Despite the historical parallels, the differences in memory politics and more recent national developments explain why Belarus never turned to Ukraine for guidance, symbols or role models. The marches in the streets of Minsk and other major cities typically brandish the white-red-white flag which is about the only historical reference. The flag clearly has become the symbol of protest, similar to the colour orange in Ukraine almost two decades ago.
In the 2004 Orange Revolution as well as during the EuroMaidan uprising a decade later, Ukraine’s future orientation was at stake. In both cases, pro-European citizens confronted pro-Russian state authorities on Kyiv's main square, the Maidan Nezalezhnosti or Independence Square. Not only did the views of Ukraine's future and the principles of democracy clash, but events and heroes from the nation's past were fielded as arguments.
February 3, 2021 -
Wim van Meurs