“I wonder how Lukashenka will get out of the situation,” Svetlana Alexievich told Belsat TV after she learnt about her winning the 2015 Nobel Prize in Literature.
After persecution by Lukashenka regime, she left Belarus in 2000. The International Cities of Refuge Network offered her sanctuary and during the following decade she lived in Paris, Berlin and Gothenburg. In 2011 Alexievich moved back to Minsk.
In 2013, after receiving the Peace Prize of the German Book Trade Union the writer said that the Belarusian government ‘took no notice of her’.
“The government pretends that I do not exist, that I did not come back… If any school dares to invite me, the next day [they are warned against it over the telephone] and a pipe ‘bursts’ there or the roof ‘collapses’,” Alexievich stressed.
At today’s press conference in Minsk Svetlana Aleksievich said that Russia’s Culture Minister congratulated her on the award. “The Belarusian Minister has not done it yet,” the writer added.
Meanwhile, president Alyaksandr Lukashenka made an interesting statement during the state award ceremony on the same day, October, 8.
“With their labor and talent, enterprising spirit and mastery Belarusians make life better and ensure the well-being of the country,” state-run news agency BelTA quotes the Belarusian leader as saying.
But these words were hardly addressed to Svetlana Alexievich, a dissident writer and critic of the Soviet system.