The Forum of Patriotic Forces brought together the constructive backbone of the country’s civil society in the Kupala Theatre
On the anniversary of the 2020 elections, caring Belarusians from all over the country gathered at the Forum of Patriotic Forces in the Kupala Theatre. After all, the very word ‘patriotism’ acquired a new meaning on this day. Over the past two years, each of us had the opportunity to analyse the processes that took place inside and around our country. Based on this experience, we are now building a conscious civil society, we continue to fend off informational and sanctions blows. Well, we learned from representatives of the main public associations and political forces about what further steps will be taken to consolidate our society.
To be or not to be?
The initiator of the forum was the large-scale Republican public association Belaya Rus. Its chairman, member of the Council of the Republic Oleg Romanov, spoke about the idea of this meeting before the start of the event, “We have gathered to once again coordinate the stances on the current agenda. To proclaim and continue to act within the framework of the unity that exists today in our civil society. And to respond together to the challenges that threaten Belarus. They are unprecedented.”
The Head of our State constantly speaks about this, guiding us to understand that the tasks facing our country are of a Shakespearean nature: to be or not to be. But constructive, patriotic social forces must realise the degree of complexity of the tasks facing us. Find adequate, effective ways and means of solving them.
Let’s analyse the lessons of 2020. Everyone remembers that it was then that young minds were subjected to information influence. The First Secretary of the Central Committee of the Belarusian Republican Youth Union Aleksandr Lukyanov emphasised that even then they understood that if there were no mass youth organisation in the republic, this field would immediately be occupied by Western NGOs, “Having passed through the twentieth year, we turned out to be fully prepared for the events that are now taking place in the world, the youth realised what they could lose and what consequences Western manipulations would lead to. Therefore, the Belarusian Republican Youth Union is actively involved in the work of dialogue platforms throughout the country.”
Recall that in 2020 our opponents also played the ‘women’s card’. As noted by the Chairperson of the Belarusian Union of Women, the Director of the Representative Office of Interstate TV and Radio Company Mir in Belarus, Olga Shpilevskaya, the choice was accurate, “After all, women are, first of all, about feelings: love, sympathy, maternal care. They targeted them. Precisely and selectively. The main thing is to evoke the right emotion. To put pressure on the experience and compassion. Incredible fakes like hundreds of dead and wounded were intended for this. The UN states that the main victims of any military conflict are women and children. Many of you have helped such victims of democracy on our border. You yourself saw how they were received by those who brought war to their land. I believe that it is a woman who is capable of stopping the war. Therefore, today more than ever it is important what word sounds from the fair sex and what influence they are under. There are more than 5 million of us, or 54 percent of the country’s population.”
It doesn’t matter how many and what events each of our organisations holds. It is important to unite society and become its true civic support. Our duty is to preserve and create.
It’s not time to relax!
Two years have passed since the last attempt to undermine our way of life. Does this mean that you can relax and breath out? Deputy of the House of Representatives, member of the Communist Party of Belarus Sergei Klishevich is sure that the answer is no, “What was previously indicated in relation to our country only by hints, is now being announced openly. Militants are being trained in Ukraine and Poland to overthrow the constitutional order of Belarus by military means. We know Belarusians are wise and reasonable people. Maybe not immediately, but everyone understood that if today you walk the streets at the behest of telegram channels from Vilnius and Warsaw, then tomorrow the whole country will be under the external control of the United States, it will become a new colony of the West, which Ukraine has become.”
Having united, we must become a reliable support for our President. He never betrayed either the party, or the country, or each of us!
Oleg Gaidukevich, Chairman of the Supreme Council of the Liberal Democratic Party of Belarus, Deputy Chairman of the Standing Committee of the House of Representatives on International Affairs, spoke about this, “I am a deputy, I am a party leader. But I am first and foremost a father of two children. And when the fireworks are thundering, my daughters are not afraid, they rejoice and run to the window. But in the Donbass, children are very afraid of this. And they wanted to take away such an opportunity from my children — to calmly walk along the street — in 2020. Yesterday [Monday] there was a mayhem of psychos in Vilnius. And they have already said that there is no other way, except for military aggression, to change the government. And these people love Belarus? But hatred will never win. And Belarus is us!”
At the same time, Oleg Gaidukevich stated, “I want to tell Europe: you must kneel before Lukashenko because in 2020 he saved you from war. If the Belarusian authorities had not stood two years ago, the whole of Europe would have been on fire today!”
However, Europe is already ‘blazing’ with its inadequate domestic and foreign policy. Andrei Krivosheyev, Chairman of the Board of the Belarusian Union of Journalists, General Director of Minsk-Novosti Agency Unitary Enterprise, noted that the two years that have passed since the presidential election have made it possible to understand who is our friend and ally, and who is our enemy and traitor, “In 2020, weak, dependent and random people left the profession. There is less hypocrisy. The censors have shown their true colours. Hundreds of our accounts are blocked. Hundreds of our journalists are included in illegal sanctions lists. They even got to the children from the Riga School of Television. This is a sign of nastiness, weakness and debility of these very censors”.
Andrei Krivosheyev summarised, “We won, defended the country in a local battle. But the battle for the future of Belarus is in full swing. Let’s help ourselves win and leave a sovereign, just and safe Belarus in history!”
Writers, athletes, media workers also spoke at the forum. By the way, the journalists of the Belarus Segodnya publishing house broadcasted live from the Forum of Patriotic Forces.
Excerpts from the speeches of the forum participants Mikhail Orda, Chairman of the Federation of Trade Unions of Belarus, “Any ill-concieved decision of ours, any, even a single, case of an indifferent or formal attitude towards a person and what is happening is a gift to those who dream of destroying Belarus and leaving Belarusians with nothing. We have no room for error.” Sergei Bobrikov, Chairman of the Republican Council of the Belarusian Union of Officers, “This is our land, we live here. Who are we going to give it to, these renegades and scamps?! Yes, this will never happen in real life! We have a normal, energetic, purposeful national leader. Let’s rally behind him and muscle out all this evil spirits so that it doesn’t even get in the way! We all took an oath, a sacred oath to defend our Motherland to the last drop of blood. There are no former officers, and we, people in uniform, will never betray you.” Anna Kharuta, Deputy Chairperson of Patriots of Belarus Republican Non-Governmental Organisation, “Thanks to what we all had to get through and overcome together, we were able to start working to unite society. We have learned to unite and appreciate each other. The limit of shocks for Belarus has been exhausted forever”. Yuri Voskresensky, Director of the Round Table of Democratic Forces information and analytical institution, “Instead of barriers, ditches, walls made of barbed wire, in which the unfortunate inhabitants of the forest are painfully entangled and die, we propose to return to a mutually beneficial strategy of cooperation. Belarus has never allowed to interfere in the internal affairs of neighbouring countries and expects the same in return.”
DECLARATION of the Forum of Patriotic Forces We, representatives of non-governmental organisations and political parties, expressing the will of millions of Belarusians united in our community, declare:
1. Having rallied behind the President of the country, the Belarusians managed to defend their historical choice, defend the independence and sovereignty of the Republic of Belarus.
Thanks to the invincible will, endurance and determination of our national leader, A.G. Lukashenko, as well as the courage and firmness of the defenders of law and order, the consolidation of society, the support of fraternal Russia, the solidarity of people around the world with our struggle, an attempt at a coup d’état was frustrated and today a successful counteraction to hybrid war of the collective West is being carried out.
2. Time has shown that the forces that tried to destroy our country in 2020 carried out the will of foreign masters. They still call for foreign military intervention and civil confrontation today. The task of all patriotic forces is to prevent national traitors from returning to political activity in Belarus and their breakthrough into power.
3. The events of recent years have clearly confirmed the effectiveness of the Belarusian model of political development, which is based on a strong state — a presidential republic — headed by a wise statesman, the guarantor of sovereignty, rights and freedoms of every citizen. Overcoming difficulties, the country is confidently moving along the path of development and economic growth, ensuring the future of the country and the continuity of generations.
4. A healthy civil society has been formed in Belarus, which ensures trust between the authorities and citizens, creates conditions for creative development. The responsibility of non-governmental organisations themselves is a necessary factor in effective interaction with state authorities.
The mission of political parties is not to divide citizens, but to promote dialogue between people of different beliefs.
5. As representatives of the Belarusian people, we reaffirm our commitment to the principles of social justice, concern for people, and the value of creative labour as a source of well-being.
6. The civilizational and geopolitical choice of Belarus has been determined by centuries of national history. Our common Union State with Russia is an example of successful integration construction while maintaining independence and sovereignty. We are convinced that peace will soon reign in Ukraine and it will return to the family of fraternal Slavic peoples.
7. A real threat to the peaceful development of many states and peoples today is the collective West, giving rise to conflicts and hotbeds of military tension. An alternative to such global hegemony is a new multipolar world based on the equality of countries and peoples. We are for justice and the right to a decent life for everyone, not for the elite.
8. The basis of the unity of the Belarusian people is patriotism — active love for the Motherland, which is expressed in real actions. Patriotic values are formed on the traditional understanding of a person, family, society, state. The further peaceful and stable development of Belarus should be based on the inviolability of this patriotic consensus.
9. We are determined to defend the truth about our national history, to fight any attempt at falsification. The memory of the feat of the Soviet people during the Great Patriotic War is sacred to every Belarusian. We consider absolutely unacceptable and monstrous the attempts of individual politicians to revive Nazism, to cover up for the Nazi criminals and their servants.
10. One of the most important events in the history of Belarusian statehood is September 17th, 1939, when the BSSR and Western Belarus, which was under Polish occupation, were reunited. Here and now we are announcing the creation of the National Headquarters for the celebration of National Unity Day. To a prosperous Belarus! To the unity of the people! To the President!
By Maxim Osipov, Anastasia Tselyuk Photos by Aleksandr Kulevsky