Living chain in defense of independence was arranged by the Hrodna residents on the Old Bridge over the Nieman. About a hundred people with white, red and white flags and posters held arms to express their negative attitude to integration with Russia.
“Long live Belarus! Independence! No to union with Russia! — these were the shouts on Sunday at the bridge across the Niemen River. Drivers, passing by, hailed the participants of the action. The protest was headed by Mikalai Salyanik, a regular participant of street actions in the city:
“We do not need poverty, we do not need such alliances! I take full responsibility for the action. Let them arrest me, let them do whatever they want. Soon my relatives will come here… We are not afraid, because this is our land and we do it for our children!”
The action was filmed by several civil service officers. An officer of the Interior Ministry in uniform walked along the ranks of the protesters to announce that the action was not sanctioned, and the participants could be brought to administrative or criminal responsibility. People answered with questions: “Why not in Belarusian? Speak your own language!”
About half an hour later, people came down to the bank of the Neiman River in a column to send a symbolic message to the leaders of Russia and Belarus, who are scheduled to meet on the 20th. The idea is that Nieman falls into the Baltic Sea, and it is not far from St. Petersburg — so the message should reach Russia.
“Thus, we sent a resolution on behalf of the citizens of the city, in which we demand the termination of the Union Agreements,” explained the Deputy Chairman of the BPF Vadzim Saranchukou. “We wrote the resolution in Russian and Belarusian. I note that this appeal is not from the party or organization, but from the residents of our city”.
At the end of the action, the organizers announced the next street action in Minsk, scheduled for December 20. Recall also that Hrodna is the first Belarusian city after Minsk to hold a mass action in support of independence and against integration with Russia.
Photo: Vasil Mauchanau/ belsat.eu