Last year she lived in three countries. The story of activist Natalia Braun, who left Belarus due to persecution

We continue our story about Belarusians who, in 2020, opposed lawlessness and usurpation of power, suffered for it and were forced to leave their homepage. Today we will talk about an activist from Polotsk, Natalia Braun.

- It all started in April 2020. In the news, I saw that people who came to the stream of Sergei Tikhanovsky in Novopolotsk were detained. I didn't understand why it happened. People just came to express their civil position. And they were caught for this and put in jail. Then I contacted these people via telegrams, asking if they needed legal assistance. I was very dissatisfied. I told my husband: we needed to do something about it. Let's look for like-minded people and unite. We have to fight somehow because it can't go on like this anymore.

People have to be considered. We had such a society. We haven't done anything illegal. The election campaign has just begun, and some people from this community have received certificates that they are members of the initiative group of Sergei Tikhanovsky.

And then, in a sense, I was already with them. We held pickets to collect signatures in Polotsk, Novopolotsk, and other cities. We passed the regional points - Ushachi, Lepel, Rasony, half of the Vitebsk region. At first, I was apprehensive about the people who were imprisoned. Tikhanovsky was still free at that moment, but our people had already received 15 days. Then, when I saw that Tikhanovsky was being detained, I got even more indignant.

Then we started making solidarity chains. I will not lie that I was a fan of Sergei Tikhanovsky or any other candidate. I like Tikhanovsky, Mikalai Statkevich, Pavel Seviarynets, Viktor Babariko and Valer Tsepkalo. Each of them I experienced at one time. I believe that Tikhonovsky, for example, did an essential thing for the country. And it's okay if there are such people. In my opinion, the authorities of any country should respect them because this is the people's voice. Because if you hear them, you can make a law that will be for everyone.

I am a person with an active position. I cannot put up with the fact that injustice is happening nearby.

- Have you ever expressed your position until 2020?

- Somehow, it happened to me all of a sudden. I did not have any information. Maybe I did not want to have it. I did not see what was happening around me. But I had an experience when it was impossible to get the truth in our state bodies - the courts, the police, the city council. I heard this: well, you know, you're against the state. The judges told me.

- Have you come across a system of personal or business questions?

- There were personal cases when law enforcement agencies did not protect my rights when someone insulted me. I wrote applications, and they gave me formal answers. The mother sued the father - they divided the property. And then my father was proud of his connections with judges and relatives of the police. He spoke openly about this in court.

- Why does the system work in one direction?

- The problem is that we do not have a separation of powers. Think about it - the president appoints judges, including judges of the Constitutional Court. This is the first. Secondly, the state does not hear the voice of the people. This is what Tikhanovsky tried to do, or the same MozgON (Tsyganovich). All our bloggers, Gray Cat, tried to be the people's voice. And the state does not hear sich voices.

These people in power are so out of touch with the people that they only think about their ambitions. I can't even tell what they think of wealth. They live in their world, separate from us ordinary people. And we are some enslaved people for them. So the ants who have to work on them bring and give something. And if we don't want to, we should be put in jail.

- Will this system remain after Lukashenka leaves?

- I think it would have collapsed, no matter who came to power - Babariko, Tikhanovsky, Tsepkalo, no point which of the protesters, the whole system would have changed. Without Lukashenko, it will not be able to work. Society is a living organism that is developing and, sooner or later, will come to the fact that there will be real democracy in the country.

- Is it possible that these pickpocket officials, as they called Sergei Tikhonov, will win free elections at the local level or in parliament?

- Of course, they will participate in the elections. But I heard the voice of the people. I know that even those who did not protest and were afraid to say something, the same state employees, members of election commissions, or employees of executive committees, also hate Lukashenka and this government. If there are honest elections, no one will vote for deputies or mayors who are now sitting in their places. Everyone hates them, not even because a lot was stolen from the budget. And for the fact that they did nothing for the people so that the people respect them.

I believe that young people should be in power - not 20 years old, but not 70 or 60 either. Not those who studied in the USSR in this planned economy. They don't know what the market is. What will happen to them next - we would initiate checks on each to correspond with expenses and incomes. Because of what was stolen, I would like to return to the budget for the further development of cities. After all, Belarus has excellent potential. But the economy is lost. Not sanctions, but these deputies.

As for my native Polotsk, I can say that many promising enterprises go bankrupt. Why do - I do not understand. We had a meatpacking plant. Building Trust. Auto repair plant. I want these people to return everything they stole.

- Tell us what happened to you during the elections?

- Before the elections, I was only summoned to the police department for negotiations. And they said that a mass event could not be held. I was detained and placed in isolation on election day for 72 hours. Without any protocols, without trial, without anything. In September, it passed an inspection along with the tax, FIU, State Control, etc.

They checked for a long time and gave huge fines, but the case was not opened because it was immaculate. After the New Year in January, I was detained, searched, and confiscated all my equipment. They couldn't find my husband. He spent another day at large. This time a criminal case was initiated. We were accused of throwing spikes on the road and then released. But I already knew that this criminal case would be reclassified from a hooligan to a terrorist attack. Good people prompted, and we left.

First to Ukraine. The situation was complicated because my husband was not a citizen of Belarus. He did not have documents to cross the border with Ukraine. So he was given citizenship then he could travel. But we still had a nine-year-old son in Belarus. He had no passport. The kid lived with his grandmother. We spent a year running around different countries, trying to make him a passport. For some time, we even hid in Russia to be able to go to Belarus (because there is no border) and visit our son. Then the school began to put pressure on my grandmother. After that, we hid the boy and took him to Poland.

- Are you in Poland now?

- Yes. Finally, we are together. All is finished. Because without a husband's passport, without a child's passport, it was tough.

- Have you adapted to life in Poland?

- I like this country. I want to note that when we lived in Belarus and watched GoebbelsTV, we always saw what a "decaying" Poland was. And we saw a "prosperous" Kazakhstan. What can I say? Last year we visited Ukraine, Kazakhstan, and Poland.

When I arrived in Ukraine, it even smelled of Europe. This is a free state. I also see it in Poland. But when we came to Kazakhstan, I thought that I was in the film "Mimino." Everything is so Soviet. People are so frightened. It turned out that this is not what we were told on TV.

And in Poland - earth and sky against Belarus. First, they are free, open people, ready to help. I don’t know, maybe because we are from Belarus, perhaps because they have such a habit here, but the people are very good. My husband found a job within a couple of weeks. I also found a job.

The most exciting thing is that in Poland, unlike in Belarus, when one person from a family works, this money is enough for rent and all other family needs. This is to understand how things are going with the salary. We live in the center. Even one person's salary is enough to pay for housing, food, and clothes in a two-room apartment. - It is a big city? - Not the biggest. But the cost of housing is not much cheaper than in Warsaw. There is no such difference in prices for apartments, housing, and salaries in Poland.

- Has the attitude of the Poles or Ukrainians towards you changed after the start of the war in Ukraine?

- My son has a lot of Ukrainians at school. They have conflicts based on the language, but they are children and do not understand much. It's hard for all kids. My son lived without a mother for a year. These children have seen the war, so they may have a problematic relationship. But when I went to the parent meeting, no one spits on me. Everyone talked to me. I spoke to them in Russian. Everything is fine. My family and I talk in Russian, even in stores. No one beat us, as they say on BT. No one insulted or offended us because we are Belarusians or speak Russian.

According to GoebbelsTV, they like to tell how bad life was in Poland for those Belarusians who were forced to flee from the Lukashenka regime. Even we have such ladies who go to Polish organizations and complain. So I want to say: please, respect yourself, Belarusians. Yes, it is hard for us in a foreign country, because we miss home, there are friends, mothers, houses, apartments, life. But it's better to live here because it breathes freely here.

As for the school, it is an entirely different approach to learning. Teachers have no right to raise their voices against children. Therefore, it can be difficult for them with our Belarusian children, who are used to being yelled at by teachers, somewhere even beaten with a pointer or something else. The teacher can humiliate the child. There is no such thing here. The school has an entirely different teaching technology. They are not overloaded with lessons - they are taught to respect each other and respect culture in the first place.

And then the main items. So, therefore, I do not want to listen to these stories of people on BT, and I want to ask: how much did you get paid for saying that it is terrible for you to live in this country, that your rights are being violated.

- How will the war in Ukraine end? And can this speed up the fall of the Lukashenka regime?

- I believe and believe that Ukraine will win. There has never been a story that was dominated by absolute evil. There can be no double standards. Today there is a fascist regime in Russia. Lukashenka is with him. But one day, he says one thing, the next another.

This will be the end of the Putin regime. And if this happens, I want to see where Lukashenka will run. It will be funny. It will be a great relief for all our people, but watching a dictator hide will also be hilarious. After all, today, he looks to me like Mussolini, who first sang along with Hitler, and they did one thing. And then he sobered up and wanted to hide, but they still found him.

- What should happen to the security forces and others after the fall of the Lukashenka regime?

- I have many acquaintances - law enforcement officers. Most of them understand what's going on. They do not support Lukashenka. They have had hundreds of opportunities to change lives to date, but they have not done so. They were afraid to do it. Weren't other people afraid? All these excuses are that I have loans, children, wives, I don’t know what else. This won't work anymore.

I think it will be necessary to start criminal cases and figure it out for everyone - who did what. There is no point lumping everyone under the same umbrella because not everyone commits crimes. But you need to understand. For example, I was kidnapped, imprisoned, then released. This is illegal imprisonment. I'm not talking about those people who were tortured or killed. The security forces must be responsible for each such case. This is a complicated process - to put everyone in jail. People can be taught to work - not to put them in jail but to improve agriculture. And the police will be good people, adequate guys.

- Do you link your future with Belarus?

- Yes. I want to go back. I love my country, and I believe that I will return there.

- There are some Belarusians who support Russia in the war with Ukraine and believe that there are Nazis, drug addicts, etc., in Ukraine. After the fall of the Lukashenka regime, do you see a problem that there are Belarusians who support Putin, oriented towards Russia and the Russian world?

- I don't think so. After all, all the people I communicate with in Belarus are against the war. I have no relatives or acquaintances who think otherwise. So, yes, theoretically, this situation can be problematic. But look - today it is so, and tomorrow people will see the truth. After the violence against the people, many of those who were for Lukashenka, as we say, changed their shoes. I think the same will happen with the war in Ukraine.

The war will end with the victory of Ukraine, and then people will see the truth if the ban on social networks disappears if the truthful information goes on television. This must have been the case in Nazi Germany. Many supported Hitler. But when he lost the war, as soon as the Germans realized that everyone hated them, people changed and said they didn’t know what he was doing there. I think it will be the same in Belarus.

If Putin loses, everyone will forget him. And Lukashenka too. When people breathe the air of freedom, the economy will take a long time to recover, and it will be difficult for people. And if this war had not yet happened in Ukraine, we would have been at the center of world attention, and we would have been helped a lot. At the moment, assistance will go to Ukraine, and rightly so, because their country has suffered greatly from the war, and it remains to be seen how much more will suffer.

It will be tough for us Belarusians. And Russia will be even more complicated. And then those who are for Russia will begin to understand what happened. Some immediately, some later.
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