‘The revolution is already over’: Activist Roman Protasevich speaks to RT from custody about failed road protests in Belarus

The tried revolution in Belarus has failed as a result of the road has been misplaced. That’s in response to opposition activist Roman Protasevich, who spoke to RT’s Russian service about his involvement with final 12 months’s protest motion.

Protasevich is greatest recognized for his involvement with Telegram channel NEXTA, a information service that helped inform Belarusian activists and protesters about areas of demonstrations in summer time 2020, following what some opposition supporters consider to be a rigged presidential election. Activists have been met with pressure by the nation’s safety companies, with police and inner troops utilizing tear fuel, stun grenades, and rubber bullets to disperse protesters. Many others have been arrested and put behind bars. Protests continued all through the autumn, earlier than tapering off in direction of the top of the 12 months.

Protasevich himself is at present underneath home arrest in Belarus. He was detained after a airplane he was flying on was forcefully grounded in Minsk final May after a false bomb risk was conveyed by Belarusian air site visitors management to the pilot of a Ryanair flight. He faces expenses of organizing mass unrest, which may carry a sentence of as much as 15 years behind bars.

The interview with RT was performed with Protasevich nonetheless in custody, and, subsequently, his solutions might have been given underneath duress. 

Also on rt.com Belarusian opposition decry state TV interview with ‘hostage’ Protasevich as jailed activist voices fear of extradition to Donbass

When requested if he was one of many “co-authors” of an “attempted coup,” Protasevich replied within the affirmative, noting that the revolution try had lengthy failed.

“In reality, it probably became clear in December, or maybe even November, that the revolution was already over,” the activist mentioned. “Without the street, it is impossible to carry out a revolution.”

According to Protasevich, the tried coup was coordinated by bloggers vehemently against long-time President Alexander Lukashenko, nevertheless it was not essentially in favor of any single candidate. Because of that, exiled Belarusian opposition determine Svetlana Tikhanovskaya stood in because the “against Lukashenko” candidate, and that’s why she had such broad help.

“Let’s call a spade a spade. This failed revolution was mostly done by journalists and bloggers. Not some local opposition politicians,” he famous.

Protasevich additionally went on to bash the present Belarusian opposition, revealing that he needs to create a brand new media challenge that can be someplace within the center, between the pro- and anti-government viewpoints.

“This is what society now demands. Because society is tired of rampant propaganda and hate speech,” he mentioned, attacking each state-run and opposition media.

Also on rt.com Regime change efforts in Belarus have entered a stalemate. But Russia is likely to be working in direction of an ‘Armenian solution’ for Minsk

This assertion, given whereas in custody, might be perceived out of character for a journalist who labored for the Belarusian version of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, an American state-run information outlet, and was overtly and strongly against the nation’s authorities.

“I’m not a pro-Western person. I believe that Belarus’ position should be similar to that of an eastern European Switzerland,” he continued, noting that Tikhanovskaya, who has met with a number of heads of state within the West, had initially made overtures to the Kremlin.

“It turns out that now, in principle, the entire opposition is exclusively pro-Western,” he mentioned. “That is despite the fact that many people who call themselves Communists or pro-Russian took part in the protests.”

In June, Belarusian state TV aired a so-called confession interview with Protasevich. The activist appeared to have been coerced to confess underneath risk of deportation to the unrecognized Lugansk People’s Republic (LPR), within the east of Ukraine, the place he’s needed for alleged participation in fight operations alongside a neo-Nazi militia, the Azov Battalion, in Donbass through the 2014 battle.

In response to that interview, a number of Belarusian opposition figures got here out to sentence the authorities. In explicit, Frank Viačorka, a senior advisor to the previous presidential candidate, Tikhanovskaya, referred to as the confession “painful” and labeled Protasevich a “hostage of the regime.”

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