25 April 2019, Thursday, 17:56
For our and your freedom!

How Does Former Police Officer Who Stood Up To Defend Kurapaty Live Now?


Mikhail Hramyka told how he lives and how he earns his living today.

In July 2018, police warrant officer Mikhail Hramyka managed to take part in a protest near the restaurant in Kurapaty, lose his job and spend some days in a detention facility, nn.by writes. Today, the former police officer Hramyka tells how he lives and earns his living, why he cannot find a permanent job.

– Six months have passed since your dismissal from the police. Where do you work now?

– I do not do anything. I have not found a job yet. After all, wherever you go, you need recommendation letters. And who will give me the recommendations that I need?.. I was dismissed under the article. I do not remember the exact wording, but the essence is that I did not fulfill the conditions of the contract. Because I was obliged not to support political parties and movements and not to speak out in their support. It seems to me, I didn't speak in support of any, but… Well, they wrote that, when they fired me... I read it, but I didn't give it much importance and signed it.

Therefore, I have difficulties with finding a job now. But I'm trying to develop my hobby, which is manufacturing leather goods. I became a craftsman.

I have some money from this. But, of course, my income is unstable. There is no such thing as I had in the past, when I knew that the monthly salary will definitely be on the 20th each month.

Now I may get a little today and a little later. Sometimes I can make 500 rubles, sometimes 200.

– So you earn less than when you were working for the police? (Hramyka said that during his work on Akrestin Street, he received 800–850 rubles a month. – Ed.)

– Yes, less.

– Is your wife not angry?

– The main “problem” is the wife! (Laughs)

She says I should go to work. I answer – I bring the money, what do you want more? And where will I go to work? In security service? Well, all former police officers work there, including the heads. They will see my “recommendations” and all will be over. And what can I earn there, the same 500 rubles? I make them as a craftsman as well. But the wife says that I could make both: 500 rubles as a security and 500 as a craftsman.

– Did she reproach you for giving interviews?

– Well, she did a bit... At first, she treated it negatively, but then she saw that people supported me in the comments, and she eased off.

She reproached me for not telling her anything before the interview, leaving her unaware of it... But if I had warned my wife, there would have been no interview (laughs).

– Did your wife have any problems at work?

– No, everything is fine, no problems.

– And your daughter at the university?

– Also no problems there. Everything was quiet somehow. They were satisfied with the fact that they gave me a “harsh time” with the court, days in the detention facility.

– You said that your father condemned you.

– No, it's not right to say so. My father watches Russian channels, Russia-24. So he overwatched those idiots... As for my deed, when he found out about it, his first reaction was: “Keep away from me after that!” But he said that before he gained insight into the situation. Later, he learned the details, read the interview, etc... All is fine now. The father is the father, after all, not a stranger.

– Do you meet former colleagues from the police?

– I see them every day. I live in a “police” house.

– Do they say you something?

– Not really. Things have cooled down already.

But even earlier I did not see negative attitude. Most were neutral, just said nothing. But there were those who expressed support.

– Have you been to Kurapaty after that incident?

– No, I haven't been to Kurapaty, but I took part in the march on Dziady.

– How was it?

– Well, for want of habit it is difficult to walk such a distance! (Laughs)

But this is a good action. There should be more of them held here and people should attend them more. It's a kind of our tradition already.

– After all the events, has your attitude towards the police changed?

– No, I told you that, if you take every single policeman, they are all wonderful people. And when a fool gives an order, here it goes ... Belarusians’ promptness in obeying is really high.

On Dziady when I was taking part in the procession, I bought a small white-red-white flag , attached it to my jacket and took the sticker with the Chase, put it my jacket next to my heart. I was walking, the patrol were standing:a lieutenant and an ensign, young guys. And the lieutenant came up to me and asked to hide the flag. And he was taking politey.

I say: guys, but why!?

And the lieutenant spoke to me in such a tone, as if he was apologizing, saying he had got an order and could do nothing about it?

At first I wanted to argue, and then I thought – oh, why would I ... Put the flag in my pocket. And the sticker remained on the jacket. And the ensign said – remove it as well! I told him – why, this is our national emblem! And the coat of arms of Vitsebsk! And I went away. (He laughs)