Andrzej Poczobut, Polish and Belarusian journalist presented his book The System of Belarus in Warsaw.
The presentation of the Gazeta Wyborcza’s reporter and charter97.org’s regular contributor Andrzej Pachobut took place in the Palace of Culture of the Reportage Institute. The presentation was hosted by a famous Polish journalist, the author of the Studio East program in Polish television Maria Przelomiec. The book was published in Polish by the Helion publishing house.
When introducing Andrzej Pachobut Maria Przelomiec noted that all Poles were worried about the arrest and then sentence of the journalist, and it was a joy for everyone to see him that day in Warsaw.
The journalist spoke about his book The System of Belarus. He said that he was constantly asked by Europeans on how a person like Lukashenka could come to power and hold on it for 20 years and that this question made him write the book. Poczobut’s answer to the question is as follows: “Dictator Lukashenka is a cynical, unscrupulous and unprincipled manipulator. Exactly due to these qualities he came to power and is still ruling”.
According to Poczobut, power is the goal in itself for Lukashenka, and he hold onto it by all the possible means: by the means of the repressive system, 100 000 militiamen, riot policemen, death squads. The journalist is convinced that with Lukashenka there will never be free elections. He deals shortly with his strongest opponents in the cruelest way. “The example of how Lukashenka deals with his opponents – is a presidential candidate Andrei Sannikov. This politician went through hell, the authorities had the goal of destroying him”, – Andrzej Poczobut said.
When the host of the evening Maria Przelomiec asked Poczobut: “Is it possible that Lukashenka is just a madman?”, the journalist responded: “No, he is not just an ordinary madman. He is cunning and dodgy manipulator. A madman would not have been able to hold on to power for so long”.
According to Poczobut, Lukashenka skillfully plays with the mentality of the Belarusian people: “Unfortunately, Belarusians are constantly waiting for someone to save them instead of saving themselves. The people do not believe in themselves and keep asking: ‘What can I do?’” At the same time Lukashenka’s rankings are extremely low, Belarusians have gone tired of him and want the authorities to change, the journalist is convinced.
Nevertheless, Lukashenka will not be able to hold on to power forever – the economy will deal him the final blow. “It is impossible to constantly live on drugs in the form of cheap Russian oil. One must not endlessly hold on to power with the help of riot police and death squads. The example of the Arab Spring shows that strongest dictatorships can fall like houses of cards”, – the journalist said.