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“Those Millions Belonging To Belarusian Opposition…”

Not only showed the 2010 presidential election the cruelty and impudence of the Belarusian authorities, but also the lack of discipline and irresponsibility of the opposition leaders. The so-called “solidarity” is still a distant dream. An average Belarusian, being already disappointed with the ruling elite, is not looking for help from numerous parties, civil initiatives or communities, and faces alone her or his everyday troubles.

Catehrine Ashton on Belarus, автор: European Parliament, источник:

Catherine Ashton on Belarus, author: European Parliament, source:

Every sane person understands that if the opposition is not able to find a common language and political ground, there is no one else to rely on. Watching “The Belarusian Central Television”, which draws such a colourful picture of the “opposition’s millions”, an everyman compares it with his or her thin wallet and drifts even more apart from the concept of a civil society, promoted by opposition.

However, a more general discussion began with the case of the Belarusian human rights defender, Ales Bialiatski. When solving the query of the Belarusian side, Polish and Lithuanian prosecutors easily passed the grounds for criminal action, resulting in the man was convinced for 4.5 years in prison with confiscation of all his assets. After all, there is no secret that after every persecution, fines or/and detention, numerous heads of democratic formations send their aggrieved activists to the Human Rights Center “Viasna” to get them help. Not every opposition organization is able to support its members on its own. And so Bialiatski was helping over the years, both “financially and morally”. Finally, those who actually ensure that the work of human defenders is needed (by breaking human rights and freedom in Belarus) must become bored to death with Ales Bialiatski.

What is the most surprising aspect? Not the carelessness of “European colleagues”, but the reaction of the majority of the Belarusian opposition. It looked as if, with the exception of Bialiatski, nobody gets financial support from the “West”, and all chairmen, managers, and so-called leaders, “work hard in the fields” from dawn to dusk to earn a living. In fact, Bialiatski is a victim of the Belarusian opposition system, whose daily agenda is formed by the “regime”. Typical response of some Belarusian leaders was “it’s none of my business”. Whispering in the corridors of the European Parliament, they didn’t make any summary. It seems that the time Ales Bialiatski spent in prison has cured Polish partners of the Belarusian democracy movement.

A year after Bialiatski’s case, the Polish Foreign Ministry sends official letters to the Belarusian opposition members (thirty addresses) with “PITs” (Polish annual financial tax reports ) for allegedly received funds during the Eastern Partnership Summit held in Warsaw in September the previous year. Here some individuals began to stir rumours. It turns out that not only Bialiatski has not “paid taxes”. The scam becomes known across Polish media space. A few people from the Belarusian community in Warsaw, commenting on the situation, hysterically began using “the case of Bialiatski” as an argument against the Polish bureaucracy. But Bialiatski’s not in this row, as in his case the Belarusian committee for the state security worked very quickly, leading the Poles by their noses and managed to provoke the conflict situation in the European state. In the case of the “PITs” it was just the overgrown bureaucracy that went off. If you do not realize the responsibility of the situation, do not take the money. And if you take it, then you have to pay. The times when money for democratic movements was given without an official receipt, are over.

The most interesting here is the instant reaction of the press, which, in principle, provokes the so-called Belarusian “authorities”. One received the letter and began to call the press. Why? Was someone detained or charged of something? It’s no use crying for the moon. But, nevertheless, the colonial mentality casts its shadow. The paranoiac sense of the “all-seeing eye of power” keeps someone awake at night. When comparing Belarus with other totalitarian states, it comes out not so bad. And the “eye” is not all-seeing. An example of this is the Swedish plane crossing the Belarusian sky. And if so, then there is no need to cry in vain.

I wonder if Europe will keep on supporting the earlier release of Ales Bialiatski or rather continue creating artificial events, distracting European society from the really significant issues.

Ruslan Shoshin

Translated by MA

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Autor "Współpraca" to oznaczenie artykułów osób, które występują na łamach gościnnie i nie są na stałe członkami zespołu.

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