Ewgeniya Lyras

I was born in Belarus, I have friends in Ukraine and Russia – no one wants this war. Lukashenko, the illegitimate president of Belarus, who does not represent the wish of Belarusian people, is preparing to send troops to Ukraine and join the Russian invasion. This makes me angry. We are all brothers, our history is one braid. And this is madness.

To all Belarusian soldiers who are ordered to join Russia, to all the Russian people who are holding their fingers on a trigger, and to all those who allow them to:

Today, you can’t hide behind a command. Today, your responsibility is to think. You can’t afford the comfort of ‘our leaders know best, they know more than we do’ – they don’t. Your leaders know only one faith – power for the sake of power. And you mine it for them, deaf and blind, mind and heart in fog, while your wives and sisters pray for you to come home, when they should have screamed at you to wake up. They should have thrown themselves at you, begged you to be a real soldier, to be a human. Instead, they looked at you as a human for the last time, their own humanity waning, because you denounced this holy status as soon as you fired your first bullet. That bullet carried you in it and as it burnt through the innocent flesh, your soul burnt with it. ‘It was an order,’ you say to us, to yourself. No – it is an anachronism, a relic. Today, the truth is at your fingertips, it is in the air available with each breath – love and freedom. Find courage to breathe it and think and act. Be a human. A child one of you killed – all of you killed. A war your leaders began – you began.