“At the moment we seem to have lost”


People in Belarus have been protesting against the ruler Lukashenko since August. His former rival Tichanowskaja draws a sobering conclusion: “At the moment we seem to have lost”.

According to opposition politician Svetlana Tichanovskaya, the mass protests in Belarus have failed for the time being. “I have to admit that we lost the streets,” Tichanowskaja told the Swiss newspaper “Le Temps” on Saturday. “We have no way of combating the regime’s violence against the demonstrators. They have the weapons, they have the strength. So yes, at the moment we seem to have lost,” admitted Tichanovskaya.

The road to democracy is therefore taking longer than planned, added Tichanovskaya. The Belarusian opposition is now building the structures “for the struggles of tomorrow”. “Our strategy is to organize ourselves better and to put the regime under constant pressure until people are ready again, maybe in the spring, to go out on the streets again,” said the opposition politician.

Protests against Lukashenko since August

Since the presidential election in August, tens of thousands of opposition supporters have taken to the streets against the authoritarian head of state Alexander Lukashenko, who has ruled since 1994. The opposition accuses him of massive electoral fraud. The Belarusian security forces cracked down on the demonstrators. Thousands were arrested and reportedly severely ill-treated.

Tichanovskaya, who ran against Lukashenko in the election, has fled abroad like many other prominent opposition politicians. She currently lives in Lithuania. In the interview with “Le Temps” she announced that she would visit Switzerland soon. She wants to lobby the government in Bern to freeze Lukashenko’s possible assets in Switzerland.

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