There was a cliché in the Soviet Union calling Belarus, Russia and Ukraine “sisters”, symbolising extraordinary closeness and sisterly love between the people of the three republics.
Let’s have a look at two incidents that happened on the same day characterizing the current state of relations between the three countries.
On February 1 Belarusian photographer Aliaxandr Vasiukovich was summoned for interrogation to the Russian Investigative Committee in Moscow over his photo display of Ukrainian soldiers.
What is happening in the heads of those people in Moscow?! Belarus and Russia are two different countries. It seems that law enforcers in Russia keep forgetting they have no jurisdiction over other countries’ citizens and continue to exercise neo-imperialist behavior, just like they did when “defending Russian citizens” in Krimea and Donbass.
In another development, at 2.45 in the morning of the same day, February 1, a Ukrainian journalist Vitaly Sizov was picked up from his hotel room by Belarusian police, held all night in the police department, and then deported from the country, despite his official accreditation with Belarusian MFA.
The law enforcers justified their actions by saying that he was on some Russian blacklist. Since Belarus and Russia have no border control, they share databases of people barred from travelling, so the Ukrainian journalist fell victim to Belarus’ friendship obligation to Russia.
#Belxit is trending on Twitter, and Russians are mulling reintroducing proper controls on the Russia-Belarus border. Hopefully it will help to avoid incidents like this and help Russians finally understand that we are different countries and don’t need such manifestations of their “sisterly love”.