30 May 2020, Saturday, 11:11
Sim Sim, Charter 97!

Iryna Khalip: Who Believed That Soviet Union Would Break Up?

Iryna Khalip: Who Believed That Soviet Union Would Break Up?

The winner is the one who force the way through the concrete wall.

Well-known Belarusian journalist Iryna Khalip has told the palitviazni.info website about the stage of signature collection, which was held in the Partysanski constituency № 110 in Minsk:

- Signature collection was a very interesting stage. When you are standing in pickets or visiting the apartments, when you are talking to common people, you get a completely new experience and an idea of what is going on around you. Of what people are worried about and what they are afraid of.

At the same time, I've faced some incomprehensible things. I see that almost everyone wants changes, but a lot of people are scared and depressed. They want changes, but they don't believe it can happen.

This was a bit of a surprise to me.

In 2010, when people came to the Square to disagree with the results of the presidential election, people were brave and a lot of them believed that there would be changes in the near future. But nine years later, I actually discover that this faith is almost lost.

This leads to the idea that we need to work even harder. We have to talk to people, explain that a lot depends on us as well. And together we can achieve changes. Nothing will change if we just sit on the couch and stay silent. There have been many cases when the one, who was forcing his way through the concrete wall, won, although no one believed it. Did someone believe that someday the Soviet Union would fall apart? But it fell apart.

That's why we take part in the "parliamentary campaign" - to explain, to talk to people. And there is also the "presidential campaign" ahead.

- How many signatures have you collected?

- About one and a half thousand, though it takes a thousand to register. But we have handed in only 1,200 signature sheets, as the dubious ones were rejected just in case, in order to prevent the commission from "picking" at them.

- Did people recognize you when you were visiting the apartments? Perhaps, they remembered the events of 2010?

- As for awareness, fifty percent knew who I was.

I remember a case when I visited an apartment and there was an elderly retired woman. I could see that there was a leaflet of my husband Andrei Sannikov, who was a presidential candidate in 2010, in her closet behind the glass. She voted for him, she knows very well about the events of those times. And, you know, we hugged each other as if we were family. I had a feeling that I came to see a close person.