On the day when the leader of the PiS club, Ryszard Terlecki, sent the leader of the Belarusian opposition, Sviatlana Cichanouska to Moscow, because she met someone who did not like the deputy speaker, President Andrzej Duda met with representatives of the Belarusian minority in Bielsk Podlaski.
– Unfortunately, many activities are carried out to divide our nations, and yet we are citizens of one Republic – said President Andrzej Duda. He probably did not mean representatives of PiS and the Polish government who would like to treat Belarusian politicians as characters from their own puppet theater, who can be freely manipulated.
The president’s visit was supposed to be a reaction to the Lukashenka and Russian propaganda that reminds us of the crimes of the Polish underground in Belarus and presents Poles as a nation of masters whose only goal is to humiliate and rule over Belarusians. This propaganda, invisible from the level of Warsaw, seeps through the Belarusian and Russian media to the Polish borderland, is strengthened by trolls and by Polish supporters of the “state of the Polish nation”.
President Andrzej Duda in Zaleszany
President Duda visited the monastery on Święta Góra Grabarka, and then laid flowers in Zaleszany. A place – as he said – “marked with the blood and suffering of Belarusians”. According to the announcement published on the president’s website, Duda spoke about “essential aspects in the spiritual sense”, but he did not cross his throat to say who marked this land with the blood of Belarusians. As a reminder: in January 1946, the town was burnt down by the unit of Romuald Rajs “Bury”. It was burned alive and 16 of its inhabitants were killed by bullets.
It is a bit as if the president was afraid that if he spoke directly about what happened in this place in 1946, he would endanger someone, upset someone. After all, every year people calling themselves “patriots”, and to whom President Duda also spoke, organize a march along the “Bury” trail here. After all, it is his group that makes the myth of the steadfast a model to follow uncritically.
It is good, however, that in these difficult times for Polish-Belarusian relations, when Belarusians may have doubts as to whether supporting their national aspirations and respect for their national identity is really Polish raison d’état, President Andrzej Duda tried to behave decently. Of course, in your own way.