Belarus – the country of fields, swamps, lowlands and potato.
We live in the centre of Europe and possess the biggest deposits of tolerance, where the reasonableness of humility rules the hearts of the people. Also, we have a real, spectacular Dictator – Aleksandr Lukashenko. AKA Bat’ka (The Dad)
We are educated, smart, spiritually strong and infinitely patient. We haven’t been always like that – we have a rich history as a part of different countries. Our lands were the major trade routes, many nations have found their shelter here. Many people you might know, originally come from Belarus.
The short list, just to surprise you:
Isaac Asimov – the writer
Mark Shagal – the artist
Kazimir Malevich – the black square, great piece
Louis Bart Mayer – the Hollywood founder
Zhores Ivanovich Alferov – the scientist
Svetlana Aleksievich – the Noble prize winner of 2015
And much more….
They all are the people of the swamp, natives of our land.
For 22 years the throne of our kingdom is occupied by the Aleksandr Lukashenko. Like any real dictator he eliminates his political opponents physically, but since 2010, he assured the media, that he doesn’t do it ANYMORE (true story, his parapraxis in front of the cameras).
Alexandr Lukashenko is the People’s dictator of modern times. A historian by education, (awww, just like me). Charismatic tall man of 58 years, who has ruled the country since the collapse of the Soviet Union unchallenged. He ascended the throne in 1994 when the small ex-Soviet republic was in chaos and devastation. He promised to release the media, to dismiss the old officials, wipe off the organized crime from the Belarusian land. People believed him of course. He is strong folk with moustaches – who wouldn’t? And, the most important feature, he is from the province. Our country is small, everyone knows each other. A villager can not be a bad person. Period. Two years later, 1996 (I was 11 and my parents were in the opposition) Belorussian people discovered that the wages have reduced, the country is still in the same post-Soviet deficit and the election campaign promises have not been fulfilled.
The country wanted a revolution. Zakharenko (the right hand of Lukashenko) was preparing the impeachment, the people were sharpening their pitchforks to go to the dictatorial Palace. However, two days before the alleged impeachment Zakharanka disappeared. Some said – he left. Went to the forest. Forever. In a black car without license plates. The people understood – it’s time to beat the king. They came with their pitchforks and he sent the army to greet the people.
My mother that day returned with a broken nose and torn raincoat. It was her only raincoat. Then everyone who wanted to confront the madman understood that he will not give up the power. I was in the opposition organizations for a long time and wanted to fight back, but then I realized that Belarus – a small toy a country that is a caricature of the whole world. Leaders of all countries cling to power. Somewhere (like in the USA) presidents are actors who are loved by people, somewhere they are open dictators who cling to power by any known means (like in North Korea). So there’s no point to fight it locally. The whole world should rise against and make it spin the other direction. A couple more generations. A couple more wars…
Now I will introduce you to its dictator and his success.
My salary is 180 US dollars. This is the average salary in the city. The average salary in the country is $ 230. And do not think that everything is as cheap as in China. We have the same prices as in Europe for clothing. The food is slightly cheaper and the utilities are partially covered by social programs.
For the past 20 years, the devaluation (it’s when you take off a couple of zeroes) of the Belarusian ruble has occurred 4 times. I do not remember what was the first money like. Oh, here they are:
Aleksandr Lukashenko and the Constitution
The attitude of Alexander Lukashenko to the constitution is indicative, he has changed it four times and then simply ignored.
In fact, the constitution of our country does not work. Elections is a formality. They were demonstratively-open in 2010. Then everything seemed to work. And we went on a square to celebrate the coming victory of the alternative candidate. But we got beaten. Again. 6 presidential candidates were arrested, one was attacked and taken to KGB (yes, we still have KGB) before the end of voting. The city turned into the river of people. Then the military forces came. 760 people were arrested. In general, the elections went well. For Aleksandr Lukashenko. He got 86 percents. A bit less, than his usual 90. He “won”. Again…. This lady has counted every single vote manually and has found no flaws in the election campaign of her best friend – Aleksandr Lukashenko.
The square of 2010
But for some reason, he minded that the people of Minsk would call the results of the fair election into question.
We tried to fight back, organized the public meetings, but always got arrested. KGB round-up of the silent protest.
The great anger has faded. If you want to know how to tolerate – come to live here. We give our money for the construction of ski resorts, which we can not afford to visit.
We pay taxes for not having a job (tax for parasitism), we pay tax for the debts (you can not just borrow money from a friend). If we start making more money than the average Belarusian should – the money is taken from us and we go to jail. The dictator needs our money.
He needs to buy toys for his younger son he never parts with…. Who can blame him for loving his son?
We stay a peace-loving nation and we never wish bad. We have the awful music because we can not enjoy life, even the art.We have no cinema because it is very difficult to make a good movie for $ 180. At the same time, we have a lot of good programmers and beautiful women who do not have any claims to the men because the Second World War killed 70% of the male population and women are accustomed to nursing our men like we nurse our children. Our people work hard. Out of the habit. Our country was the workshop of the Soviet Union and the ideology has obliged people to do everything qualitatively, in order that the whole country could enjoy the fruits of our labor. We are 61st world economy. Our streets are clean, crime is low (everybody is in jail), our people are sad.
Our media tells how terrible it is to be black in the USA, and how “gay” and “lesbian” are all the people in the European Union. According to the media, we have the best country in the world with no war and stable… everything. Stable low salaries, a consistently high rate of the dollar. And if something gets unstable – you can always organize a terrorist attack on the subway so that the nation forgets about the bad economy and get angry with terrorists, who get immediately executed without a fair trial (Sounds familiar? No? Try to remember 11 September).
That’s how we live. And we do not complain. Complaining is illegal. We can’t even have silent protests – it’s illegal… Clapping in a public place is also illegal, true story
And don’t ask me, why don’t we do anything about this situation. We have too many people, who work in police and too little people, who want to spend their lives in jail. Is it dangerous to write an article of the kind? I don’t care, I just love writing and telling true stories.
So grab your popcorn and enjoy the best quotes of the dictator – Aleksandr Lukashenko
“As a child, I was growing among animals and plants”
“The red and white (NB. communists and imperialists) are grunting same by the feeder named “power”
“Oh, don’t you complain about being sick! We have a lot of sick people in the government”
“You’ve asked for the rain – I gave you the rain!”
“The standard of living of the modern Belarusian people is below the knee for various reasons, I don’t think it can be any lower”
“The people who speak Belorussian language (our native language) can not do anything except speaking Belorussian because you can hardly express anything great in Belorussian. Belarusian language – is the language of the poor. There are only two great languages the world – Russian and English.”
“We will render humanitarian aid to them [pause] with weapons.”
“Our dictatorship does not disturb anybody to live and develop.”
“For the sake of peace in the country, I am ready to sacrifice my own mind.”
“My father died in the WWII too” – Lukashenko was born in 1954
“I will be legitimate for a long time. I have not done it all yet, that’s why I will not lose power soon.”
“I love to play football, hockey, but mostly I play alone.”
“It’s better to be a dictator, than gay”
There are many more, but I’m tired…. And need some sleep before I go to jail.