top of page

Should we surrender to Lukashenko?

Pavel Latushka: Deputy Head of the United Transitional Cabinet of Belarus, Head of the National Anti-Crisis Management, Ambassador

There is an opinion that the sanctions allegedly provoke Lukashenko to continue repressions in Belarus, and that allegedly, by strengthening sanctions, we contribute to even greater repression. So what should we do?

Let's try to look at this through another analogy: aggression and resistance. And let’s ask ourselves this question: Is it necessary to resist the aggressor? Is it necessary to punish him for aggression? Or should we lay down our arms, capitulate, and turn a blind eye to everything that he has already done, so as not to provoke him to even greater aggression?

Let me pose the question even more specifically: What should Ukraine have done when Russia, with the participation of the Lukashenko regime, launched a full-scale war against it? What should Ukraine have done to avoid "provoking" Russia? And what should Ukraine do now? Should they give up, capitulate, and surrender their territories? What should Ukraine’s partners do? What should Ukraine ask them for? Should they be told: "Okay, Russia, we stop helping Ukraine, remove all sanctions from you, and at the same time recognize that the territories you occupied officially become your part because we don’t want to provoke you further." Is that what should be done?

In 2020, the Lukashenko regime attacked Belarusians who do not want to live under his dictatorship (just like Ukrainians do not want to live under Russian occupation). This attack, in the form of massive daily reprisals, which have already been repeatedly described as having the characteristics of and falling under crimes against humanity in various international documents, continues to this day. According to the Justice Hub Center for Law and Democracy, as of May 2023, at least 136 thousand people became victims of these crimes.

In February 2022, Lukashenko, as Putin’s puppet, ensured Russia’s invasion of Ukraine from the territory of Belarus. In other words, together with Putin, he committed an act of aggression against Ukraine. And this crime of aggression continues to this day. At the same time, Lukashenko also commits war crimes by organizing the illegal movement and deportation of Ukrainian children from temporarily occupied territories.

So what do the proponents of the "do not provoke aggressors" approach offer us under these conditions? I will answer what they suggest: to resign, do nothing, and give up. Surrender Ukraine to Putin. And hand over Belarus to Lukashenko. Ultimately, this also means surrendering Belarus to his master, Putin.

In other words, instead of "to be," they propose "not to be." And what do you choose?



bottom of page