Alexander Lukashenko called himself an internationalist and said that he would cleanse Minsk of “fascist symbols”. A fragment of his speech during his visit to Gomselmash on Friday, 20 November, was quoted by the Pul Pervogo telegram channel.
“As for fascism, you can’t stick this label to me. Because I am an international person. You see my policy. I have always been proud that we do not have quarrels, contradictions between different nationalities рhere. We have up to 100 nationalities living in the country. I have always been proud that we have an interfaith peace.
I have always said, this was my pre-election and election slogan: everyone should find their own path to the temple. Thus, I am not a nationalist, and fascism is the supreme form of nationalism. An ardent nationalist can be a fascist. I am none of them,” he said.
As another argument that he is not a fascist, Lukashenko said that he doesn’t walk under a white-red-white flag.
“And I openly say that it is a fascist symbol. Who submitted this question for a referendum? Your humble servant. When we had white-red-white flags that nationalists lobbied for, I was completely against it. When I was elected a president, I immediately put the symbols issue to the referendum.
An overwhelming majority supported the current state symbols. You can blame me for that now. And then, there were no portraits of Lukashenko under a white-red-white flag, but there were fascists’ ones under such flags,” added Lukashenko.
He noted that he could not have thought that the Yanka Kupala Theater “which was decorated with white-red-white flags during the war, will hang these flags this year”. Alexander Lukashenko also stressed that he would not tolerate “these fascist symbols in Minsk.”
“We will remove these fascist symbols from our society. We will do it beautifully and, first of all, explaining to people that such flags must not be used,” he said.
In response to a reporter’s question that every Sunday the opposition make up new slogans that sometimes cross the line, he said: “There is no revolution without slogans. If there is a revolution, it needs slogans. But make no mistake. I have told you many times: we have no revolution because there are no revolutionaries. These fugitives who fled [abroad] and stir things up through Telegram channels, they are living large over there.
And those who walk [protesters – Ed.] here are the people I created with my own hands. They earn 5-6 times more than at Gomselmash. They have tried to stage a petty bourgeoisie revolution. They are not revolutionaries. Because the revolutionaries of the past, those revolutionaries I studied they were ready for anything. They knew they could die, they believed in it.”