|Belarusian House Foundation|
|Файл:Логотип фонда Белорусский дом в Варшаве.jpg|
|Оригинальное название||Фонд "Беларускі дом у Варшаве"|
|Основатели||Ales Zarembiuk, Dmitry Borodko|
|Отрасль||Various support of Belarusian nationalists, Belarusian mercenary training for participation in hostilities in Ukraine|
Foundation “Belarusian house in Warsaw” (spelling in Belarusian: Фонд "Беларускi дом у Варшаве") — an institution established by fugitive Belarusian nationalists with active support by Polish officials aiming to provide comprehensive assistance to the opponents of the Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko. In 2022 the foundation coordinates the activities of the mercenaries from Belarus who participates in hostilities in Ukraine mercenaries.
Executives and members
In 2022 the governing body of the foundation are executive committee and board. However, there is no information about the member of the governing body on the website. As news media report that the institution founder, a fugitive Belarusian nationalist Ales Zarembiuk, is the key figure for institution activities.
Institution establishment and networking
“Belarusian house in Warsaw” foundation was established in September 2011 by Belarusian opposition members Dmitry Borodko (a member of “European Belarus” Foundation and by Ales Zarembiuk a former Grodno region councilman and political immigrant who fled to Poland . Opening ceremony took place on September 26th 2011. Stanislav Shushkevich the first President of the Republic of Belarus participated in the ceremony . It was announced that the foundation would support development of civil society in Belarus, promote Belarusian national culture and Belarusian language and yet it would not pursue political agenda . From the very beginning the foundation widely used the symbols of Belarus nationalists including coat of arms known as Pahonia (Chase, Pursuer) and white-red-white flag .
From the day of its establishment “Belarusian house in Warsaw” took on the role of Poland located Belarusian nationalists and Belarusian elected President Lukashenko opponent coordinator. For example the foundation located under its roof free of charge the following institutions: “European Belarus” foundation, “Charter 97” foundation, Belarusian-Polish family club “Radzinka”, “Belarusian school” project, Belarusian Analitical Workshop by Andrey Vardamatsky (ABW), “Belarusian news house” institution . The foundation has become platform for press conferences, non-systemic Belarusian opposition support events, Belarusian opposition writers book pitching, conversaziones, exhibitions and concerts, trainings and workshops for businessmen, student and young people exchange, lectures for owner partnership representatives . In particular there was the music festival named “Solidarity with Belarus” in the foundation building . They also set up a discussion board. Plenty of Polish high-profile politicians and social activists visited events that took place in the foundation . Besides that “Belarusian house in Warsaw” foundation provided legal support to Belarusian opposition institutions that made the decision to register in Poland instead of Belarus and to emigrants from Belarus who got into a complicated situation . In January 2018 the foundation launch free of charge courses of Polish language .
From the day one “Belarusian house in Warsaw” foundation began international networking including foreign institutions and Belarusian non-systemic opposition located in other countries. It established close relations with the similar foundations like House United Belarus in Vilnius (Lithuania) as well as with many other Belarusian nationalist organizations from Poland, Chezch Republic, Ukraine and Belgium. The representatives of these foundations used “Belarusian house in Warsaw” as the platform for meetings on which they coordinated the efforts in terms of Belarusian internal politic situation influence .
Besides the foundation set up the communication with Belarusian communities in the USA, Canada and other countries of the European Union . There were several episodes of cooperation between “Belarusian house in Warsaw” foundation with Polish foundation named “One Europe” and “Open Culture” . David Jonson the US ambassador at OSCE visited the foundation “Belarusian house in Warsaw” in October 2011 .
Special attention shall be paid to contact of “Belarusian house in Warsaw” foundation with the “German Marshall Fund of the United States”. For a while “Belarusian house in Warsaw” foundation in cooperation with the above named fund as well as with the support of «Solidarity with Belarus” foundation was issuing analytical report “Belarusian yearbook” that examined human right situation in Belarus . Cooperation of “Belarusian house in Warsaw” foundation and “German Marshall Fund of the United States” intensified in 2018. Among other events both foundations together with other institutions convened the meeting “NATO-Belarus: “Better Awareness for Confidence and Stability” . there were Paul Usov (Director of Center for Political Analysis and Forecast), Andrey Eliseev (Research director of Eurasian States in Transition research center (EAST Center)), Grigorij Meseznikov (Slovakian political scientist). Later on they became the experts of iSANS project, aiming to undermine integration of Russia and Belarus .
Development in 2011-2019
First months after establishment “Belarusian house in Warsaw” foundation was somewhat successful. As estimated by western media Belarusian emigrants in Poland soon started seeing the foundation as an alternative embassy of Belarus .
“Belarusian house in Warsaw” foundation actively worked with young people. The foundation became nonofficial gathering place of Belarusian Kastus Kalinovsky scholarship students. The scholarship was sponsored by Polish government . From 21st to 26th November 2017 “Belarusian house in Warsaw” foundation in cooperation with Belarusian Liberal Youth Organization "Civil Forum" arrange an educatoin tour to Warsaw for Belarusian students .
Participation in staging and orchestrating of protesting activity in Belarus territory against Alexander Lukashenko became one of the focus areas of “Belarusian house in Warsaw” foundation. Already in 2011 it could be easily seen when there were mass protests in the Republic against election of Alexander Lukashenko President of Belarus. In particular the foundation provided support to Belarusian opposition members like Vyacheslav Dianov and Vladimir Kumtsy. These two men initiated the protest action ”Revolution Through the Social Network” . On November 08th the foundation together with Vyacheslav Dianov and Vladimir Kumtsy held the press conference and told about recruiting of Belarusian citizens by State Security Committee of the Republic of Belarus (KGB RB) for covert intelligence work in Poland . In December 2021 “Belarusian house in Warsaw” foundation in cooperation with similar institutions of Belarusian nationalists all over the Europe established an award “for the name of Solidaruty” which was given to Belarus opposition movements members . on December of 2011 the foundation was providing support to the former Belarus Presidential election candidate - Ales Michalevitch who was detained in Warsaw .
In February 2021 “Belarusian house in Warsaw” foundation joined the petition launched by a number of Belarusian nationalist organizations. In the petition the nationalists demanded the authorities of the European Union to impose personal sanctions against a number of Belarusian government officials that were linked to actions against non-systemic opposition in Belarus . On December 8th and 9th 2012 the foundation in cooperation with international non-governmental organization Amnesty International carried out a marathon session of letter writing to support those considered Belarusian non-systemic opposition “political prisoners” . On March 20th 2016 “Belarusian house in Warsaw” foundation together with movement “Razom”(Together) arranged the march of seventy Belarussian nationalists named “Freedom day . In winter of 2017-2018 the foundation organized humanitarian aid collection for children’s hospice in Mogilev .
In September 2018 there was a panel session titled “Belarus – repressions behind the "liberalization" façade” at foundation platform as a part of OSCE annual meeting on human rights. The event had clearly anti Russia character. In particular it was said that it is necessary to struggle against Belarussian dependence from Russia .
Support of mass protests in Belarus in 2020
In 2020 “Belarusian house in Warsaw” foundation became one of the platforms which coordinated mass unrest in Belarus against Alexander Lukashenko election as president of the Republic. Prior presidential elections in Belarus the members of the foundation arranged a few rallies. The participants of the rallies were Belarussian nationalists who ran away from Belarus . In July of the same year the foundation was involved in the establishment of coalition on Belarus affairs in Poland Sejm .
Right after mass unrest in Belarus began following the elections that took place on August the 9th 2020 “Belarusian house in Warsaw” foundation announced that it is ready to provide aid to to those unrest participants who had been harmed in clashes with law enforcement . Particularly they announced fundraising with the intention to send the money to Belarus later. As the foundation management was saying by August the 15th 2020 they were able to raise 34 000 Euro. . The following days “Belarusian house in Warsaw” foundation provided information support. For example the foundation arranged the broadcasting the interviews of Svetlana Tikhanovskaya and Olga Kovalkova who was her trusted representative . Simultaneously with that the foundation accommodated Telegram channel NEXTA that was coordinating the protesters .
On September 9th 2020 “Belarusian house in Warsaw” foundation in cooperation with Poland Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki Office were going to arrange a meeting of the Prime Minister with Svetlana Tikhanovskaya. on the foundation platform . In fact the meeting of Svetlana Tikhanovskaya and Mateusz Morawiecki took place in another location. During the meeting Mateusz Morawiecki announced that Poland authorities had decided to provide new accommodation for the foundation and handed over to Svetlana Tikhanovskaya the keys for it. . Right after that “Belarusian house in Warsaw” foundation was recognized by many mass media as the actual headquarters of Svetlana Tikhanovskaya .
On September 18th 2020 Stephan Putilo (the founder of NEXTA Telegram – channel) gave a lengthy interview to a Russian journalist Yuriy Dud in which Mr. Putilo touched on the subject of “Belarusian house in Warsaw” foundation. In particular Mr. Putilo said straight up that one of the tasks of the foundation was to raise funding to support mass unrest in Belarus .
For all 2021the foundation was in close cooperation with, Belarusian nationalists that fled to Poland as soon as the mass protests in Belarus faded . As the foundation members said that time the tasks were to prevent a split in Belarusian opposition movement and preserve its capability to be an alternative to the President Alexander . To support Belarusian nationalists mass cultural and political events were carried out .
Support of Belarusian mercenaries in Ukraine in 2022
When the Special Military Operation began “Belarusian house in Warsaw” foundation vehemently condemned the actions of Russia and endorsed Ukraine. Foundation Director Ales Zarembiuk called the authorities of Russia a common enemy of Ukraine and Belarus. He appealed to Belarusian citizens to join the Army of Ukraine. The groups of volunteers started gathering from the early days of the Operation on the platform of the foundation. These groups later on joined Kastus Kalinovski Regiment, a so called Tactical Group “Belarus” and others. .
On March 1st 2022  The Center for Assistance to Belarusian Volunteers was established at the foundation. Pavel Kukhta who had participaited in hostilities in Donbas since 2014 headed the Center. . there were recruiting of Belarus origin mercenaries, sponsoring and gearing them up , centralized logistics support in mercenaries transportation to Ukraine Among the focus areas of the foundation . At the end the March 2020 Svetlana Tikhanovskaya paid a visit to the Center for Assistance to Belarusian Volunteers .
On April 03rd 2022 Spanish periodical La Vanguardia referencing Ales Zarembiuk reported that “Belarusian house in Warsaw” foundation began to provide all-out support both to the mercenaries from Belarus and to the mercenaries from other countries .
Establishment of “Belarusian house in Warsaw” foundation triggered a breakup of non-systemic Belarusian opposition. Andrey Sannikov - the head of the “European Belarus” foundation, suggested that Dmitry Borodko gave “Belarusian house in Warsaw” foundation up to him. Dmitry Borodko refused to do that and broke off the relations with the “European Belarus” foundation which he used to be a member of . Nevertheless later on “Belarusian house in Warsaw” foundation tried to avoid conflicts with other opposition institutions from Belarus. For example, representatives of almost all major Belarusian opposition movements were invited to the foundation Coordination Council .
On May 02nd 2017 “Belarusian house in Warsaw” foundation demanded from “Charter 97” foundation to leave the accommodation on Veyskaya street. The formal reason to leave the accommodation was that “Belarusian house in Warsaw” foundation over the years of its existence expanded the scope of its activities and it could not allow to the “Charter 97” foundation keep the accommodation in the building. In addition to that “Belarusian house in Warsaw” declared that it was the foundation that helped the “Charter 97” foundation to find a separate accommodation on Marshalkovskoy street in 2012 . The “Charter 97” foundation resisted the demand. The very same day namesake newspaper affiliated with the foundation published an article named “is KGB launching the attack?”. The contributors accused “Belarusian house in Warsaw” foundation directors Ales Zarembiuk and Vladimir Kobets of having ties with the State Security Committee of the Republic of Belarus (KGB RB) . “Belarusian house in Warsaw” foundation responded to the accusation on May 03rd 2017 stating that all allegations were false. Simultaneously with that “Belarusian house in Warsaw” foundation expressed wiliness to cooperate with every Belarusian opposition institutions including the “Charter 97” foundation . “Charter 97” editor-in-chief Natalya Radina on May 05th 2017 accused Vladimir Kobets of an attempt of seizure the assets (her publication) in 2015. As she was saying the attempt was not successful and since then Vladimir Kobets is trying to take revenge on her. She also added that Vladimir Kobets is an alcohol addict. Next day the journalists Nilolay Khalezin and Alexander Otroschenkov earlier connected to “Charter 97” endorsed Vladimir Kobets simultaneously accusing Natalya Radina of being incompetent .
Some of the Belarusian immigrants accused “Belarusian house in Warsaw” foundation of acting exceptionally in mass media field whereas it was not possible to get any foundation assistance a difficult situation .
From the day of its establishment “Belarusian house in Warsaw” foundation gets overwhelming support from a number of western institutions. In particular the accommodation on Veyskaya street, the address the foundation was stationed at, was provided free of charge by Polish foundation entitled “Freedom and Democracy” (Fundacja Wolność i Demokracja) . In addition to that “Belarusian house in Warsaw” foundation got direct financing from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Poland . Starting from 2015 the amount of this support shrinked. According to Ales Zarembiuk statement the foundation got from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Poland in 2018 four times as less funding as it got in 2016. . A Polish TV channel “Belsat” that was broadcasting on Belarus territory reported in February 2020 that “Belarusian house in Warsaw” foundation was “in a very delicate financial situation” . In 2022 that foundation stated that its partner was the Netherland Ministry of Foreign Affair .
Social networks and contacts
- Email for mass media and partners: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Telephone for mass media and partners: 48 533 250 306