Yesterday they were looking for Svetlana Tikhanovskaya for a whole evening in Belarus. An opposition candidate went to the CEC to file a complaint about the recount of votes stolen from her while processing ballots.
Tikhanovskaya did not leave the building of the election commission for 7 hours. One can only guess with which "members" and which department she spoke to. Three hours after the start of the mysterious meeting, Tikhanovskaya's lawyer came out of the building, who indistinctly explained that he had left the CEC through the front door, while the candidate herself allegedly left through the back porch. Tikhanovskaya's headquarters also could not say anything.
She did not get in touch, the phone was disconnected.
Only at night there was a message that, leaving that memorable meeting, Svetlana said that “she made a decision,” got into the car and drove off in an unknown direction.
Only at 9 am the details became known.
Foreign Minister Linas Linkevicius said that Tikhanovskaya arrived in Lithuania after being held in Belarus for 7 hours. “It was a very stressful night”, - the Lithuanian minister said in a radio interview. Svetlana's confidant Olga Kovalkova said that the Belarusian authorities were taking Tikhanovskaya out of the country. Her chief of staff, Maria Moroz, who had been arrested before August 9, also left with her.
And then Svetlana recorded the appeal (video here):
“You know, I thought that this whole campaign hardened me very much and gave me so much strength that I could endure everything. But, probably, I remained the weak woman I was originally. I made a very difficult decision for myself. I made this decision absolutely on my own: neither friends, nor relatives, nor the headquarters, nor Sergey in any way could simply influence on it. And I know that many will understand me, many will condemn me, and many will hate me. But, you know, God forbid to face such a choice that I faced.
Therefore, people, take care of yourself, please - no life is worth what is happening now. Children are the most important thing in our life".
Svetlana Tikhanovskaya experienced incredible pressure from Lukashenko and his regime. Husband Sergei Tikhanovsky is still in prison, two children had to be taken away from Belarus. Bloody protests have been raging across the country for the second night in a row, followed by arrests. More than 5,000 people were arrested. Belarus is ablaze. Lukashenko is nervous. Yesterday, for the first time in Brest and Minsk, army units were seen, which Lukashenko ordered to enter the cities.
“Kidnappings, blackmail, hostages - welcome to the new five-year plan of Tarakan's rule. However, nothing new”, - the Nexta live channel writes to Telegram. We cannot even imagine how and with what they threatened her, journalists write.
Svetlana Tikhanovskaya never said that she was Joan of Arc. She raised two children and was not involved in politics until politics came to her house, when her husband Sergei Tikhanovsky, a popular blogger and critic Alexander Lukashenko, was arrested. But she was not afraid and took the place of her husband. And she won the elections.
For Belarusians, Svetlana has become a symbol of change. She personified themselves, ordinary citizens who are not eager for power. But when it is necessary, they, like her, will get up and go and will do what they should. This is how it happens now on the streets of Belarusian cities.
The main question of the moment is whether the protests will subside with the departure of Tikhanovskaya. Some say yes. Others think not. Iryna Khalip, a former political prisoner and a journalist for Novaya Gazeta, told Nastoyasnaya Vremya yesterday that this is not the end. The main thing now is to support the protest. And strikes all over the country are the path to freedom.
Observers say that this time the Belarusian protest has outgrown personality. Now it's not about Tikhanovskaya. People no longer want Lukashenko and do not want a quiet, poor life. It is only in democracies, albeit weak ones, like in Lebanon, that politicians resign. Dictators are not resigning. Therefore, the citizens of Belarus have only two options: either they will continue the struggle now, or they will leave the country for another five years, Lukashenko and his family.
But even if this happens, the countdown for Alexander Grigorievich has already begun.
The clock is ticking: tick tock, tick tock.