Sviatlana Tsikhanouskaya: “Today, August 25, is the day that must be our national holiday – the Day of Restoration of Independence of Belarus. For the regime, sovereignty was never a celebration or a value – but a commodity that could be traded to retain power. Torture, political persecution, dismissals, destruction of businesses have nothing in common with real Belarusian values: aspiration for security and well-being, honesty, hard work, and dignity. But our major value is independence.
And defending the independence of Belarus is the main priority for the United Transitional Cabinet which I established. During the last 2 weeks, the members of the Cabinet agreed on the strategy and the division of responsibility: who of them should do what, and, perhaps more importantly, what they should not do. For the Cabinet to work effectively, its system must be functioning well. In recent weeks, we have received many inquiries from those who are interested in working in the Cabinet.
Now we are working for the benefit of people who are thankful that missiles are not falling on them while they cannot afford to buy enough food. All this is because the regime gave up Belarus’ independence to retain power. And that's why we need to get it back. After all, independence is the feeling that you have your own land and you are the master, and no enemy tank stands under your windows. It is the feeling of being sure that tomorrow you will not be deployed in someone else's war to die for the ambitions of dictators.
Today, 31 years later, Belarusians are again in danger of losing their independence. Independence is like air. We do not realize its importance while we have it. That's why we must not wait until we lose it to start defending it.”