Statement by members of the Congress of the Intelligentsia: “Citizens of Belarus, we see you as setting an example worthy of respect and emulation.”

11 September 2020

Pictured: Co-chair of the Moscow Helsinki Group, Valery Borshchev

Source: Moscow Helsinki Group [original source: Эхо Москвы]

Russian citizens who follow political developments in our own country and in the world experience difficult and complex feelings today. Events taking place in the Republic of Belarus are of great concern to us. There is a sense we are seeing in your country a picture of what may happen in our own in the near future.

Dialogue between society and the authorities has long been absent in our country. The authorities’ actions have little relation to public opinion. All the more important for the population of our country are the events that are taking place in Belarus today where the people, tired of the archaic, inconsistent and brutal leadership of Lukashenka, are protesting peacefully against a man trying to keep power despite having lost the election – as evidenced by the election results they have sought to keep hidden.

We hope that the citizens of the Republic of Belarus will succeed in what the citizens of Russia have not managed to do: to change government policies that violate the principles of democracy and are based on disrespect for the country’s citizens, complete disregard for public opinion and a persistent unwillingness to safeguard the interests of the population, rather than the interests of the rapacious ruling elite.

Citizens of Belarus, we see you as setting an example worthy of respect and emulation. We express our support for your struggle for real democracy, we support your demand for the authorities to respect the citizens of your country.

The Russian authorities have already destroyed the close relations that historically existed between Russia and Ukraine and are now sowing discord between Russia and Belarus.

We feel bitterly ashamed to see the relations between our countries, that go back so far and are rich and complex, destroyed by Russia’s short-sighted government, law enforcement agencies and unscrupulous propaganda of hostility.

We express support you in your fight for freedom, for law, for justice and for human dignity. We hope to preserve your trust and friendship.

We are with you, not with the security forces and violently persecute you and break up peaceful demonstrations, beat women and do not care how history will evaluate their actions of today.

We wish you success in your fight for human dignity!

We are ashamed for our government that has lost all common sense and reason. Good luck to you, dear friends, in your honest confrontation with a corrupt and shameless regime.

For a list of signatories, see here

Translated by Simon Cosgrove

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