“Good afternoon, dear Belarusians and Ukrainians!
Thank you for the opportunity to see you here together. You know, Belarusians all over the world have been holding rallies in support of free Belarus for two years now. But since February 24, when the war began, we have been holding all our rallies in support of Ukraine, too.
The future of our nations is interconnected. We Belarusians understand perfectly that Ukraine is fighting not only for its independence, but also for our freedom. That is why it is critically important for our nations to stand together now.
I am glad to see the free world united. Two years ago, it looked at Belarus hesitatingly, even cautiously, pondering over what Russia would have to say. But now, I hear and see unambiguous unity and determination. When people ask me how to help, I always say we must support Ukraine, but never forget about Belarus.
Of course, much depends on us, too. Lukashenka will not give up power voluntarily, and Putin will not back down. For the dictators, this may be the final battle. Their political survival is at stake. But dictators can make mistakes. In 2020, Lukashenka underestimated the strength of the Belarusian people, and in 2022, Putin underestimated the courage of Ukrainians.
Over the last two years, many of us had to learn a lot of new things. Some have been making or finding body armor for the military. Some had to learn how to hand over care packages in prisons, or go through prison themselves. Many had to learn how to picket, deal with local authorities, fundraise, or host refugees.
I disagree when someone says that what Belarusians do is not enough. We have launched an Anti-War Movement. Belarusians undertake acts of sabotage. Belarusian Cyber Partisans cause disruption of the infrastructure used for military aggression against Ukraine. The Hajun project works online to let people anonymously send photos of Russian military equipment and identify Russian occupiers. A number of initiatives help Ukrainians find shelters to save their children from war. Many sign up as volunteers for the army and defend the honor of our nations.
Our people do all this despite repression by the Lukashenka regime, which for almost two years has been arresting and torturing people in prisons for wanting Belarus to be free. Two years ago, my husband ran for president – and for two years, neither I, nor our children, nor his companions have seen him. Siarhei Tsikhanouski is behind bars, and so are thousands of innocent Belarusians. This is why we have thousands of reasons why we must overcome the two dictators.
We understand perfectly that the future of Belarus and Ukraine is to a large extent interconnected. After all, without free Ukraine, there will be no free Belarus. And without free Belarus, Ukraine will not be safe. Finally, I would like to wish all of us to be able to come back home. To a peaceful, independent Ukraine and free Belarus.
Glory to Ukraine! Long Live Belarus!”
Source: Sviatlana Tsikhanouskaya