Statement on Belarus by Russian scientists

13 September 2020

Source: Facebook account of Nikolai Podosokorsky

Statement on Belarus

We, Russian scientists, have been following events in Belarus with alarm and hope. Friends and colleagues from our neighbouring country have encountered unprecedented falsifications during the election for their head of state. A significant portion of the Belarusian public does not acknowledge Aleksandr Lukashenka to be their legitimate president. Belarus’s citizens are insulted by the way they have been deceived and their political will ignored; they are going out on the streets to defend their right to vote.

Our cause – science – is incompatible with conscious lying. We stand in solidarity with the massive rejection of official hypocrisy that Belarussian society is demonstrating. We are inspired by the exceptional restraint and self-organization of the participants in these peaceful protest actions. They are showing the world more and more examples of courage and self-sacrifice in the casue of asserting the principles of reason, civic responsibility, and human dignity.

For us, scientists, it is objective facts available for public verification that serve as the foundation for perception and practice. The first step to solving all problems is obtaining reliable facts that allow us to clarify the situation in an unbiased way, to separate truth from lie. For this reason, we believe that honest and open elections capable of objectively demonstrating the will of Belarus’s citizens are the sole path to leading the country out of its present crisis. We stand in solidarity with Belarusian citizens speaking out in favour of holding such elections.

Unfortunately, in this complicated situation, the authorities of the Republic of Belarus are rejecting any dialog with the public, instead emphasizing violence and threats. Every day we learn with sorrow about new persecutions of citizens of our neighbouring country and about the impunity of its law enforcement agencies. We are angered by the outrageous harassment and torture to which hundreds of Belarus’s inhabitants have been subjected. Responsibility for these crimes committed by officers of “law enforcement agencies” lies with the current leadership of the Belarusian state. State terror does not and cannot have a future. The escalation of lying and violence is the road to nowhere.

Knowing of these events, we are angered by the decision of Russia’s leadership to recognize Aleksandr Lukashenka as the elected president of Belarus. We demand they retract this decision and refrain from any coercive intervention into the affairs of our neighbouring country. Only the will of Belarus’s citizens can determine the legitimate president; however, holding free elections is incompatible with the repressions against political opponents being carried out by the present Belarussian regime.

We are very concerned by plans for the actual incorporation of Belarus by Russia that are being actively discussed in the media. Execution of such intentions will yield new misfortunes for both our countries. Regardless of the circumstances, the development of normal relations with Belarus is possible only if there is unqualified respect for its sovereignty as a state. We want to go to Belarus as friends, not occupiers.

We wish Belarusian citizens the steadfastness, courage, and wisdom so essential for the peaceful resolution of their present problems. We have no doubt that you can transform Belarus into a flourishing European country living in friendship with all its neighbours. Long live Belarus!

This appeal is open for signature by members of the scientific community:

Evgeny Aleksandrov, academician, RAN [Russian Academy of Sciences]

Yury Apresyan, academician, RAN 

Aleksandr Belavin, doctor of physics and mathematics, corresponding member, RAN

Viktor Vasiliev, doctor of physics and mathematics, academician, RAN

Anatoly Vershik, doctor of physics and mathematics, chief scientist, St. Petersburg Division, MIAN [Mathematics Institute of the Academy of Sciences]

Mikhail Gelfand, doctor of biology, professor, member, Academia Europea

Mikhail Glazov, doctor of physics and mathematics, corresponding member, RAN

Natalia Demina, science journalist

Sergei Erofeev, sociologist, research professor, Rutgers University

Askold Ivanchik, doctor of information science, corresponding member, RAN

Aleksei Ioselevich, doctor of physics and mathematics

Andrei Kalinichev, candidate of physics and mathematics

Yury Kovalev, corresponding member, RAN

Aleksei Kondrashov, biologist

Aleksandr Kostinsky, candidate of physics and mathematics

Aleksei Krushelnitsky, doctor of physics and mathematics

Igor Melchuk, member, Royal Society of Canada

Aleksandr Moldovan, academician, RAN 

Sergei Nechaev, doctor of physics and mathematics, lead scientist, FIAN [Institute of Physics of the Academy of Sciences]

Olga Orlova, candidate of philology, science journalist

Aleksei Oskolsky, doctor of biology, lead scientist, Komarov Botanical Institute, RAN

Sergei Popov, professor, RAN

Valery Rubakov, academician, RAN

Olga Solomina, doctor of geology, corresponding member, RAN

Efim Khazanov, academician, RAN

Mikhail Feigelman, doctor of physics and mathematics

Andrei Tsaturyan, doctor of physics and mathematics

Galina Tsirlina, doctor of chemistry

Boris Shtern, doctor of physics and mathematics

Translated by Marian Schwartz

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