WARSAW (Reuters) – It started 5 years in the past with a music video uploaded by a teenage blogger on YouTube.
Warsaw-based Belarusian blogger Stsiapan Putsila, identified below the pseudonym NEXTA, poses throughout an interview with Reuters, in Warsaw, Poland August 28, 2020. REUTERS/Kacper Pempel
Now, the Nexta Live channel, with greater than 2 million subscribers on the messaging app Telegram, has change into one of the principle sources of news in Belarus, the place a well-liked rebellion goals to unseat President Alexander Lukashenko.
Founder Stsiapan Putsila, now 22, wasn’t even born when Lukashenko took energy in 1994. Now, he works from exile out of an workplace in neighbouring Poland, guarded by uniformed police.
“We are going to continue doing this, we are going to develop… and we are going to win,” Putsila advised Reuters.
The channel’s movies of demonstrations have been shared extensively inside Belarus and broadcast by worldwide news companies. It is brazenly hostile to Lukashenko and helps to coordinate protests.
It and different upstart channels are thriving by utilizing social media platforms in a rustic the place conventional broadcast media are tightly managed by the authorities.
Lukashenko has introduced in Russian journalists to interchange employees at state TV who stop in protest towards what they described as orders to broadcast propaganda. The Belarus authorities have sought Putsila’s arrest.
Putsila stated he’s increasing: “At the moment there are five people and there will be at least 10 and that is only in the Telegram team.”
It could take a very long time to unseat Lukashenko, however his downfall is inevitable, says Putsila, evaluating him to the Communist leaders toppled by Poland’s Solidarity motion within the Nineteen Eighties.
“We remember for instance Poland’s Solidarity, that also was not very quick. But it is now certain that Lukashenko will not last longer than the next five years.”
Reporting by Alan Charlish; Editing by Peter Graff