From the Editors:  The leader of the Belarusian national democratic movement, Sviatlana Tsikhanouskaya, is active on the international scene seeking to garner support for her nation suppressed by Russia’s vassal, Alyaksandr Lukashenka. She is widely believed to have won the Belarusian presidential election rigged by the dictator, who has subsequently maintained by power by a rule of terror. Her husband remains one of the estimated 1,500 to 2,000 political prisoners in the country.  We have compiled some of Tsikhanouskaya’s tweets in recent days on Twitter to illustrate her position, what she and her supporters stand for, and why they deserve our support.

To my European friends, we're not strangers. We're family members who've been away for too long. We're the forgotten Europeans returning home. Belarusians have always been a part of Europe & always will be. Here's why: 


Historically, borders didn't separate Belarus from Europe. We've been a bridge bringing the West to the East, peacefully. Our ancestors laid the foundation. They embodied European ideals before it became a conscious choice.

Our historical ties with the Grand Duchy of Lithuania exemplify our deep connection with European lineage. We aren't merely neighbors; we share a past that interweaves us with the very fabric of European history.

Francisak Skaryna, a true man of the Renaissance, studied in Poland & Italy. He symbolizes Belarus' active role in Europe’s journey through the Renaissance, especially with his contribution by bringing the printing press to Eastern Europe.

Poet Mikola Husouski, Skaryna’s contemporary, worked & wrote in Rome. Engineer Kazimir Siemianovich published his books on ballistics in Amsterdam. Painter Marc Chagall became famous after he moved to Paris.

Kastus Kalinouski, the 19th-century hero of our uprising against Russia, mirrors Europe's spirit of nationalism at this time. Like the rest of Europe, we too had our revolutionaries & thinkers who carved our path to nationhood.


The Belarusian Democratic Republic establishes our modern national identity in 1918. Belarusians envisioned a nation, distinct from our neighbors. Soviet narratives tried to overshadow this, but our identity has always been vibrant & resolute.

We must remember that Belarusians were among those who suffered the most during WW2. This is a part of our shared history with all of Europe & it shapes our vision for a continent where wars & dictatorships are consigned to the past.

The 1989 revolutions are Europe's shared triumph over tyranny. Like many Europeans, Belarusians championed freedom, proving that our aspirations align with the European quest for liberty. We earned our independence in 1991.

Enlarging the EU post-1989 benefitted both Eastern & Western Europe. As Eastern Europe prospered, so did the West. It's not just about justice but shared prosperity. Democratic Belarus stands ready to contribute to European growth.

Over half a million Belarusians have already chosen Europe in exile, not by leaving their homeland forever, but with hopes of returning to a free Belarus that's recognized as European. We ask Europe to support us, to help us make that dream a reality.


The 2020 revolution is not just Belarus fighting against tyranny; it's a cry for recognition, to be accepted in the family where we've always belonged - Europe. We're not asking for favors, only acknowledgment of our inherent European identity.

Fundamental European values such as humanism, democracy & equality before the law are also Belarusian values – because we helped to shape them. Throughout our long history, the contributions of Belarusians to Europe's civilization have been enormous. We are proud to be Europeans.

When a country's own language, identity & symbols are suppressed, it signifies only one thing: that its people are under the occupation of a foreign power. No country would voluntarily relinquish its own language; however, Lukashenka's regime doesn't represent our nation.

Hundreds of thousands have been forced to leave Belarus & now the regime is taking revenge by refusing to issue passports abroad. For Lukashenka, those who oppose him are not citizens, not even people. But Belarusians abroad uphold our national identity that he tries to erase.Free Belarus will [also] be the best support for Ukraine's victory & the strongest sanction against Putin's Russia.

With or without external help, Belarusians will keep working towards our European future. But I believe that we can achieve more when we march forward hand in hand, showing unity & strength.


Let’s reconnect, rebuild & reimagine a united Europe where Belarus has its rightful place, bring peace & security to our region. Let's bring Belarus back home to Europe!

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Comments (2)
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Eventually the Russian thugs will be overthrown and the country will be in grave disarray.
This is when Belarus will come into its own within Europe.
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Agreed. UN and Nato should supply all necessary cyber resources to ensure Russia does not meddle in future elections in any Nation, and that media and judicial system there are not controlled by putin planted russian thug cronies. Police and military forces using violence to prevent peaceful and fair elections should be sanctioned worldwide and probably charged in international court to restrict their ability to spread their evil abroad. Given past Lukeshenko illegal activity, voter suppression and election results tampering , the UN post eliminating its ridiculous Security council Veto privileges, should send in UN Peacekeepers and management team to ensure elections are fair. I have no ties to Belarus (or Ukraine) but like a growing majority of other humans, am fed up with all autocrats / dictators suppressing the will of their citizens for their own greed and power......and worse still actively funding state sponsored criminal networks to destabilize democracies worldwide. Time to put these criminal, oppressive and inhumane authoritarian regimes out of business.

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@John, well said. I agree with one comment that western states should not make any business with autocrats, which is financing their criminal, oppressive and inhumane regimes.