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Lukashenko's regime bans 'Long live Belarus!' salute, calls it Nazi

by The Kyiv Independent news deskNovember 10, 2022 4:20 pm
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Lukashenko's regime bans 'Long live Belarus!' salute, calls it NaziA member of the Belarusian diaspora holds the traditional Belarusian flag, which has become a symbol of the opposition, on Oct. 2 in Krakow, Poland. (Artur Widak / NurPhoto via Getty Images)

Belarusian authorities have recognized the country's patriotic motto "Long live Belarus!" and the answer to it "Long live!" as Nazi symbols.

The Belarusian Ministry of Internal Affairs on Nov. 10 officially included it into the list of Nazi symbols.

In 2020, Belarusian protesters who opposed the illegitimate regime of dictator Alexander Lukashenko used this salute widely. It is also used by members of the Belarusian democratic political forces, as well as members of the Belarusian diaspora.

Belarusians are now forbidden from shouting "Long live Belarus!" and answering "Long live!" accompanied by "raising the right hand with an outstretched palm" – which, in reality, people don't do when they say these words.

It is unclear whether the state considers the motto "Nazi" without raising the hand. It's also unclear if people can use another response to the salute, "Long live forever!"

In the decree, the authorities call the salute "a greeting of the 30th Waffen-SS division, which consisted mainly of former fighters of the Belarusian National Defense units."

According to the Belarusian bureau of Radio Liberty, Lukashenko's regime "has for many years been trying to... present the national symbols of Belarus – which appeared long before WWII – as Nazi symbols."

The Kyiv Independent news desk
The Kyiv Independent news desk

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