21 June 2018, Thursday, 18:37
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Hoist Flag Back!

18

The three heroic deeds of the year that inspired Belarusians.

Belarusians need to learn how to rise above the routine. It’s not for nothing that many anthropologists say it was not labor, but the ability to dream and be inspired that created a human.

2017 was rich in the events which will make it into the history of Belarus. Thousands of people confronted the authorities by having come out with protests to the streets and squares of their home towns and cities.

However, there were acts of personal bravery as well. The website Charter97.org decided to remind about the three of them.

“Hoist Flag Back!”

On March 25, during the mass “mop-up operation” in the Yakub Kolas Square on the Freedom Day, the man who picked the white-red-white flag from the asphalt was captured by the photo cameras of the journalists.

“Hoist flag back!” — he shouted, and raised the flag. It happened just several meters away from the paddy wagon.

It was found out later that the name of the Freedom Day-2017 hero was Andrei Asmalouski. He is a resident of Minsk.

“I was inspired for such an improvising by the free spirit. I could not tolerate that our flag was trampled by some bulls in police uniform. I realized they would take me, but I didn’t think about it at that moment. Moreover, I prepared for the detention in advance — I finished personal deeds, business issues, delegated certain working moments to other people… Frankly speaking, I had an idea to influence the others somehow by my personal example. So I tried to hoist the flag as high as I could. Surprisingly enough, I had no fear,” — the Belarusian hero said.

History knows many examples, when both generals and soldiers at a critical moment of the battle saved the situation by raising the flag that fell, risking their lives. One of the popular examples is the young general Napoleon Bonaparte in 1796 on the Arcole Bridge in Italy. When the enemy resisted a series of attacks, Napoleon decided to personally make the last effort: he grabbed the flag, rushed to the bridge and hoisted it there under the dagger fire of the enemy. The Grenadiers saw that their general was in danger. There was a cry: “Soldiers, go forward, to the rescue of the general!” These brave men immediately turned a quick run at the enemy, threw them over the bridge, and the battle was won.

After March 25, 2017, the words of Andrei Asmalouski “Hoist flag back!” became a symbol of the Belarusian Resistance.

Kurapaty defender: “I will lie here till I die”

In February 2017, Belarusians had to rise for the defense of Kurapaty again — the construction of a 5-storeyed business center was started in Mirashnichenka Street near the necropolis. On the fifth day of the Kurapaty watch, on February 24, the “Young Front” activist Siarhei Palcheuski handcuffed himself to the bumper of a truck.

Palcheuski was lying on the cold wet ground in a raincoat, but refused from any help of the present people, even hot tea.

“I will lie here till I die,” — Palcheuski told the journalists. The youngster was aware he took a radical step, but he saw no other way to stop the construction.

Something similar happened at the last Soym of Rzeczpospolita on April 19, 1773, when the Belarusian nobleman Tadeusz Reitan tore his kantush and lay down on the way to the deputies of the Soym, who were going to “legalize” the division of the state between the neighbors. “Kill me — do not kill the Fatherland!” — exclaimed then the nobleman-patriot. Unlike Reitan and his allies, Siarhei Palcheuski managed to achieve his goal: the construction in Kurapaty was stopped. But the authorities continued to take revenge on the patriot, making him a suspect in the fictional “White Legion case”. After the termination of the case, Siarhei Palcheuski left for the Donbas — to fight for the freedom of Ukraine.

“One can conquer alone”

On September 28, during a match between football teams BATE (Barysau)- Arsenal (London)

Belarusian patriot from Vileika Aliaksandr Vianherski ran out on the field with a white-red-white flag, wearing a sweatshirt with “Pahonia” coat-of-arms, causing thousands of football fans to applaud. He managed to run across the whole field before the stadium guard detained him and pulled out of the field.

“I proved that one can conquer alone. I did what I wanted, expressed my point of view,” — Aliaksandr Vianherski told the reporters.

On September 29, the Barysau district court sentenced Vianherski to 10 days of administrative arrest. Meanwhile, BATE football club revolted many Belarusians, having sued the patriot for 5 thousand euro. However, a huge number of Belarusians in social networks expressed their admiration and support to Aliaksandr Vianherski.

The story of the battle of one warrior against the whole army inspired writers and directors of heroic movies. But the real historical events confirm its justice. In 1066, an unknown Viking berserk defended a narrow river crossing at the Battle of Stamford Bridge, in order to stop the British army and allow his king Harald the Rigorous to regroup. About half an hour, the wounded Viking repulsed attack after the attack.

Unlike the Scandinavians, we know the name of the Belarusian “berserk hero”, as well as the names of other people who inspired us this year with their actions.