"Let's ensure security and stability for Belsat". Open letter to the Polish MFA

Image: Belsat TV

Open letter of Belsat TV employees

to the Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Poland, Radosław Sikorski


Warsaw, February 8, 2024


Dear Minister,

We are closely monitoring the situation surrounding Belsat with great concern. In our opinion, the circumstances are increasingly unstable and potentially dangerous. The station’s budget is still being determined, and our management’s financial powers are being frequently revoked and reinstated, but only for one month at a time.

In the background, the joyful voices of Lukashenka’s propagandists can be heard louder and louder, saying that Belsat is finished or that it will collapse in a moment. Meanwhile, the Putin’s regime in Russia gives us the illegal status of a foreign agent, which creates serious problems for people cooperating with Belsat’s Russian-language projects. At the same time, it is a specific recognition of our achievements in freedom of speech and opposing propaganda. In Belarus, for several years, we have been labeled as an extremist group.

The YouTube channel of Belsat’s Russian-language Vot-Tak project has gained over 1.3 million subscribers
2024.02.07 19:39

We ask for your support to help Belsat continue its challenging mission. As you probably know, Belsat is not only a Polish television channel. Belsat is an independent initiative of Polish and Belarusian journalists that operates across borders. Over time, colleagues from Russia and Ukraine have also joined the Belsat team. We all consider ourselves co-creators of this project and take responsibility for it. Therefore, we are reaching out to you.

Sir, we are writing to express our concerns regarding the current situation affecting Belsat. We are not only worried about the potential loss of our jobs and livelihoods, but we are also concerned about the fate of dozens of the Belarusians and the Russians who depend on employment in Poland for their right to stay in the country. People cooperating with Belsat are extremists in Belarus and foreign agents in Russia and will be punished under the new law on discrediting the Russian military. Many of us have no place to go back to. We will be threatened with repression and imprisonment. Such a situation would endanger our families who remained in Belarus and Russia. Unfortunately, such cases are already known.

The Russian editorial office of Belsat – Vot Tak – recognized as a „foreign agent” in Russia
2024.01.27 17:13

We are deeply devoted to Belsat as it is our life’s work. Most of us had to go through personal struggles to come to Poland. Nevertheless, we were fortunate to find a second home and a sense of security here. Belsat has allowed us to do what we do best: providing our fellow citizens with free media. We are concerned about the future of a medium important for Belarus and the entire region, especially since Poland has become a frontline state in a time of war. We would like to bring to your attention the statistics we provide to your Ministry every quarter, which show that our information reaches tens of millions of people in Russian, Belarusian, Ukrainian, Polish, and English. We work guided by the principles of reliable journalism, prepare objective information, and reach places where freedom of speech does not exist.

We began broadcasting as a Belarusian-language satellite television channel, and over the course of 17 years, we have grown into the most prominent media outlets of this type. We now broadcast from EU and NATO territories to almost the entire former USSR region. Our channel also serves as Poland’s effective soft power tool, resulting from years of hard work and dedication. Unfortunately, 17 of our colleagues are currently paying a heavy price for this work, with their freedom and health, as they are detained and suffering in Lukashenka’s prisons. 

Sum of all Belsat’s funerals
2024.01.23 13:28

Let’s ensure security and stability for Belsat. Let’s keep what works efficiently and effectively, competing even with the largest Russian media – especially in the current challenging international situation. We seek help establishing communication with our team and management, who created and successfully ran this project, regardless of the changing political situation in Poland. The people from Ukraine, Russia, Belarus, and Poland work harmoniously in our team. Although we come from different backgrounds and have diverse perspectives, we share common values. We believe in peace, the rule of law, and freedom of speech. We want to develop Belsat and not be afraid of its future.

Belsat Team

One hundred and seventy individuals have signed the letter. The complete list of signatories is available to the addressee and editorial office to protect them and their families residing in Belarus and Russia.

Translated by PEV