They cannot be treated seriously.
Turkey-like behavior is a distinctive feature of a Belarusian official. State service, pension, benefits, period of service, bribery, power, ration make them feel like a balloon being filled with helium. And they increase in size despite physical laws, make decisions, demonstrate their way of thinking, enjoy power and fail all of a sudden. And all at once their true features reveal themselves - stupidity, incompetence. All that they needed was just stop going turkey. But they don't realize it. Their failures are in details.
The other day Ruhor Evchar, Chairman of the Directorate for Information and Public Relations, was dismissed from the Ministry of Internal Affairs (MIA). It was fired for video with a teenager who begged pardon of the policeman made of cast iron. He was exorcised, but it was too late. The administrative case against the teenager was closed due to a lack of evidence. But this video is still available on the website of the Ministry! And the monument one was about to forget has turned into meme and now causes uncontrollable laughter among Minsk dwellers and desperation to do something with it - to hit it on the nose of the monument or to tie a kerchief round its head. There was a flashmob on social networks where people asks different monuments for pardon. Every day someone raises this topic.
When I see policemen I imagine them chasing a worst offender who has hit a monument. Due to the video I can imagine the police car chasing a thin boy. No socially useful labour can make people treat them just like comics like Inspector Clouseau.
All round, they have something to be proud of. It happens that they solve a crime, defend people, save from aggressors, find missing children. It would seem that it's enough to make a movie. Use your primitive special effects: alarming music and the picture of their harsh faces. No one will laugh at it. Show a happy family reunion and tears of joy and you will hear "they are good guys" in response. Belarusians are kind and forgiving: they will forget about beating in a paddy wagon because of a rescued boy living nextdoor. Or laught at yourselves together with people. You may announce that the cast-iron policeman is the father of the boy with a swan installed near the Kupala Theatre (one may say that the monument of the lady selling sunflower seeds on Kamarovka market is his mother, but it had been too much). Concoct the legend: if you give the policeman's dog a stroke, then love, no fines are guaranteed. Organize photo sessions for just married. In the end you'd better tell the story about a legendary policeman as a symbol of gender equity: One can find the lady with the dog in every city of the world. Why should we then ignore the gentleman with the dog? However, the gentleman found his place near the MIA building.
But no way. Then one has to switch on self-irony and lose a deceitful feeling of significance and power. What if people do not realize it? However, they have had its already done.
However, their failure is in details. One can't take the police seriously, which waste money on persecution of a schoolboy who hit the dummy on the head. The KGB cannot be taken seriously - even as a threat - after a legendary died rat in a water pipeline of uncle Styopa Sukhorenko. And teddy bears thrown out of a plane several years later were the last nail in the coffin of the special service.
A crowd of Lukashenka's women working in the Social Protection and the Administration cannot be taken seriously, especially after their remarks that a man must have several jobs. Speaking frankly, they all canot be taken seriously. The more they boast of, the more time they spend in front of the mirror saying on repeat "I'm important, I will make everyone respect me", the funnier it looks in reality. Because their failure hide in details like the policeman, rats and teddy bears. And it cannot be mended.
Iryna Khalip, especially for Charter97.org