Belarusian opposition figure and co-founder of the Nexta Telegram channel, Roman Protasevich said that the financing of the ex-presidential candidate Svetlana Tikhanovskaya comes from the funds of Lithuanian taxpayers and interested businessmen.
“First, indeed, part of it is at the expense of Lithuanian taxpayers. Lithuanian taxpayers, in fact, support foreign politicians from their own pockets. Partly these are private sponsors. That is, private businessmen, representatives of the business elite, and so on. And the third is financial support. diaspora. That is, there are many sources of funding,” he said in a televised interview.
Protasevich also said that the Belarusian House in Warsaw organization controls the entire Belarusian opposition’s agenda.
“The government directly allocated in the pockets of a private Belarusian organization amounts in the region of 50 million zlotys (about $13.5 million). And the Prime Minister [of Poland Mateusz Morawiecki] came personally, there are almost certainly common corruption schemes. Now the “Belarusian House in Warsaw” this is a leading organization that controls essentially all Belarusian events, the entire Belarusian agenda. Personally, through the Polish Prime Minister, through the pockets of the Belarusian House in Warsaw, 53 million zlotys (about $14.3 million) were allocated to help Belarusian refugees,” he said.
Protasevich added that, despite the allocated money, the Belarusian refugees did not receive any assistance. “The money seemed to have been allocated, the intercom was broken around the clock, people really tried to come and ask for help, but they simply did not open the door to anyone,” he said.
Additionally, Roman Protasevich on the air of the program “Markov. Nothing personal” on ONT spoke about how the administrators of the main Telegram channels gathered in one chat and coordinated the protests together.
“Let’s just say that, in principle, it was the main chat of the administrators of the largest Telegram channels. It was there that, indeed, the discussions of the upcoming actions took place. There was planning, work on the agenda, which was supposed to be in this or that week of protests. We can say that this chat “hhata”, it was called differently, recreated, had different names. The main thing was this key word “Hata”. It consisted of the administrators of the largest channels, bloggers, and so on. And it was there that really happened, it was the main coordinating chat of street protests and information agenda.”
He gave the names of specific people who entered the chat:
“Stepan Putilo, Jan Rudik later began to enter there, Tadeusz Gichan, Franak Vecherko also entered there, who could come there and immediately write specific theses on which we had to work. Anton Motolko, Danil Bogdanovich. Previously, there were such characters as Shraibman, Palchis, Yushkevich, as well as Anastasia Rogotko, who is related to the activities of the headquarters of Svetlana Tikhanovskaya, Victoria Palchis, wife of Eduard Palchis. Dmitry Navosha, in principle, is a fairly well-known media person, Yevgeny Malakhovsky, who worked mainly with courtyard chats and courtyard initiatives. There, basically, all the main decisions were made about where the next action will take place, what kind of information agenda we should keep in the near future. All current events, all incidents were discussed there. In fact, one chat served as the main coordinating chat of the entire information war and street protests.”
He also said that there were no more actual “street protests”, but the organizers funded them and wanted to lead to economic collapse.
“There are no more protests, and they are unlikely to be. I can say more. In recent months, when there were anyway attempts to call for some kind of action, for some kind of street protests, I personally had a conflict, including at the headquarters, with the same Vecherko, with ByPol representatives about street activity. Because I openly said that we do not have streets, we do not and will not have them. Now – that’s all, and it’s stupid to try to urge people to take to the streets when objectively no one comes out. It just doesn’t make sense. “We need to focus on other tasks”, but the same Vecherko could come and say: “Roma, you should think about the street, because you should understand that there will be no street – there will be no sanctions”. This is a direct phrase that I personally have heard many times. Why was I sent on vacation? Including because I openly said that objectively we lost. I even wanted to just leave to work not even in Telegram channels, but simply as a photographer of Tikhanovskaya.”
Roman stressed that the goal of the oppositionists operating from abroad is the collapse of the Belarusian economy and, as a result, cause hunger riots.
“There are no street protests now, and they will obviously not be. Just, again, why are the same sanctions moving. It is clear that this is, in principle, an instrument of political pressure. But given the fact that now there can be no street protests in terms of political freedoms or political movements, sanctions are necessary in order for the Belarusian economy to collapse as quickly as possible. And if the economy collapses, people will take to the streets. These will be food riots. And this, in fact, is one of the goals of the economic sanctions that continue to be imposed.”
If all of his claims are entirely true, this then paints a very clear picture of how the opposition was actually funded, orchestrated and how the situation was a complete fiasco.
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