Belarusians in the elections in Berlin: fear for friends and hope for change

Белорусы на выборах в Берлине: страх за друзей и надежда на перемены

Living in Germany citizens of Belarus on elections of the President of the country not only voted in the Embassy in Berlin, and held a demonstration in the centre of the German capital.

Sunday’s weather gave the citizens of Belarus, living in Germany, the real test of strength. Over an hour in line on a 34-degree heat – so we had to wait in the sun to get to the polling station at the election of the President of Belarus. It was opened in the Embassy of this country in Germany, located in Berlin across the street from the famous Treptower Park.

Among the voters were predominantly people under the age of 40 years. At the exit, alternating every four hours, on duty volunteers who conducted a survey of voters after voting (exit polls). The volunteers refused to speak on any topic somehow related policies.

“We must remain neutral, – said the 43-year-old Lydia, who moved to Germany from Mogilev 20 years ago. She calls herself “a typical representative of the new wave of” activists. In the work of the elections it participated for the first time. This vote has mobilized a new layer of voters, she said. Who came to vote Belarusians in Berlin, it was possible to understand and without the data of the exit polls. Many on the wrist was a white ribbon as a symbol of solidarity with the Belarusian opposition.

Immigrant from Minsk: “We will return when the power changes”

“In these elections the people will win”, – says Svetlana. She lived in Germany for four years. “That is, the people have already won. If the country was good, people would not have stood up from the couch and went to the street to oppose the government,” she said.

“The difference in the current elections that have raised even the older generation. If old people and parents watched only state television and believed everything they say, they are now able to use the Internet and see what is happening in the country actually,” continues Svetlana. She fears for his friends in Belarus. “I think that on the streets of Minsk and other cities will be a lot of people,” says Svetlana.

28-year-old Sergei moved to Germany from the Belarusian capital five years ago. “So we came back, the country needs to change the power and disgusting what is happening now must end,” he explains.

Sergey is pessimistic and does not exclude even the fact that against demonstrators in Minsk can be applied to weapons, “But the authority thus sets the people against themselves, and very effective. And so opponents of the regime, now more than ever”.

The action of the Belarusian opposition in Berlin

On 9 August, Berlin was officially declared the hottest day of the year 2020. Despite the Inferno, two hundred activists with white-red-white flags gathered on the Alexanderplatz, in the afternoon pass through the centre of the city a protest March against President Lukashenko and in solidarity with its opponents. One of the organizers of the action – the activist Dmitry Chertkov, who left Belarus after the prosecution ten years ago.

“People are very tired” – so he describes the main difference between elections in 2020 from a previous re-election of Alexander Lukashenko. And yet – the opposition’s strategy of peaceful civil disobedience in response to allegations of electoral fraud, which are expected after the polls closed. “Sabotage, strikes, sick – and so on until the complete stop of the country, Lukashenka and fair elections, – predicts Dmitry. – I want to emphasize that our goal is not street protests themselves, and the removal of Lukashenka from power by peaceful means”. “Today in Minsk will be something big, – says the singer Veronika Kruglova, who lives in Germany for 15 years. – I’m scared, I’m very afraid of blood, but hope for a miracle”.

In Sunday’s demonstration in Berlin was attended not only citizens of Belarus and Moldova, Ukraine and Russia. 32-year-old IT-specialist Yuri who had moved to Germany from St. Petersburg, says he attended a rally in solidarity with the Belarusian people: “I Want Belarus finally democracy has arrived”. He also believes that “Lukashenka is not going away, but he is in a situation of zugzwang. But the events of recent weeks have shown that people are tired and want change”.

Белорусы на выборах в Берлине: страх за друзей и надежда на перемены

Белорусы на выборах в Берлине: страх за друзей и надежда на перемены

Белорусы на выборах в Берлине: страх за друзей и надежда на перемены

Белорусы на выборах в Берлине: страх за друзей и надежда на перемены

Белорусы на выборах в Берлине: страх за друзей и надежда на перемены

The demonstrators