15 September 2019, Sunday, 20:02
We are in the same boat

Dzmitry Bandarenka: Officials Responsible For Mayhem In Kurapaty Will Go Under Trial

Dzmitry Bandarenka: Officials Responsible For Mayhem In Kurapaty Will Go Under Trial

Meanwhile, those who come to the defense of the memorial deserve the highest state awards.

Bulldozers again arrived at the Kurapaty tract: this time the trenches were laid right in the “heart” of the national memorial.

Why did the authorities need to do it right now and how to resist the next attack on the national memory of the Belarusians?

The website Charter97.org spoke with coordinator of the European Belarus civil campaign Dzmitry Bandarenka.

- You were one of the organizers and an active participant in the first defense of Kurapaty in 2001-2002. How do you assess the current situation?

- A crime is taking place. Lukashists received orders from the Kremlin to break the soul of the Belarusian people. And Kurapaty is a symbol of the tragedy of Belarus in the 20th century for all normal Belarusians. And what is happening now is just an attempt by supporters of the “Russian world” to break the spirit of the Belarusians in resistance.

In 2001, during the first campaign on the Kurapaty defense, we fought for every centimeter and did not allow the authorities to sneer. The authorities were forced to give way to the protest of the Belarusians, and the road in this place was built more narrow.

And today, excavators are scrupulously scouring Kurapaty, in a place where there should be no works other than archaeological ones. A bulldozer is not at all a tool for archaeologists.

For me, all this is also a personal insult, because at one time I, like other Kurapaty defenders, was severely beaten, my back was literally black from police batons. But then we were able to stop this “gang”.

- Why did the authorities need to do this at this precise moment?

- I just said: the attack on Kurapaty is one of the last orders of the Kremlin. It is clear that Putin’s Russia is preparing for a new aggression, primarily in relation to Belarus.

- It turns out, we see the first stage of information aggression of the Russian Federation against Belarusians?

- There is not only information aggression. The symbols of the whole nation are destroyed and defiled. According to the Belarusian laws, this is a criminal offense.

I want to warn all the officials responsible for the mayhem in Kurapaty so that they do not justify themselves with “having to carry out a certain order” afterwards: under the new government, you will all go to court. And the cynicism of officials from the Ministry of Culture knows no bounds. To the journalist’s question about the bulldozers in Kurapaty, they cynically referred to Zianon Paznyak: they say that there are no graves at this place. People understand that what they do is outrageous, so they look for some kind of “excuse”, referring to the person who discovered this place. But we know that Zianon Pazniak categorically opposes the things that are happening there at the moment.

- Bulldozers in the center of Kurapaty - how was such a thing possible?

- First, because Lukashenka is at power.

Secondly, because the Minister of Internal Affairs of Belarus wears the NKVD uniform at festive events. This means that he fully supports the execution of Belarusians and citizens of neighboring countries by the NKVD officers in Kurapaty.

It became possible also because they managed to divide the opposition. During the first watch, we achieved results, because everyone was together. Representatives of various parties and movements, especially young people, went under police batons.

The “concert of mass cowardice” on March 25 this year prompted the authorities that they could do anything. A group of amateurs of “deal” with the authorities appeared in the opposition, who believe that it was necessary to abandon the demonstration on the great centenary of Belarusian independence, because otherwise the authorities would not allow to install the memorial shield.

So where is this shield? Now we see that some opposition half-representatives are crying: they said there were agreements, but the authorities violated them. So why did they make these agreements without a common position?

And where are these thousands of dance lovers today? For Kurapaty, a small group of caring people is struggling against the “restaurant on the bones” - first of all, the activists of the European Belarus civil campaign.

- The first watch in Kurapaty ended in victory over the plans of the authorities. As an active participant of those events - what would you like to say to the defenders of the stove?

- Those who defended and continue defending Kurapaty are real Belarusian heroes, they deserve the highest state awards. And someday they will get them. These people literally risk their lives: they get hit by cars, they are beaten by scum who have come to devour and mock at this place.

The Kurapaty defenders deserve the highest praise. These are people of honor, people of valor.

But today everyone, the entire opposition, needs to organize protests in Kurapaty. Because what happened is just over the edge. Once again I want to say: we fought for every centimeter. And now excavators drove through the soul of the Belarusian people. And tomorrow, if there is no reaction, tanks can ride across the Belarusian land.