Belarusian opposition leader calls manifestations Litvinism 'provocations'

  • 2023-10-02
  • BNS/TBT Staff

VILNIUS - Belarusian opposition leader Sviatlana Tsikhanouskaya has called the manifestations of Litvinism provocations, and hopes that they will not harm the relations between Lithuanian and Belarusian people.

"There have been discussion recently on Lithuanian websites of statements by unknown provocateurs that humiliate Lithuania and Lithuanians, and I can assure you that there are not many such anti-Lithuanian statements within the Belarusian society, and they are insignificant. The provocateurs' statements are absurd and outrageous," Sviatlana Tsikhanouskaya said in a video message shown during a discussion on Litvinism, held by the parliamentary Committee for the Future on Monday.

Litvinism is an ideology that questions Lithuania's historical independence and is described by Lithuanian intelligence as a radical offshoot of Belorussian nationalism.

"We do not have and will never have any territorial claims against Lithuania. The territory of Lithuania and the State of Lithuania belong only to the Lithuanians, there are no questions here. The aim of these provocations is to undermine the trust and friendship between the Lithuanians and Belarusians, to divide us, to make the Belarusians succumb to the influence of the Russian world," Tsikhanouskaya said.

The Belarusian opposition takes the problem seriously and understands the Lithuanians' concern for their security, the Belarusian opposition leader said. He hopes that the manifestations of Litvinism would not damage relations between the two nations, but only strengthen them.

She also said that she understands the proposals under discussion in Lithuania to close the border with Belarus, but stressed the need to leave a humanitarian corridor for those fleeing the Minsk regime.

Poland and the Baltic states started considering closing their border with Belarus after several thousand members of the Russian mercenary group Wagner moved to Belarus. However, some of the mercenaries have left Belarus since the death of its leaders.

In response to online discussions on the possible threat of Litvinism on social media, Lithuania's State Security department said in August that Litvinism supporters may increase inter-ethnic tensions in Lithuania. However, they do not pose a real threat to Lithuania's sovereignty and their activity has not intensified recently, the department added.

Litvinism is a radical branch of Belarusian nationalism, the SSD says, and one of its main ideological tenets is the denial of the Baltic origin of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania and the dynasties of the dukes who ruled it. Litvinism supporters also question the dependency of a large part of Lithuania's territory, including Vilnius. Litvinism supporters also make territorial claims against other states bordering Belarus.

According to the SSD, the ideological confrontation between Lithuanians and Belarusians influenced by the ideology of Litvinism has been going on for more than two decades in niche online resources dedicated to history.