20 January 2018, Saturday, 6:15

Andrzej Pachobut: MAP worker’s videos are a slap in Lukashenka PR officers’ face

Ruslan Mirzoeu’s arrest is a part of the campaign for fighting the criticism against the authorities on the internet.

This is how a journalist Andrzej Pachobut commented for the charter97.org web-site on the 7-day arrest of the author of popular videos about Minsk Automobile Plant Ruslan Mirzoeu.

“The reason for the arrest is that Ruslan males videos, which cause a resonance with public and show the reality not in the way the Belarusian authorities like. As a matter of fact, the prosecutor actually admitted that in an interview to the ONT TV channel, having said that the guy was sentenced not for the foul language”, - the reporter noted.

He emphasized that the video have been viewed by thousands of people on the Belarusian segment of the web.

“The thing is that on the internet Belarusians perceive the reality critically, but in the real life they are afraid to speak up. Hence the Belarusian authorities are concerned over the certain miscorrelation between the virtual and official thought. Any person, who speaks Russian or Belarusian, can go on the internet and see that there almost no supporters of Aliaksandr Lukashenka. They do not influence the discourse, despite the 500 BRYU’s blogs. One cannot say that the Belarusian internet is oppositional, but one can say that it is critical towards the authorities. And the authorities do not like that, because they want to control everything and influence that thought, which is being done by Ruslan’s arrest. What the television told about him was a part of such a campaign. I think the verdict for a cultural studies professor for “insulting” policemen is of the same kind as well as the round table on social media, - the journalist added.

He believes that the Belarusian authorities have proclaimed a fight on the critique on the internet, and Ruslan’s case is its practical implementation.

“I think they will keep doing such things. When there is a whole state program on improving Minsk’s image, and suddenly there appear videos with a totally different image of the capital, which are seen by dozens thousands people, the officials do not like that. They are not capable of making such a popular video. Here we can say that Ruslan Mirzoeu slapped the people, who deal with the PR-promotion of Minsk’s image, in the face”, - Andrzej Pachobut summarized.

We would remind that the worker, fired from the MAP for a series of videos about the plant workers’ daily routine, was arrested for 7 days for his new video.