Russian anti-war protests are unlikely to force the government to change its course. But still, it is important to speak out and build solidarity networks. Even in an atmosphere of constant fear and uncertainty, there are various ways to show dissent. The goal of these actions is not necessarily to go viral but to notice each other and draw attention to the ongoing war. People undertaking actions on a smaller scale do not deserve less respect than others and they should receive more attention.
On November 23, 2021, the European Parliament denied Mateusz Morawiecki the opportunity to speak during a debate regarding the current situation on the Belarusian border. Even though for an average polish citizen it is disheartening to see that Poland is no longer considered a reliable and significant debating partner, it is an understandable decision, which can be justified by tracing the chronology of events from this year that have contributed to the deteriorating relations with Belarus and the EU and which Poland could have, on multiple occasions, taken control of.
The forced landing of a Ryanair plane in Minsk on May 23rd should raise multiple questions for the EU and the Western community as a whole. What is the adequate response to such an incident? Are sanctions an appropriate tool to address this type of behaviour? And how can we effectively safeguard values such as human rights and freedom of expression in wider Europe?