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Shenderovich About Lukashenka: You Can't Unscramble Eggs

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Shenderovich About Lukashenka: You Can't Unscramble Eggs
VIKTOR SHENDEROVICH
PHOTO: DELFI

Serious geopolitical changes will "detonate" in Belarus as well.

Russian satirist and publicist Viktor Shenderovich talks about whether there is an imperial gene and why the country cannot be associated with the name of the ruler.

- I can't snap my fingers to make the rule of law prevail in Belarus, as well as in Russia, - Viktor Shenderovich said on air of the Zhizn-Malina channel. - But you can't unscramble eggs, there is no President Lukashenka, just as there is no President Putin. It is just this imperial component and change of agenda in Russia, first with the Crimea, then today. There is no President Putin - but there is a Russian Tsar.

If Putin is an unelected "Russian tsar", Lukashenka, in the words of the satirist, is a political officer, who controls the entrusted territory: "This is his barracks".

- Although, I think, there's an identity in Lukashenka's head, too, that he is Belarus and everyone who is against him - they are against Belarus... I don't even know: was he even told that he lost the election? Maybe, in his head, the West, everybody has been bought, everybody is a traitor...

People I respect enormously insist on a long-term strategy of peaceful protest. Peaceful pressure in Czechoslovakia in 1989 resulted in a relatively bloodless change of power - because the enemy on that side was minimally but still in that paradigm, the leadership of the Czech Communist Party was not prepared to torture people to death. When I asked one of the reformist leaders about Poland how it was possible to put Michnik, Walesa and Jaruzelski at the same negotiating table, he replied: "We are Poles. All three were patriots, and Jaruzelski was not a criminal.

In any other country, if you have 200 thousand against you, you have lost an election - there is no discussion at all, only to leave. But he cannot leave, he has blood on his hands - and it will continue. That is why in theory I agree: it would be better to have a "velvet revolution" like in Czechoslovakia in 1989. But I see Belarus today... This is what we've been going through and most probably will be going through in Russia.

The alternative to revolution is not evolution, but degradation.

In totalitarian countries, millions of people become hostages of a single psyche. Let's say, mistakes in democracy are correctable: it doesn't matter who the electoral system takes to the top, but then the wheel will turn again. The mechanism of democracy itself is a mechanism of correcting mistakes - today they will choose this one, and tomorrow that one.

And under authoritarian regimes, under immature democracies which can be broken, a mistake becomes fatal. The German people did not die the moment they chose Hitler, but when a year or two later they let themselves be convinced that this was the only correct choice and that all procedures and rules of decency could be sacrificed for the sake of... And in the American brain, the administration and the country are totally separated: there is the flag and the anthem and patriotism, and then there is the administration, which must be 'kicked'.

Since Putin has been in the Kremlin how many administrations have changed in America, five? And how do they leave - whistling, up and out. And this is not the tragedy of life, this is the normal work of the mechanism. And the long-life rule - Stalin, Hitler, Hugo Chavez, Lukashenko, Putin, whatever - this is the doom.

Does the "imperial gene" that fundamentally distinguishes the Russians from the Belarusians really exists? In the opinion of the writer, it would be too general to speak about the whole 150-million population of the Russian Federation, but if one can draw a certain arithmetic average, the "imperial gene" is indeed deeply imbedded in the mentality of the Russian man:

- It's a kind of an erogenous zone for the average Russian, it's easy to make him cry of happiness and shed tears. At the greatness of Russia, for whom "Russia is above all things". As if there is some hologram above us, for the sake of which one can suffer, give one's life, live in poverty, which must be respected and feared. But Belarus is without this hologram. People want to live in freedom, in a normal, for my mind, European view of dignity.

Viktor Shenderovich says the war for Russia will end not only in defeat, but in historical humiliation - and the latter will also affect Belarus.

- Certainly, the domino principle will work. That is, for Belarusians who were betrayed by Putin's Russia two years ago, there is no reason to feel sympathy for Putin. But the fact that serious geopolitical changes will "detonate" in Belarus is certain.