Andrei Sannikov: Viktar Ivashkevich is national hero of Belarus
13:27, — society
Viktar Ivashkevich didn't imagine himself without Belarus and struggle for the country's independence.
Andrei Sannikov, the leader of the civil campaign European Belarus, gave an interview to charter97.org.
“This is a great loss for the country and the national democratic forces. Viktar is a real national hero. He didn't imagine himself without Belarus and struggle for the independence of the Belarusian state. I am happy I knew him for many years. He was always near in right moment. It wasn't for gain. We had the same views on the events in Belarus and the same attitude to the situation, so we didn't need to have long talks about why we must do what we are doing.
Viktar was among the founders of Charter97. Being the leader of the Belarusian Popular Front, he supported that idea and did a lot to make this civil initiative effective.
It's hard to use the past time towards him, because it was only some days ago when we discussed our plans for the future in view of the current situation in Belarus.
Viktar was among the brightest people in the national democratic movement. He was one of the most fearless street fighters. As a leader, he inspired the people who lost faith in changes in Belarus after the 1990s. Many people will remember that he attended all mass rallies in Belarus. Viktar could protest alone, as it was some years ago when he went to Minsk centre with Belarusian and European flags,” Andrei Sannikov said.
“Viktar helped me a lot in my activities, for example the successful programme People's University. I am grateful to him for his work for me and our team during the presidential campaign. It was a hard time for the Belarusian Popular Front – a time of constant splits and hesitation. Viktar helped those whom he considered to be the most consistent supporters of the Belarusian statehood and independence.
I know his decent behaviour during interrogations, when investigators tried to accuse him of subversion. I read his evidence when I was in the KGB jail.
I don't have enough words to describe Viktar as a personality. I had a fantastic sense of humour. I often use some of his phrases. Viktar needed just one word to stop a presumptuous person. He asked 'Oh, do you mean this point?' to someone's verbiage. The person stopped and everything became clear.
I regard Viktar's death as a great tragedy for Belarus. Rest in peace, Viktar. We will always remember you,” Andrei Sannikov said.
Viktar Ivashkevich, a founder of the Belarusian Popular Front, a coordinator of the civil campaign European Belarus and a member of the organising committee to create the Belarusian Movement party, died at a Minsk hospital after a long disease. He was on a waiting list for a liver transplant, but a donor was not found.