Svetlana Aleksievich: In Belarus there are two truths

The Belarusian opposition is naive and distant from the people — said the Belarusian writer Svetlana Aleksievich in an interview in today's edition Neue Zuercher Zeitung. We offer you the translation of the interview fragments.

NZZ: Do I have to expect that Lukashenko will protect their power by all means?

Aleksievich: Yes. But no one could imagine that this would happen so bloody. Lukashenko certainly did not expect so many people to come out to the street. But he was prepared for this. I live in the center. All day I watched as the surrounding courtyards filled with the army, police and special equipment. Lukashenko took precautions. The opposition was naive.

NZZ: Which program was in opposition?

Aleksievich: There was not any. The opposition has built its program on the criticism of Lukashenko. Lukashenko was the best program. It was clearer, more mature. For this he had both the time and people. The opposition was not strong personalities. Imagine you suddenly see the nine presidential candidates. And you are of them do not know anything. As individuals, they have not left any impression. And they were against such a strong and healthy man like Lukashenko, who likes women and nomenclature! We have other targets. What's in a civilized community would see as a disaster, we perceived by people as the norm.

NZZ: The opposition is too distant from the people?

AleksievichOf course. I existed on the electoral performance of Andrei Sannikov in the city of half a million residence. At the meeting came about 200 people. It is clear that everywhere you can find 200 intelligent people. But it is not the people.

NZZ: But the opposition believes that she won the election and has proof of this.

Aleksievich: I do not know where does this belief. I traveled a lot before the election and it is clear that Lukashenko would win. He is supported by the majority of the population, not only in the province but also in big cities. 80 percent of the vote he received, but 50-60 percent sure.

NZZ: In the eyes of the West Lukashenko makes an impression unstable.

Aleksievich: To me, he is a psychopath, and all his actions — pathological. But there are two truths. True intellectuals — we have promising ideas, and we want an independent and civilized Belarus. And there is another truth, a simple — though the majority. For people in rural areas, freedom means sausage. Lukashenko understands them. He — a political animal. He does what they want.

NZZ: Do the meaning Western sanctions in the form of travel restrictions for the item?

AleksievichOf course. But Europe is cynical, it has its own interests. Also, I do not know how you can in this way to put pressure on Lukashenko. And so he does not go anywhere. The West is so afraid of him. Economic sanctions would be better. But if the West is to freeze the loans, especially the common people will suffer. The most reasonable to support the civil society that Lukashenko is now stripped heads.

NZZ: Does anyone has any effect on Lukashenko?

Aleksievich: Only the Kremlin. Lukashenko is economically dependent on Russia. This is the only form of pressure, which gives the result.

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