20 April 2021, Tuesday, 8:07
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Henadz Karpenka: Life for Independence

Henadz Karpenka: Life for Independence
Henadz Karpenka

His name has gone down in the history of Belarus forever.

Yesterday was the Day of Remembrance of Henadz Karpenka. He passed away under mysterious circumstances on April 6, 1999. He was not even 50 years old. And he was supposed to become Lukashenka's main competitor in the upcoming elections, Narodnaya Volya writes.

This article was written by the chief editor of NCh Aliaksei Karol in 2009 on the occasion of the tenth anniversary of the death of Henadz Dzmitryjevich.

Henadz Karpenka lived for less than 50 years. Incomplete 50, but lived so and on such a fervor to forever remain in human memory and go down in history.

The history of Belarus at its difficult, contradictory, and dramatic stage - the struggle for independence and democracy. The posthumous years only confirmed both the scale of his personality and his influence on the course of events contemporary to him.

It turned out - on the course of history, which, obviously, would have been in many respects different, if an unknown confluence of mysterious circumstances had not cut short his life.

He went down in history - a weak consolation for relatives and friends, companions and associates. And they don't even need it at all. And yet, we all need it. Not only to pay tribute to the memory of the extraordinary personality and an outstanding politician but to better understand what was lacking, where we were mistaken, and what we need today in order to adequately complete the work on the altar of which Henadz Karpenka laid his life.

The matter of establishing an independent and democratic, wealthy and respected in the world Belarus. There is statehood. Including thanks to him. There is no democracy. That is why the torch of his work is burning. Including thanks to the winds of his memory.

Henadz Dzmitryjevich himself never and nowhere mentioned even a word about the historical context of contemporary events, especially about his role in them. The politicians talk about this seriously only after, in their declining years.

Karpenka did not live to write his memoirs. He was shot down on the takeoff of his next and, possibly, a victorious breakthrough in big politics, to great changes.

He lived in the whirlwind of daily events. But he always kept in sight the lines of their intersection and interdependence, in development - in time and space. He was able to critically analyze his actions and, most importantly, to change the algorithm of his behavior and relationships with people. And at the same time, he always remained himself.

Better to be, not to give up - that's about him. He never played a role, did not catch the conjuncture of the moment, and did not adjust to the mood of the audience. And in a strange way, he finally came to an understanding with the majority in any audience, both in a relatively narrow political environment of rival friends and at mass meetings and rallies - in factories, universities, squares.

It so happened that in March 1999, while traveling to Prague as part of one delegation, we ended up with Henadz Dzmitryjevich together in the same compartment, then we lived in the same room and returned together.

At that time, he was solving one difficult problem for himself: whether to participate as a presidential candidate in the election campaign according to the opposition version, which was initiated by Viktar Hanchar. Essentially a public resistance campaign. Or not to participate and keep more chances to participate in the real elections, in direct confrontation with Lukashenka.

This problem was discussed almost all night before Warsaw, and after a transfer, on the way to Prague. It is clear that episodes of the political struggle of the previous stages - victories and defeats, mistakes and miscalculations, discrepancies and misunderstandings - were also strung on this canvas.

Then he was amazed, and then his words were repeatedly recalled: “Well, is there a difference between that Karpenka, during the first presidential elections, and today? I then go to Kebich, then run to Pazniak. You cannot sit on two chairs at once.

I need to take a firm stand. Define a goal and keep a goal. Prepare myself, prepare a bridgehead, and rally forces for a decisive assault. These elections are almost the last opportunity for victory, for our breakthrough to power, and with it, to change."

In fact, these words are the key to understanding the line of behavior of the politician Karpenka after the 1994 presidential elections. He did not have an unbridled desire for power. At least personal power. He was fascinated by new areas of activity and the scale and goals of the business.

And therefore, he could storm new heights in the team without complexes. Doctor of Science, director of the plant, mayor of Maladzechna, vice-speaker of the Supreme Soviet, leader of democratic forces - these are signs of his fields of activity.

After 1994, Henadz Karpenka methodically, persistently, patiently, ingeniously works to unite the multi-colored opposition forces. And wins indisputable authority in their ranks.

Problems with nominating a single candidate from the democratic forces, if he were alive, would not have arisen in the 2001 elections. The chance of victory for the democratic forces was still real at that time. Karpenka knew it. But on April 6 he was gone. According to the official version, as a result of a stroke.

Under the circumstances still unknown. Perhaps they will be revealed someday from documents that are now kept with seven seals in some secret archives.

Perhaps the documentary trail has been destroyed. And the secret of Henadz Karpenka's death will forever remain an unsolved secret history.

But one thing is clear: his name has forever entered the history of Belarus.

Even if someone really would not like it.