16 February 2019, Saturday, 11:23
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Iryna Khalip

Sacred to the memory of everyone.

One son passed away. Another is gone missing. Why?" These words Ulliana Zakharanka told my father eight years ago, when he arrived from Germany and brought her presents from daughter-in-law and granddaughters. She passed away last week. Maradona and hockey failure come to the country, Lukashenka is wearing an embroidered robe and parasite decree. The death of Ulliana Zakharanka was hardly mentioned on news.

It's a pity, of course. But it does not worth attention; she just died of old age. She lived 95 years, it's much more than many people live.

And the thing is that her life was hard. War, hard work in Germany, then the same happened to her in the homeland, the death of one son, the kidnapping of another. And then she suffered 20 years of hell, endless waiting, hopeless dreams to hear the doorstep creaking. No, it will not creak, for sure.

I remember Vera Mikhailauna Rozum. Her son Henadz Karpenka used to be the first in everything, including the top of persons subjected to liquidation. Vera Mikhailauna passed away ten years ago, she did not manage to know the truth about her son's death. I remember myself visiting her to meet with Henadz's brother Aliaksandr. He told on the phone: "Let's meet at my mother's. I have dinner there every day."

I arrived earlier then. Vera Mikhailauna condoled then: "Where did you arrive from? Kamarouka? You had to change the transport, now tickets cost too much! Or do you have U-pass?" She offered me to sit down to table: "Until you're hungry, I will not let you go!" Then Aliaksandr arrived. And Vera Mikhailauna did her best for us to make comfortable! But she refused to talk, she left the room. She was really disappointed. Unlike Ulliana Zakharanka, Vera Rozum had no hope to see her son again. She burried him and was only waiting for the truth about his death.

I do not know who suffered less. One woman had a leap of hope knowing that it made no sense; she had no grave no cry over. Another woman had no hope, but she had the grave to visit and to clear; after all, it made her feel better and she had a chance to talk to her son even though in her mind. However, it's wrong to reason who felt better. They both suffered.

People who ordered to kill people, and those who fulfilled orders - they also killed mothers. They thought they were killing strong, dangerous men, but they killed women. However, they killed mothers, fathers, wives, children, sisters, brothers. It's only a vision that there is only one victim in the case of Yury Zakharanka. There are lots of them - mother, wife, two daughters and grandson. In the Karpenkas they are mother, wife, son, daughter, brother, grandchildren. They were put up against the wall. Those who survived were injured and barely alive.

At the same time, in the end of the 90s when our opposition leaders were murdered, Lukashenka was building a house for his mother on Masherava Avenue. A large house with a high fence near Drazdy. Did he think for a second about another house in Vasilevichy, the house of his former colleague? I know he did not.

Let's think about it. I do not want to say that it's needed to destroy this power unless it has destroyed all mothers and their children. We know and remember it. But this is not the topic on agenda. I just want us to imagine at least for a minute that old house which is silent forever and ever. And, perhaps, to shed a tear.

"May he be alive? Ulliana Zakharanka said eight years ago. One person told me: Ryhorauna, wait. He'll come back, as soon as this person resigns. I think he'll be back".

Rest in peace, Ulliana Ryhorauna. He won't come back.

Iryna Khalip, specially for Charter97.org