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The monument to Lenin in Minsk will be pulled down

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

When the first deputy prime minister, Andrei Kobyakov, stood by the window and looked at the monument to Lenin on Independence Square, I told him, “Belarus will only change if this monument is removed from the central square.”

This monument was erected on the square 90 years ago during the period when Lenin began to appear prominently in many cities of Belarus. With the advent of the Soviets, Belarusians experienced the mass destruction of their national culture, history, and language through bloody repression and persecution, affecting hundreds of thousands of Belarusians.

Many years have passed since then. Over time, the symbol of the Soviet era has become synonymous with the Lukashenko regime. Just like in Soviet times, today we have thousands of political prisoners, the destruction of Belarusian culture and language, and the same oppressive atmosphere. Everything remains the same, only the names of the executors have changed. And the symbol that remains constant is the monument to Lenin in the central square of Belarus.

In the 2020s, even amidst the excitement of the Belarusian public consciousness, Lenin still stands witness to the gatherings of thousands of free Belarusians in Minsk. He also witnessed the rallies of the 1990s.

Lenin monuments epitomize Lukashenko's essence. He shows no interest in national heroes, Belarusian cultural figures, or artists. Unfortunately, it must be acknowledged that until we eradicate Lenin's presence from our country and pay tribute to our own Belarusian heroes rather than foreign ones, it will be difficult to envision Belarus as a free, democratic, and independent nation.

The restoration of historical memory is an ongoing process that will unfold with time. The independence of our country holds a unique significance that necessitates our unwavering protection. National culture assumes a pivotal role in this regard. I am confident that the future of Belarus will pay homage to the memory of those who have made significant contributions to our national heritage, and this will be one of our crucial undertakings.

Belarusian culture is abundant, remarkable, and exceptional. A time will come when monuments honoring Belarusians, not foreigners, will proudly grace the streets of Belarus.



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