Updated at 22:06,23-05-2018

Ales Kirkevich: only a fool is not afraid - most importantly, what do you do with your fear


A week after a wedding, 21-year-old deputy chairman of the Young Front Ales Kirkevich got in jail. On charges of organizing the "mass riots" on December 19, 2010 at Independence Square in Minsk, Kirkevich was sentenced to 4 years in a colony.

To hug his wife at large Ales was able only six months later, on a platform of the railway station in Minsk, but he didn't regret at his deed on December 19.

UDF.BY correspondent spoke to Ales and his wife Nadezhda not only about lessons of the Square, but also how they experienced their separation.

- Consequences of the Square have been tragic not only for political prisoners, but for the whole country. What do you think, what mistakes were made on December 19 by the opposition?


- The biggest mistake of the opposition at that moment is the lack of the real will to consolidate, not in words but in actions. And as an affect, an organization of the event itself was at a very low level. As a result, some of the candidates came out to win, someone - to lose, and all the rest, I think, not fully knew why. What happened was basically logical. But there is one big plus: people woke up and came contrary to the predictions, to say their firm word. Another six months have passed, and people took the next step. They realized, that all this can be done without the official politicians. Now we await what will happen next. Belarusian soul is mysterious and unpredictable, which adds some optimism.

- Now you are talking with optimism. And that time, on the day of protests, in pre-trial prison, in colony, was it scary?


- On December 19, it was a feeling of euphoria, which drowned all fear. Well, only a fool is not afraid - most importantly, what do you do with your fear, whether you become a hostage of it.


- I think, only a sick person is not afraid of the riot police, who throws oneself on you and your loved ones with a baron. During the days in pre-trial prison I was afraid for relatives, especially for my husband. Because there was no information what was going on. And then I was afraid that everything will be wasted, would be forgotten and wouldn't lead to any result.


- One of the most difficult was the feeling that everything in the spring was back to a status quo, that our sacrifices were not rouse, in fact, neither people, nor the opposition. Afterwards, it passed. Summer silent protests, of course, have added great optimism, but they also ended ... It happens.

- You got married a week before the arrest. How did a long separation affect the relationships?


- The relationships, I think, have only intensified when I returned, I was pursued by a strange feeling that we've been for a long time, but at the same time, just recently together.


- We understand in which country we do live, and certainly we understood what "adventures" could await us. Now we have changed our attitude to the time, which we spend together.

- Ales, in the colony, the KGB members suggested you to leave the country, to write a petition to obtain political asylum abroad. At that time you refused, and now do you plan to leave Belarus?

- Now I live in Grodno, thank God. It's my city, I was born here, I hope my children will live here. If someone doesn't like it, I would advise him to leave.