Svyatlana Tsikhanouskaya calls on siloviki to side with Belarusians

Opposition politician Svyatlana Tsikhanouskaya has addressed representatives of Belarusian uniformed services, asking them to come over to the Belarusian people’s side.

“We set October, 25 as a date of delivering People’s Ultimatum. And I would like to appeal to security officers. You are used to following orders. But you should realise that orders will soon be given by a new, democratic government. It is inevitable. You are used to showing obedience to your superiors. But should you really do so if they protect only one person, not the people of Belarus? This is illegal.

‘Stop terror!’ Wisdom march in Minsk. 19 October 2020. Photo: ТК / Belsat

People’s Ultimatum is your chance to side with the Belarusians. If you do not agree to comply with criminal orders, do not do that. As the regime knows it is dying, they are trying to cast in their lot with all of you, tarnishing your uniform. Do not let it happen. Those who committed the crimes will be held personally responsible. There will be no sweeping lustration. A new Belarus will need your work as well as a system of law enforcement agencies. Contact us, contact foundations, make a public appeal, showing support for your people. Keep the oath that each of you swore to the Belarusians. There are only five days left until People’s Ultimatum [takes effect],” she said on Telegram.

On October 13, Tsikhanouskaya’s team published the text of People’s Ultimatum they are going to issue to Alyaksandr Lukashenka and Belarusian officials. They strongly urge the regime to fulfil the following demands in the near future: Lukashenka’s announcing his resignation; putting an end to police violence in the streets; releasing all political prisoners.

“If our demands have not been met by October 25, the entire country will take to the streets to peacefully deliver People’s Ultimatum; on October 26, all enterprises will start striking, all roads will be blocked, there will be a massive drop in state shops’ sales. You have 13 days to fulfil three conditions. We have 13 days to get ready; and Belarusians will continue their peaceful and persistent protest during this period of time.”

Two days later, the Belarusian authorities included Svyatlana Tsikhanouskaya on the interstate wanted list under Article 361-3 of the Belarusian Criminal Code (‘calls for overthrowing the constitutional order’).

Svyatlana Tsikhanouskaya tells about family, faith and politics in exclusive interview with Belsat TV