20 April 2021, Tuesday, 6:15
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Katsiaryna Snytsina: I Realized I Don't Want To Live Anywhere Else But Belarus

Katsiaryna Snytsina: I Realized I Don't Want To Live Anywhere Else But Belarus
Katsiaryna Snytsina

The famous basketball player shared why it is impossible to stay "above the battle" in our country.

The captain of Belarusian national basketball team, bronze medalist of the European Championship, participant of the Olympic Games Katsiaryna Snytsina said in an interview to the program of Studio X97 on the Charter97.org website why she has become interested in the political and public life in Belarus.

- I used to live quietly in my cottage. And even in early summer of 2020, or rather at the end of my last season, I made a decision that I would not live in Belarus after my basketball career. I could not decide whether to stay in Turkey or in some other European country, but I realized that I did not want to live in Belarus. I was guided by the feeling. I've lived in Minsk all my life, I live in Zavadski district, I adore it, but I don't see happy people here. When I was in school, I was scared to go back home late at night, I still get scared sometimes. I didn't know what to do in Belarus, I didn't want to stay here, because for me personally it was some kind of depression. And all around just unhappy people.

I've been playing in Turkey for seven years now. Whether the country is richer or not - it does not matter to me. But people here in Turkey are much happier than Belarusians in Belarus. And I could feel this difference a lot. I told my family, I don't want to live here after playing basketball.

Then this summer (and again, it was a very meaningful summer for me, as it was for many people), I realized that I didn't want to be anywhere else but Belarus. Before that, I had the feeling that you can't change anything here anyway. But then the developments showed that there are lots of people who want to live in this country and want to change it for the better. And I just want to join them. I don't know how, but I want to make life in my country better than it is now. And I want to be an active participant of this civil society.

- You previously said in an interview that you had never attended the polls before. Why is that?

- I had never considered that my vote would make any difference. Things are different now. If I can, I will take an active part in some event and vote - be it the presidential elections or something local, I won't just pass by, I will be a part of it. Cause now I realize and believe that my vote can make a difference. For there are millions of us.

- Is it possible to stay out of politics now? Above battle, as some people say?

- I don't think so. Only if you close yourself off and sit in some dark place. And even then they can break in. You know, when Covid started, no one around me was sick. Nobody I knew was sick. And I felt like it was out there somewhere. I was already in Turkey when Covid started, and I thought it wouldn't affect me. But now almost everyone of my acquaintances, friends, and people I know have had the disease or are sick now. The same is true for "staying outside of politics." And maybe it won't affect you now, but most likely it has already affected your circle, your circle has definitely been touched. And eventually it will get to you.