Svitlana Aleksievich

Aleksievich: We thought in vain that we had defeated communism


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Belarusian writer and Nobel Laureate in Literature Svitlana Aleksievich condemns war of Russia against Ukraine and said it is worse than World War II. She announced this on the air on the Belarusian edition of Radio Svoboda.

Aleksievich called Vladimir Putin worse than the de facto founder of the totalitarian dictatorship in the USSR, Stalin, because Putin has no human idea. The writer said: «Stalin was also fascism, but our parents defended the Motherland. And now it is an evil that does not fit into the human imagination. And the ideas that inspire Russian soldiers, the Russian population, are even worse than the naturalness of the war, about which I have heard a lot and tried to understand this evil in man».


Aleksievich said: «It turns out that we thought in vain that we had defeated communism. We did not defeat it. And what is happening today is the “red man”, as I call it. Whether this is its last fight or not, but these are signs from there, from the past. We have not yet broken away from this, because we did not resist, but took everything for granted. The country of communism has fallen, and we have begun to survive, instead of building a new life».


She notes that she admires the heroism of Ukrainians. Aleksievich said: «I loved my grandmother, my Ukrainian relatives, but I did not know how deep the strength of Ukrainians is. These horrible shots, when Russian tanks enter the Ukrainian village, and old women with sticks, old people and children throw themselves on these tanks, get on their knees… They say that now the tanks are going and no longer turn round. I don’t have the strength to see it…»


The writer also noted that, in her opinion, the greatest heroism for Belarusians who will be sent to fight for Russia in Ukraine will be the refusal to shoot. She added that the situation is now the opposite of the war against fascism, when heroism consisted in military action and protection.


Svitlana Aleksievich said: «I think we are all responsible for what is happening. Each of us must do something to prevent this». She also denied the guilt of Ukrainians in the war, which is being promoted Russian propaganda.


Speaking of fakes about Belarusians and Ukrainians, Aleksievich said: «This is one of the forms of propaganda work. The way Kiselyov and Solovyov work will one day be called a model of “criminal journalism”, because such journalism is a crime».


«We are no longer independent, and we are an aggressor. It’s a shame, and it’s scary», the writer said. «It’s hard to live with, but I think guilt makes us more open to other people’s pain», – she said.


Svitlana Aleksievich is a Belarusian Russian-language writer, journalist, screenwriter of documentaries and publicist of Ukrainian origin. She was a laureate of the Nobel Prize in Literature in 2015.


We would like to remind you that more than 1,300 writers, including Svitlana Aleksievich, signed a statement to PEN International with the requirement to stop the brutality caused by the Russian invasion of Ukraine. Nobel’s laureates, including Pamuk, Mueller, and Ishiguro, expressed their support for the Ukrainian people in the face of Russian aggression.