Nobel winner Alexievich: 'Don't give in to compromise' with totalitarian regimes

MINSK (AFP) - Nobel prize winning Belarusian author Svetlana Alexievich, who has railed against authoritarianism in her homeland and neighbouring Russia, said on Thursday (Oct 08) that people should not submit to totalitarian systems.

"In our time it is difficult to be an honest person," she said at a press conference in Minsk. "There is no need to give in to the compromise that totalitarian regimes always count on."

She also said she loved the Russia of "ballet, literature and ballet" but not the country it has become under President Vladimir Putin.

"I love the Russian world, but the kind, humane Russian world," she said at a press conference in Minsk. "I do not love Beria, Stalin, Putin... how low they let Russia sink," she said, referring to the former Soviet leader and his head of the secret police.