“My grandmother had a talent for mathematics, a gift from god, as she kept saying. Mathematics was her whole life, not just a way to keep her brain in shape. Sometimes she would just sit there solving mathematical problems, as that was her way of having fun. And all of a sudden they ended up in Siberia – as my mother told me, as my grandmother didn't like this topic being brought up. She didn't like to discuss this issue, even as I kept trying to learn something about that. I understand what she had to endure as a woman, this responsibility for all of her children. The most important thing for my grandmother was education. In Siberia, both my mother, her sister and her brother weren't allowed for two years, as they had no clothes to go to school in, they didn't even have boots. As my mother recalled, when the first snow had fallen, she had to walk to the woods barefoot to gather wood for the stove. In the house they were living in, there was just this clay floor and there was cold. So my grandmother suffered quite a lot, as she told me. And I feel such gratitude that she was able to save her children.”
“I realized that I had to start speaking Belarusian. It was in 2005, as Pasha was sentenced for the first time and sent to this prison in Molye Sitno almost at the Russian border. I started to speak Belarusian gradually. Even today I find myself thinking: 'How would that be in Russian?' I know that I still can't avoid some Russian expressions in a conversation. But the point isn't how well I would master Belarus, the important thing is that it is a language I am thinking in. I would find myself not translating the words, just thinking in Belarusian. It is a form of resistance, a protest. As since Lukashenko came to power there has been this notion that Belarus might be occupied once again. And I am not talking about this billion debt of his, I am talking about the fact that he would be willing to crawl on all fours to Russia if he would have to.”
“The fact is that after they would learn about you they would unleash all dogs at once . And they know about me quite well. They know how I would talk to state officials. As I keep telling them how useless they are. So they keep threatening me all the time. So on November 14th, on Mother's Day, they arrested me and I had to spend the night at the Interior Ministry's district office (RUVD). After that, they took me to a holding cell where I was refused due to high blood pressure, as they measured more than 200. I suffer from hypertension after several female troubles I had. They told me that they won't let me stay there, as I could get a stroke or something. So they drove me back and the policeman who accompanied me told them to call an ambulance: 'I won't leave till they have called an ambulance.' They called them twice and I was given six shots. First ambulance came and later even a second one as I felt my blood pressure rising again. And why shouldn't it rise? As you have to sit in that stinking room all night with nothing to do. I felt sick since morning and all those things really didn't help me to feel better. And I'm not so young either – in four years I will be seventy.”
The fact is that after they would learn about you they would unleash all dogs at once
Tatyana Yevgenyevna Severinets, née Lobachevska, was born on December 1st, 1954, in the town of Luninets in the Brest Oblast to a family of Yevgeny Ivanovich Lobachevsky, a railway employee, and Galina Machailovna Lobachevska, a head librarian. Her father managed to survive German captivity and her mother’s family had been affected by the purges. Tatyana is their second child, having two sisters. She graduated from the Secondary School No. 2 in the town on Luninec. Thereafter, she studied at the Philological Faculty of the Belarusian State University. She started her teaching career as a Belarusian teacher at a secondary school in Krasnovolsk in Luninets District. Later, she was teaching at secondary school in Orsha District and in the town of Baran and Vitebsk. She was highly regarded as a teacher of Russian and literature and spent immense energy guiding her pupils and directing student theater, winning several prizes and diplomas. In 1975, she married Konstantin Severinets, a journalist and a writer. For thirteen years she was the deputy director of the School No. 23 in Vitebsk and she also taught Russian and literature at the Secondary School No. 40 in the town. Two years before retiring she had to leave her post at the secondary school due to political reasons. Since 2008, she has been the leader of the Vitebsk’s branch of the Belarusian Christian Democracy (BchD). She organized countless political, communal and cultural meetings in Vitebsk and its vicinity, including: Save the Bilevo Hospital, Build the Recycling Plant, Save Life, Build road for Cyclists and many others. Most of these initiatives succeeded in achieving their goals. Three times she was a candidate in an election to a local council (2003, 2207, 2014), and twice to the House of Representatives (2008, 2016). She has been a chairman of the Vitebsk Oblast’s multi party women’s club. She raised three children and has six grandchildren.