Tsikhanouskaya: “Without a free Belarus there will be a constant threat to Ukraine” | DW Interview

From DW News.

For her courageous fight for "freedom, democracy and human rights" in her home country, Belarus opposition leader Sviatlana Tsikhanouskaya, together with two fellow activists has been awarded with the 2022 Charlemagne Prize – one of the most prestigious prizes in the EU. "Without free Belarus there will be a constant threat to Ukraine and to our western neighbors," Sviatlana Tsikhanouskaya, the leader of the democratic opposition in Belarus, tells DW. In an exclusive interview, Tsikhanouskaya demanded from Russia to withdraw all troops from Belarus. The Belarusian regime is collaborating with Russia, she said, but the people of Belarus support Ukraine with many fighting in the side of Kyiv.

Tsikhanouskaya is calling for the regime to release all political prisoners, stop repression in Belarus, and hold new, free, and fair elections. Lukashenko lost elections in 2020, but managed to stay in power through violence and Russia’s help, she says.

Thousands of children are waiting for their detained parents to come home, thousands of families are split. She shares that her children’s pain fuels her determination not to stop fighting.

Real sanctions on Belarus were only imposed when European security was threatened, says Tsikhanouskaya. After Lukashenko became co-aggressor in the war against Ukraine, the newly imposed sanctions started to work only recently.

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