Monday, October 31, 2022

Tsiakhanouskaya Cabinet Says It will Work Closely with Belarusian Government in Exile

Paul Goble

            Staunton, Oct. 27 – The United Transitional Cabinet of Belarus which is headed by opposition leader Sviatlana Tsikhanouskaya has issued a declaration saying that it shares the goals of the Rada of the Belarusian People’s Republic, which has functioned as the Belarusian government in exile for more than a century and will continue to work closely with it.

            After a brief time in power in 1919, the Rada of the BNR went into emigration where it has remained active. (On the organization, see its official website at It had hoped to hand over power to the post-Soviet government of Belarus as other governments in exile did in the Baltics and Eastern Europe at that time. But the rise of Lukashenka prevented that.

            Tsiakhanouskaya has developed contacts with the Rada of the BNR since 2020, but this is the first time her own government in exile has taken that step, something she and it say is because the two regimes share a common purpose in promoting a democratic future for Belarus (

            Lukashenka’s regime has already signaled that it will work to undermine both just as it has done in the past. A more serious threat is that some Western journalists and governments may ignore the democratic commitment of both the Rada and the Transitional Cabinet and use this declaration to discredit both.

            That danger exists because some of those associated with the Rada in the 1930s cooperated with the Nazis, although they did so as individuals rather than as members of the group. But that distinction is likely to be lost in the Western media, and so Tsiakhanouskaya’s decision could backfire.

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