolutely all people who are aware of internal processes say that there is a great dislike between them.

- What is the meaning of life?

- To live, and preferably freely.

- Is big money important?

- It's convenient, but not so important.

- What do you dream about?

- To live in free Belarus.

- Are you able to enjoy life right now?

- As far as possible, I try not to lose heart.

- Describe an absolute idyll for yourself.

- When loved ones, dear people are near.

- How do you see your old age?

- Active.

- What will it consist of?

- I will definitely not sit on a bench and discuss neighbors. I think I will constantly do something, I hope to constantly learn new things and keep up with the times. I really want to.

- Let's see. I think there will be many options, you will have to choose. Name three things necessary for an ideal Belarus.

- Freedom, democracy, the European way.

- Are the Belarusians kitties?

- No, it is vulgar. Belarusians are a people.

- Is life a bowl of cherries?

- Life is the way.

- Thanks.