Ukrainian youth organisations are appealing to the Government to help Belarusian students who face reprisals from the Lukashenka regime.
“Protests continue in Belarus and, consequently, the people and student youth are facing reprisals. Lukashenka announced that students would be expelled. That’s why we have formed a coalition to help Belarusian students who need informational support and opportunities to resume their studies at Ukrainian universities,” said Vladyslav Melnychuk, a representative of the Association of Youth Centers of Ukraine, during a press conference at the Ukraine Crisis Media Center.
In turn, Andriy Kalinin, President of the Ukrainian Students’ Association, stressed the importance of motivation and support for students in Belarus in changing the country and defending democracy. “We have to show our support,” he said.
Darya Rublevskaya, a member of the Council of the Belarusian Students’ Association, said that Belarusian students faced daily psychological pressure, deprivation of scholarships, expulsions from internships, etc. The students, who had excellent academic performance and attended all classes, are being expelled. “Moreover, the expelled boys immediately receive draft notices,” she said.
The Ukrainian youth organisations call on the Ministry of Education and Science to simplify admission for entrants from Belarus, give them the opportunity to resume their studies in Ukraine, and provide places in dormitories. The Ministry of Social Policy is urged to provide Belarusian students with access to free legal aid, and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs is requested to grant refugee status and temporary residence permit to those interested.
“We demand the creation of working groups in the relevant ministries. More than 20 Ukrainian NGOs signed the requirements. We will send a letter with requirements to the Government of Ukraine and everyone can join to support it,” said Viroslav Tsiupyak, a representative of the Active Youth Community.