Open letter to Volodymyr Zelenskyy, President of Ukraine

Ivonka Survilla, President of the BNR Rada, wrote an open letter to Volodymyr Zelenskyy, President of Ukraine.

Dear Mr. President,

I speak on behalf of Rada (Council) of the Belarusian Democratic Republic (BNR) – representing sovereign rights of the Belarusian people, expressed by the Legislative Act of March 25, 1918, which was recorded in the Third Constitutional Charter of the BNR. The BNR Rada performs the functions of a National Legislature and of a Government-in-Exile analogous to the Ukrainian People’s Republic in exile until it handed over authorityto the President and Verkhovna Rada of the independent Ukraine in 1992.

The BNR Rada has always supported the right of the Ukrainian people to freedomand sovereignty and in 2014 condemned the Putin’s regime’s aggression against Ukraine. In the recent days, the BNR Rada and I, personally, as President of the BNR Rada, once again have been expressing our support for the Ukrainian people and have called the Belarusian people to show solidarity in the fight against Russia’s aggressive policy.

The Belarusian people are against the war. Perhaps you know that on February 27, thousands of people in Minsk and other cities came out to protest Putin’s invasionof Ukraine and the illegitimate Lukashenka regime’s support of this invasion. Nearly 1,000 people were arrested and jailed. Nevertheless, the protests are continuing.

I must assure you, Mr. President, that the Belarusian patriots – in Belarus and abroad – will stand with the Ukrainian people. We have a common enemy – the imperialistic Russia.Regretfully, I would like to bring to your attention the fact that in recent days I have seen from many Ukrainian media organizations, social media platforms, and even some Ukrainian government officials, purposeful harassment and baseless accusations thatall Belarusian people support the Russian aggression against Ukraine becauseof the Lukashenka regime’s support for Russia.

The outcomes of these accusations spill beyond the virtual media space. They turn into people’s actions and may also lead to tragic outcomes both in specific cases as well asin the relations between our two peoples.

I would like to underscore that the Belarusian people endure a double occupation. Onthe one side, there is Lukashenka’s regime, which has been illegitimate since the referendum in May of 1995; after the so called “elections” in 2020, the country was turned intoa concentration camp. On the other side, there is Putin’s regime, which has since long before the August of 2020 served as the only propping force for Lukashenka.

The Belarusian people have always supported the Ukrainian people in their struggle for freedom, as evidenced by the many Belarusians who since 2014 and up to the present have fought and died fighting against Russian aggression.

During this difficult time, I would like to kindly request that you call to not automatically equate the Belarusian people with the illegitimate regime of Lukashenka. I request that you ask government officials and the media to stop purposefully harassing the Belarusian people and to stop associating Belarusians with their illegitimate dictator. This only serves to negate the Belarusian people’s effort in our continuing struggle against Lukashenka’s regime.

I would also like to ask you to emphasize the Belarusian people’s ongoing support ofthe Ukrainian people in their fight for democracy, independence, and the European future.In this situation, there should be no collective responsibility nor collective guilt.

We pray for the Ukrainian victory and hope that once it’s achieved, the Ukrainians will support Belarus in its fight against our illegitimate dictator as well as in our struggle for independence and future as a European nation.

Long live Belarus!

Glory to Ukraine!


Ivonka Survilla

President of the Rada of the Belarusian Democratic Republic

4 March 2022