Friends, on October 29th, the representative of Victor Babaryka’s team, Maxim Bogretsov, was broadcasting live. Maxim commented on current events, answered questions and touched up the topic of the important www.23-34.net project.
About “Together” public association.
Today, we are all fully focused on pulling through the pressure from the authorities, and it is difficult for us to concentrate on creative steps. Our activities are focused on releasing hostages, stopping repressions and violence. One day this will be over, Belarusians will have the opportunity to participate in the political processes. In such a situation, it will be necessary to create a public association in order to unite like-minded people and work to make the dreams come true. I hope that soon it will be possible. Since August 2020, there have been no NGOs (non-governmental organizations) registered in Belarus. Public associations have not been registered for years. We expect that the authorities will realize that pressure on the streets cannot solve the problem. Right at this moment, a public association will appear on the team’s headquarters’ base.
Do you plan to influence the constitution-making?
Reforming and improvements to the Constitution are needed. But, again, today it is not clear why this should be done, other than to distract people from the vital problem of dispersing peaceful protests and stolen elections, when even the existing laws are not being followed.
After all, the question is not only about changing a person. It is also about the system that should work transparently, according to the rules. This is important for both business and investors alike.
Of course, in any situation when the authorities start a dialogue, we think whether we can participate in it. As things stand now, we see that all the steps taken by the authorities are manipulations and only create an illusion of the process.
Who is Voskresensky and how did your headquarters work with him?
He was a member of the initiative group to collect signatures. Personally, like many people at the headquarters, I did not meet with him. At the end of the campaign, as I understand it, he was not at the headquarters.
How can you comment on Voskresensky’s statement on the creation of a dialogue platform for those who were part of the headquarters of Babaryka and Tsapkala?
He has been in prison for a long time, and you need to be sympathetic to this. But the situation certainly looks like a set-up deal. Unfortunately, such initiatives appear regularly on the part of the authorities. They call political prisoners for the round table and say that they are allegedly ready to discuss constitutional reforms with them.
On the other hand, we are not politicians. We are used to doing something else, according to the rules, with complete transparency of the process, but, unfortunately, we do not see anything like that. The authorities are trying to fool us, while we are ready to sit down to talk. We are ready for any signals from the authorities. The release of all political prisoners who were sitting at the round-table with Alexander Grigoryevich Lukashenko, cessation of violence – that will be the best signal that everyone is ready to work to overcome the crisis.
What do they say in Russia about our situation?
At the beginning of our conversations, there were many parallels with the Maidan, but we constantly explained that our protest was peaceful. Our goal is not just to change the government, but also to start living by the law, not just by someone’s want. There is no point in discussing the new Constitution when the main provisions of the existing Constitution are not kept. The origin of our protests is that such behavior of our authorities really got to everyone.
The current government is unacceptable for everyone. It’s not good for partnerships. There are many examples of how Belarus is not a reliable partner. Many partner projects simply moved mechanically.
We hope for Russia’s neutrality. We hope that Belarusian people themselves will figure out how to live and what kind of government should be in the country.
What are the expectations for the hi-tech park? How long will it exist like this?
HTP will be very difficult now. Creative business is highly dependent on the mood of people and employees. In the situation of uncertainty in which we find ourselves, it is very difficult for people to plan their future in Belarus. That’s why they are waiting. In addition, investors also decided to pause some projects until better times. Now isn’t the best time not only for the HTP, but also for any business that is based on investments.
At the same time our neighbors have activated and want to attract our businesses from the HTP, because they are very mobile and profitable.
What needs to be done to make everything change? We need to start respecting the law, people, their rights, the Constitution and international agreements. After that business will start to improve, not only at the HTP.
How can IT specialists help the Coordinating Council and the movement?
There are many platforms, such as «Golos», for example, «Honest People» movement, «Peramen» platform, where the knowledge and experience of IT specialists is in high demand.
They can participate in solidarity charity activities. Charity is what IT-specialists have been doing for many years. Today, more than ever, such help from my colleagues is needed. IT-specialists, to be honest, earn much more than the average Belarusian.
People today need both encouragement and help in acquisition of new professions, help with future work. So that a person can feel normal and plan his life. This is very important: not just to give money, but to support people.
I am sure that many of the platforms of solidarity created today will be in demand for many years. These digital platforms are developing very quickly today, also because the country’s authorities have practically cut off the opportunity to help each other in the country. These platforms will unite people in the future.
How can IT-specialists support striking workers?
The main thing on Monday, October 26, was to see that we are together, that we stand for the violence to end, for the return of legitimacy. Many people and companies have done it. Expressing solidarity is very important. The financial support, which we talked about earlier, should also be there.
Is there an intangible initiative to support the security chiefs?
After all, we are all one nation. When I go out, I have both symbols: white-red-white and red-green. It is very important for me. We still live in the same state. We have the same passport. Security officers are an equal part of the nation.
There are people who have violated the law, and it will be necessary to deal with them according to the law. Investigate their activities. Someone will need psychological help, rehabilitation.
I am convinced that the overwhelming majority of people went to the authorities to serve the native land, but they obey the orders and often cannot express their opinions openly.
They can also become an active core of Belarus in the future. Some of them left the authorities and lost their benefits. We need to help them find opportunities to apply to their talents. Difficult times will end, and professionals in their field will be in demand in the new Belarus. We’ll all be there soon.
I have lived in USA for 20 years. A typical situation there is to see police officers resting on Saturday morning, where children come up to take pictures, and adults are ready to pay their bills. I am sure that someday we will come to the same high integration of society.
How do you assess the chances of a quick recovery of the Belarusian economy in the context of Lukashenka’s departure in the next 1-3 months?
Almost all analysts and businessmen with whom I am acquainted, the huge diaspora of Belarusians abroad, they all discuss these issues and are ready to be involved in their solution. If we get a legitimate power in Belarus, they will turn on and start working for the economy of Belarus. Today they don’t work at best, and at worst they work outside of the country.
If Lukashenka’s departure happens next month, we will quickly resolve the economic problems.