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Polityka - Poland | Wednesday, March 8, 2006

Milinkevich on Belarusian passiveness

Very few observers think it likely that a democratic revolution will bring down the dictatorship of Belarussian President Alexander Lukashenko. Alexander Milinkevich, the main opposition candidate in the March 19 elections, explains the Belarussian people's passiveness in an interview led by Jagienka Wilczak. "This passiveness is the result of the destruction of their identity, of the nation's memories, history, language and spirit. If the Poles had not known who Kosciuszko (the famous 18th century Polish independence fighter) was, there would never have been a Solidarnosc movement. Here in Belarus the 'Soviet people' are in the majority. But there are also many who regard themselves as Belarussians, know their country's history and therefore have a wider perspective. I'm counting on their support in the elections."

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