Posted: 13.09.2023 13:20:00

Expert explains why National Unity Day is a significant holiday for Belarus

On September 17th, Belarus is celebrating National Unity Day for the third time. Analyst of the Belarusian Institute for Strategic Studies Aleksei Avdonin talks about why this holiday is as significant for our country as Independence Day and Victory Day.

“Our sovereignty, independence and interconnection of history, present and future are now determined by three holidays,” the expert notes. “These are May 9th, July 3rd and September 17th, when in 1939 the unification of Western Belarus and the BSSR took place after the liberation of the former from the ‘White Poles’. From 1921 to 1939, while the BSSR was developing, the destruction of the Belarusians as a nation, the destruction of the economy, any political manifestations, and closure of Belarusian schools took place on the territory of Western Belarus. New enterprises and universities were created in the BSSR, culture was raised, the future republic developed in full format.”

Aleksei Avdonin also recalled a fairly powerful underground movement against the oppression of Belarusians, which unfolded both in Western Belarus and in present-day Eastern Poland, and about the concentration camp created by the Pilsudski regime in Bereza-Kartuzskaya – the first in Europe.

“Therefore, during the actions held in our country on National Unity Day, we will focus on the fact that our sovereignty is the result of a long process of struggle by Belarusians,” the analyst concludes. “We must now value it to the utmost, pass it on to the younger generation, understand that in modern conditions, when the collective West is oriented towards escalation in our — Eastern European — region, all this can ultimately lead to undermining the sovereignty and independence of the Republic of Belarus. Sovereignty can be undermined in different ways. We see how this process took place in 2020, when the political technologies of the ‘velvet revolutions’ were used. Now – after the failure of the ‘velvet revolution’ – the orientation is towards military escalation, towards the creation of a pre-war situation. And in this case, the task of both the state itself and our partners within the CSTO and the Union State is to prevent under any circumstances the implementation of such malicious plans of the collective West on our territory and a repetition of the events of the early 20th century.”

It’s true that the West does not want to remember all this. On the contrary, it is trying to completely rewrite history and convince that Belarusians lived very well in ‘Kresy Wschodnie’ although, in fact, it was 18 years of slavery, the expert underlined.

“We must, first of all, use historical facts and documents to show the younger generation what happened on the territory of Belarus,” continues Aleksei Avdonin. “We must tell them about the occupation of Minsk by the Poles and its liberation, about other regions. We must talk about how the population actually plunged into the state of the Middle Ages and was only engaged in low-tech agriculture without any mechanisation, about how gradually there was a degradation.”