A clear distinction must be made between the Belarusian head of state Alexander Lukashenko, who is allied with the Russian government, and the Belarusian people he oppresses, said Tichanovskaya in an interview in Geneva. The Belarusians are against Lukashenko and against the war.
“The Belarusian people do not support this war”
They now have to fight not only against their own leadership, “but also for the Ukrainians, because we understand that the fate of Belarus depends on the fate of Ukraine,” said Tichanovskaya. Lukashenko supports the Russian head of state Vladimir Putin in his war against Ukraine and lets the Russian army use Belarusian territory for their attacks on the neighboring country.
But “the Belarusian people do not support this war,” assured Tikhanovskaya, who lives in exile. Rather, her entire people are now fighting “on the side of Ukraine.” This can be seen, for example, in the way Belarusian exile media reported about the war and in the volunteers who helped Ukrainian refugees and sent medical equipment to the war-torn country.
Tichanovskaya is considered the real winner of the 2020 presidential election
Tichanovskaya had previously told the UN Correspondents Association in Geneva that her compatriots were “afraid of a possible war on the territory of Belarus”. They would be treated as “aggressors” even though they “fight against the dictatorship” themselves. Instead of denying visas to ordinary citizens of their country, Western sanctions should be aimed at state-owned companies and banks.
In addition, human rights abuses in her country should not be overlooked because of the war in Ukraine, the opposition leader told AFP. Because of the Ukraine war, people in Russia are now threatened with “huge repression” and “all forms of violence,” as the Belarusians experienced in 2020 after Lukashenko’s election fraud.
Tichanowskaja, who lives in exile in Lithuania, is considered the real winner of the 2020 presidential election. The subsequent mass protests against Lukashenko’s alleged re-election were crushed by the head of state, who has been in office for almost 30 years.