Fact Check: Zelenskyy Did NOT State That The Triumph Of Ukraine Would Enable Belarusian 'Fugitives' To Restore Order, Establish Democracy In Belarus

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  • Автор: Lead Stories Staff
Fact Check: Zelenskyy Did NOT State That The Triumph Of Ukraine Would Enable Belarusian 'Fugitives' To Restore Order, Establish Democracy In Belarus Distorted

Did Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, in his address in Vilnius, Lithuania, affirm that Ukraine's victory gives the fleeing Belarusians a chance to bring about order and democracy in Belarus? No, that's not true: During his visit to Lithuania, Zelenskyy made no mention in his speech of the Belarusian escapees or the democratic regime they could establish if Ukraine wins the war.

The claim appeared in a video (archived here) on TikTok by the account @sotniktiktok on January 12, 2024. The text overlay on the video (translated from Russian to English by Lead Stories staff) stated:

Ukrainian President hopes for war in Belarus

Zelenskyy, speaking in Vilnius, mentioned that Ukraine's victory would give Belarusian fugitives a chance to restore order and establish democracy in Belarus. He urged Ukrainians and the fugitives to fight to the end for all of Europe.

This is what the post looked like on TikTok at the time of writing:

Zelia speech vilnus 16 01 24.jpg

(Source: TikTok screenshot taken on Tue Jan 16 15:00:26 2024 UTC)

In the official video (archived here) from the Office of the President of Ukraine, at the 13:18 mark, Zelenskyy urged Vilnius residents on January 10, 2024, not to give up hope of victory, even though the large-scale Russian invasion is entering its third year. He said (translated from Ukrainian by the Office of the President of Ukraine) (archived here):

Our freedom will prevail -- and there will be that day, the first day after this war. Our day.

Regarding Belarus and its citizens, Zelensky specifically stated at the 21:43 mark (translated from Ukrainian by the Office of the President of Ukraine):

There won't be a day after Ukraine. There will be a day after the war. After Putin.

It will be a day of our guaranteed security. And your inviolable freedom. And peaceful life for Lithuania, Estonia, Latvia, Finland, Sweden. For all states whose fate Russia now tries to drown in doubt.

It will be a new day of opportunity for Belarus -- an opportunity Belarus deserves.

There was no indication from Zelenskyy about his expectations for the war in Belarus, nor did he raise the issue of Belarusian fugitives or the prospect of democracy promotion in the country.

Lead Stories has fact checked claims from TikTok account @sotniktiktok previously, here and here.

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