21 April 2024, Sunday, 2:52
the website
Sim Sim,
Charter 97!

Lukashenka’s Three Turtles

Lukashenka’s Three Turtles

One is already broken, the others are lame.

In essence, Lavon Volski in his famous song gave a formula that is universal for every Belarusian. The Three Turtles. It may seem simple, but nothing more is needed.

Moreover, each of us has our own turtles. Those that help us keep our feet on the ground, preventing us from falling into the abyss. Each person has their own, but different, so we definitely won’t fight or push each other into the abyss from the turtle shells. For some it’s language, faith, independence. For others — N.R.M., “Pahonya”, the Square. For some — a home, a lamp on the corner, the “Kupalinka” song. For example, my personal turtles are Gorky Park, “Narodny Album” and the flag. Of course, sometimes they can replace each other, but there are always the three of them. Because if there are only two turtles, a person begins to stagger and lose support, but with one no person can hold on at all — they will slip into the abyss and disappear forever.

By a strange coincidence, Lukashenka also lives on our land. This means that the effect of turtles extends to him. By the way, everything is simple with him. For more than a quarter of a century, he was kept here by three very specific turtles: the indifference of the majority, the loyalty of the security forces and the help of Moscow. You could stand on these turtles forever — together they are practically invulnerable.

The first to surrender was the one who was responsible for the indifference of the people. For many years it was the fattest and most resilient turtle. There was no need to even try very hard to curry favor with the security forces. One could afford to quarrel with Moscow over gas prices and call its shutdown an act of terrorism, as happened once. The most stable turtle, the bastion of power, stood strong. And no matter how Lukashenka tortured people, putting them in prison and killing them, calling entrepreneurs lousy fleas, and the people “folks” (“the folks went running to exchange offices”), the majority was completely satisfied.

Schengen visas were easily given to everyone; everyone could go to Poland or Lithuania, for shopping or sightseeing. Zybitskaya Street was seething, creating the illusion of a normal life. Jazz at the Town Hall, permitted songs and dances on the hundredth anniversary of the BPR, “Autumn Salon”, street food festivals — isn’t that life? Quite a European life. No elections — oh well. No independent press left — but who needs it, after all, everyone is already smart anyway. Some incomprehensible people go to prison for no reason — they are marginalized, it’s their own fault, they could live normally, and what did they lack? Just think, Statkevich and Seviarynets are always either in the liberty restriction facility or in prison — this is their personal choice. And everything is fine with us. Lukashenka is some type, of course, but we laugh at him cheerfully, he’s just a comic character. If he doesn’t touch us, we won’t touch him either.

This turtle died in 2020. In front of the whole world, in agony and convulsions. It seemed like just yesterday it was completely healthy and strong, but today it is already agonizing, Cheyne-Stokes breathing, sporting other pleasant changes. It shuddered in a final convulsion at the sight of a gigantic white-red-white standard — and turned into nothing. There are two left.

Two is not three. No stability, fear even of a strong wind, because it will blow you to hell, and the inability to even maintain a simple balance. Look at how Lukashenka moves — these are all turtle consequences. He doesn’t feel support, doesn’t feel solid ground under his feet, so he dangles, so he clings to the railing, so he leaves Red Square without walking even a hundred meters in the circle of his allies.

What remains is the loyalty of the security forces, bought for money, for medals, for promises and promotions, for permissiveness and impunity, and the bastion of the Kremlin wall. Not the most, frankly, reliable turtles. And although the loyalty of the punishers now seems to be a more tenacious and persistent turtle, it cannot exist without the second, Kremlin one. Stop subsidies, allowance, lending — and there will be nothing to buy security forces with. They won’t pay any effort just for some idea. Walking with a baton on the back of a random passer-by is easy, it’s a conditioned reflex. But to develop a special operation in order for this passerby to turn up — excuse me, this job only loves a fool. So the punitive turtle is alive only as long as special rations are sent to it from Moscow. If they stop, that very moment will disappear.

But they will stop. Vasilich is not the same anymore.

Iryna Khalip, exclusively for Charter97.org

Write your comment 4

Follow Charter97.org social media accounts