Russian dissident and publicist Valeriya Novodvorskaya brought up the Belarusian issue in her blog.
“You have small knowledge of the Belarusian opposition. Can you adduce any reason for your backing our Belarusian nationalists which was repeatedly declared in your interviews taking into account that you are harshly criticising Russian nationalists, e.g. Navalny? Don’t you think you apply double standards here? Pazniak and people like him have nothing in common with liberalism; he is a nationalist in the true sense of the word,” an internet user asked Mrs Novodvorskaya.
“The Belarusian patriots’ doctrine (mind that they are patriots, not nationalists) stems from the Great Principality of Lithuania, from the western vector of development, from the Polish influence. There was nothing wrong! Remember: you can find nationalists in a metropolitan country which occupies another territory. But with a view to miserable invaded folks, only a fair patriotism can arise among them,” she said.
According to the activist, during the latest presidental elections there were “quite good” candidates. Mentioning Andrey Sannikau and Uladzimir Niakliayeu she said: “Don’t make a conclusion that Belarusians have no choice. They are hindered from it.”
“At Shushkevich’s times Belarus was making a good headway. It was in Lukashenka’s period when it did stumble: they started seeking liberty, equality and fraternity, fighting against corruption. They hoped a simple “collective farmer” would remain under their control. Quite respectable people like [Viktar] Hanchar shared this opinion,” she added.
Valeriya Novodvorskaya slashed Zianon Pazniak for his leaving Belarus: “This was the end of both the party’s and his own influence”.