Belarus opposition leader Sviatlana Tsikhanouskaya at Chatham House.
“Dictators cannot be re-educated and cannot be appeased”. This was Sviatlana Tsikhanouskaya, Belarus’s Opposition leader’s overriding message speaking at Chatham House.
[For] dictatorships only external pressure will work. Diplomacy won’t, she added.
Her address provided a new sobering narrative that hasn’t been widely reported and that’s the involvement of Belarus in support of Putin. “Suspend him [President Lukashenko] from Interpol and all international organisations”, she added.
For Tsikhanouskaya Belarus’s brass and Lukashenko should not escape sanctions, otherwise it will only serve as a proxy to weaken sanctions against Russia.
Lukashenko, in power since 1994, needs Putin to succeed, she said. “If, and I don’t believe in this”, she urged, “Ukraine fails there would be no more free Belarus”.
This would be a deep destabilising scenario. Tsikhanouskaya continues to mobilise support.
If you keep on doing what you’re doing, you’ll keep on getting what you get, does the saying.
My morning twitter feed is as grim as grim. Nato warns Putin could be on the verge of using chemical weapons. What then? Sanctions aside what on this earth can world leaders do to stop a man hankering after a supposed return to USSR Stalinist expansionism at any costs?
One crazy idea of mine is for the world’s TV execs to synch up their networks for the day to appeal, cajole, unite in their ideas. Ideas sound mad until you do them. Bob Geldoff’s Live Aid brought a direct and emphatic consciousness to a crisis.
How could you blithely be going about your life, without being pincered by this global concern. We’re in such a moment now and the most impactful, innovative of social media inventions — yes the television could be used for more than Dancing on Ice and The Masked Singer at this global crossroads of a crisis.
In similar thinking regarding the ignoring of questions by politicians on TV and often journalists not following up with that incisive question through lack of knowledge or lapse in memory, shouldn’t it be time that TV developed a memory.
If Siri, TikTok, and Google can muster algorithms that document and memorise users’ actions, surely some bright spark out there can conjure up the next gen of TV sets where data is naturally logged and hence reactions to politicians shape-shifting from previous positions can be easily called up.
It’s in reach? What too could be the digital equivalence of leafletting to bring to a populace the reason why their country is in free slide, when state TV weaponises its narrative?