A photo from a rally in solidarity with Belarus held in Kyiv on 9 August. Photo: censor.net.ua
Dear readers, as you probably noticed we have devoted much of our attention to the events happening in Belarus recently. We’ve published several analyses on the preparation for the Presidential Elections in the country. We will continue to cover the protests and events in the aftermath of the elections on our site and social media. Now we want to explain why we do this.
Euromaidan Press was founded during the 2013-2014 Euromaidan Revolution. Then, Ukraine had limited opportunities to speak to foreign audiences. We admire the work of our colleagues from KyivPost who covered the situation in Ukraine in English before and during the revolution and continue to do it until nowadays. But at that time, one media was not enough.
During that period, Euromaidan protesters confronted enormous disinformation campaigns against them. We faced trouble with truthful coverage on the national level, as Ukrainian TV channels belong to oligarchs, and the majority of them ignored the momentous movement at Euromaidan or spread fake narratives about it. On the international level, the situation was complicated by the intervention of Russian propaganda, which took the lead in forming narratives about Euromaidan for foreign audiences.
Then, it was extremely necessary to give a voice to the people who stood for defending their freedom and to cover the situation from their perspective. That is why Euromaidan Press appeared and that is why we continue working until nowadays. To present to you, the foreign reader, an insider’s view of the situation in Ukraine.
Now, Belarusians also face the challenge of speaking for themselves. Law enforcers attack and imprison journalists working on the ground. The whole country experiences internet trouble as the government shuts it down. Luckily, there are English-language media covering the protests – Belsat and Belarus in Focus are two of them. You can also subscribe to our twitter list of accounts covering Belarus. Or to the Telegram channel Free Belarus News.
Here in Ukraine, we can’t predict how it will all end. As well, we can’t predict the consequences. Many Ukrainian commentators expect no positive scenarios either for Belarus or Ukraine, predicting that Russia will take advantage of any of them.
However, what we can do is to give a voice to the people who extremely need it these days. The people who lived for 26 years under a dictatorship and now have had enough of it. The people, thousands of whom were detained these days across the whole country, those who were cruelly beaten by the law enforcers, those against whom the guns, grenades, and tear gas were used, and thousands of those who were afraid for all these years and now lost their fear and came to the streets despite all of the threats to defend their freedom.
Now, the majority of the coverage from Belarus takes place in the Telegram messenger. People exchange photos, videos, and other information there 24/7. Our advantage in this situation is that we know the Russian language and can summarize this information in English. We feel that having such a grassroots platform as Euromaidan Press it’s our duty to give the voice to those who need it now.
That is why you will be seeing a lot of coverage of the events in Belarus.
Long live Belarus! #SupportBelarus