As you know, the Belarusian authorities are trying with all their might to silence the Nobel Prize for Literature laureate, a member of the Coordination Council of the Belarusian opposition, writer Svetlana Alexievich, who published her appeal to the Russian intelligentsia the day before:
“I also want to appeal to the Russian intelligentsia, let's call it in that old way. Why are you silent? We only hear rare voices of support. Why are you silent when you see a small, proud people being trampled? We are still your brothers".
Many official and semi-official Russian media outlets also gladly joined in the harassment of Alexievich. For example, the site Svobodnoye Slovo publishes material with a very telling headline: “Nobel hypocrite Alexievich. The Belarusian writer begs for help from people, on whose grave she would gladly spit on occasion”. It says, in part:
"If you believe the anecdote, the record of impudence is to go out to the staircase, go in front of the door opposite because of a greater need, and then call and ask for toilet paper..."
Svetlana herself, of course, is very hard going through such insults in her address. In this regard, representatives of the progressive Russian intelligentsia write in their blogs words of support for the Nobel laureate. Here are just a few of them:
Writer Alexander Arkhangelsky - Svetlana Alexievich
Dear Svetlana, of course, we cannot be silent, and we are not silent, although voices do not always pass through the noise curtain. It is difficult (and is it possible in principle) to find any intelligent, at least sane person who would not be in solidarity with the people of Belarus and would not despise the parody dictator, liar, rapist who ruins the country, corrupts the state and humiliates citizens. I believe that you will succeed - slowly, persistently, peacefully. And this will be a new page in the history of European freedom.
Translator Yelena Baevskaya - Svetlana Alexievich
Dear Svetlana Alexandrovna! Dear Belarusian like-minded people!
You expect support from us, but in fact it is we who draw support from you. Our society today still does not know what the citizens of Belarus have done, does not know how to unite, does not know how to realize that it is ruled by a cruel dictator and his henchmen. There are many of us, those who understand what crimes are happening in Belarus and in Russia, but our voices do not have such weight to change something in our country right now, to put pressure on our dictator, to demand that Lukashenka stop providing overt and secret support on our behalf.
We will try to learn from you. We want to hope that our country will stop sliding into a dictatorial concentration camp regime and will stop supporting dictatorships in other countries.
Writer Denis Dragunsky - Svetlana Alexievich
DEEP-RESPECTED SVETLANA ALEXANDROVNA!
I am answering your bitter and fair letter. Unfortunately - or perhaps fortunately - I cannot write on behalf of, much less on behalf of, the Russian intelligentsia.
But on my own behalf, on my own behalf, I express the most ardent and heartfelt support for the struggle of the people of Belarus for freedom, right, justice and, most importantly, for their honor. Against humiliation by repression and lies.
On the "Victory Bridge" in Moscow, on a pedestal with the figure of a soldier-defender of the homeland, it is written: "For our honor and freedom, forward to the enemy!" Honor comes first; this is the main engine of the protest, this is what raises a wave of noble rage - and I believe that the people of Belarus will be able to fully answer for the desecration of their human, democratic and national honor. Will be able to restore freedom and justice.
What can I do? Only at every meeting, in every conversation, explain to people the truth about what is happening in Belarus now.
Your business is just - the victory will be yours.
Sincerely yours, Denis Dragunsky, writer and journalist .
Philologist Oleg Lekmanov - Svetlana Alexievich
Dear Svetlana Alexandrovna,
We are not silent and are trying as best we can to support the fraternal people who are trying to free themselves peacefully from the power of the vile, maddened cockroach. Many of us are very ashamed of the state that calls itself "Russian Federation", which supports this cockroach. We are also ashamed that all of us, unlike you, do not have enough heartfelt words to convince our people no longer to put up with the arbitrariness that is happening in poor, slavish and long-suffering Russia.
We look at Belarus with hope and believe in your victory!
Translator Natalia Mavlevich - Svetlana Alexievich
Why are you silent? - the Nobel laureate Svetlana Alexievich asks us, and therefore me. And I can't help but answer.
We are silent - more precisely, we speak alone, dozens of us go out to the embassy of Belarus with white-red-white flags, hundreds of us sign letters in support of Belarusians, but all this dies out against the background of the dead silence of Russian society and the shameless lies of the Russian authorities - we are silent, because that our country is poisoned by the darkness of evil, intimidated by its disgusting power, corrupted by cynical propaganda, because people here have long resigned themselves to their impotence at best, and at worst - have forgotten what dignity, freedom, solidarity are, and it is easy to believe that to defend they can be either madmen or "paid foreign agents."
We are disconnected and paralyzed. Looking at the Belarusians, I hope that not forever, but how bitter and shameful it is to wait for the awakening of compatriots, when millions of people have risen nearby, defending the truth, law, dignity, and the only thing that hinders their victory is money, clubs and tanks of our tyrant ...
It is already obvious that when every city and every street protests, everyone protests - students and teachers, workers and programmers, doctors and housewives - this protest cannot be broken by violence. But how many people will have time to torture and destroy the anthropoid dogs in masks and without identification marks?
There are not so few of us, like-minded people who understand what is really going on in Belarus and who wholeheartedly support free Belarusians. We try to tell the truth, each of us is a small news agency, but it is very difficult to break through the cottony indifference of the majority. And yet, I want to tell you, Svetlana Aleksandrovna, all Belarusians, as well as my compatriots and the Russian authorities: Lukashenko is a usurper, Tikhanovskaya is the legitimate president of Belarus, the protest of the Belarusian people is legal, and its suppression is illegal.
Only slaves can believe in the words of Minister Lavrov about "external interference" and the need to support the "leadership of Belarus" - this is not a leadership, but criminals. As a citizen of Russia, I demand that the authorities of my country not dare to stifle Belarus under the guise of support.
Poet Lev Rubinstein - Svetlana Alexievich
I, too, like many, would like to answer your alarmed and bitter message to the shyly silent Russian "intelligentsia".
I quoted this word because it loses more and more its content and its instrumental capabilities. This word is used too broadly, too contradictory, it is too shamelessly appropriated by all sorts of crooks and scoundrels claiming their exclusive right to speak and act on behalf of not only the “Russian intelligentsia”, but even the “Russian people”.
This word is valued today in our open spaces not much more expensive than the absolutely devalued word "patriotism".
By the way, about patriotism.
These days, on the streets and squares of your country, we observe a majestic, tragic, endlessly bewitching sight. We see the people, not the population, which we, unfortunately, see around us.
We see the people as a free community of men and women of different ages, educational levels and cultural orientations and aspirations, united by a common desire for truth, for justice, for modernity. And this unifying force suddenly became stronger than all differences and even contradictions.
And what is striking in this, first of all, is the combination of fearlessness and perseverance with a principled, internally motivated presumption of non-violence.
We see not “striving for freedom”, but ALREADY FREE people, rehabilitating with their unparalleled social and aesthetic behavior - at least in my eyes - the word “patriotism”. If in our days patriotism is possible in principle in the positive sense of the word, then this is just that.
I know that in the last days you have received and continue to receive many messages like mine. And I just like that these are private and personal statements, and not "appeals of a group of citizens." Collective appeals are also needed and also useful. And they are, and I myself have signed such appeals more than once or twice.
But, I repeat, there is no "intelligentsia" and there is no "people", but there are individuals who are capable of various forms of solidarity and empathy and who know the language of meaningful communication with each other.
I like to quote from time to time a passage from Chekhov's letters, a passage with which I fully agree. Here it is:
"I believe in individual people, I see salvation in individuals scattered throughout Russia here and there - whether they are intellectuals or muzhiks - they are strong, although they are few." That's it! And yes, they are few!
One of your books is called War Does Not Have a Woman's Face.
Nowadays, you yourself, your high moral position, and the spontaneously emerging leaders (leaders?) Of the Belarusian protest, including that namesake of yours who, judging by the stolen results of the last elections, became the president (president?) Of the country, and beautiful and brave woman Masha Kolesnikova, and those hundreds and thousands of amazing, impossibly beautiful, free and, in spite of everything, good-natured female and girlish faces, which you can look at endlessly, testify that the war may have come true, the face is not female, but freedom, dignity, creative gaiety and decisive tenderness have a face, in general, a woman's.
On the first or second day of the crowded protests in Minsk and other Belarusian cities, I wrote on my Facebook page following fresh impressions:
“Belarus: Horizontal Women's Revolution.
Let them succeed!"
You will succeed, I'm sure. You will win by making each other happy and defeating yourself. Maybe not today or even tomorrow, but sure.
Dear Svetlana! If my message reaches you, once again accept from me the words of solidarity and admiration - both by you personally and by your amazing and endlessly inspiring people.
And to you - health, patience and safety. Take care of yourself.
I am writing to you, I repeat, not on behalf of the "intelligentsia", but on my own behalf, and it seems to me that this is much more important.
Yours Lev Rubinstein
Poet Olga Sedakova - Svetlana Alexievich
Your letter requires some kind of immediate and meaningful response: I cannot read it otherwise. The answer is from me personally. For others - for the Russian intelligentsia - I cannot and will not undertake to speak. Fortunately, I hear the voices of people close to me, who - each on his own behalf - express the same attitude to what is happening in Belarus, which I want to express. First of all, admiration for the people, which before our very eyes is turning into a united, fearless, peaceful nation. This is not the notorious "opposition" - it is the entire people, all its strata, ages, conditions. We did not expect this at all - and you, it seems, did not expect this. This is a movement of incredible spiritual beauty. It is as if people have been disenchanted and they say "No!" meanness, cruelty, lies, habitual humiliation and are ready for the sake of this human "No!", for the sake of the dignity of freedom for much. We don't see this in Russia. Hopefully, we don't see it yet.
And - another, opposite: disgust and horror at what the authorities allow themselves to do with their own people: all these unthinkable stories of torture, mockery, sadism. So openly criminal - let me say, simply devilish - the face of the regime has never dared to show itself in the light of day. When you see the shots where several young men beat and maim a girl, rush after teenagers, choose the most vile ways to humiliate and maim unarmed people, it seems that this simply cannot be. Where were they taught this, how were they made like that? How can this go unpunished?
And third: horror at the thought that it is with this regime that our government is choosing an alliance. Only the forms of its support are discussed: direct military or the usual hybrid, without identification marks. These decisions are made in secret from us. Nobody is going to listen to our opinion on this matter. This can be frustrating. With that kind of support, I'm afraid you won't be able to cope.
That seems to be all that I can answer you.
And with all my heart I wish you safety and health! And to your associates, and to all the wonderful people of Belarus.