17 June 2019, Monday, 15:04
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Troublemaker Dismissed

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VALER KARBALEVICH

What happened during the report of Shunevich to Lukashenka?

It seemed that Interior Minister Ihar Shunevich was an irreplaceable person. Almost every month, scandals happened to the Interior Ministry or its employees. And this is not only video clips on the Internet with policemen who beat people.

The fact that the affairs at the Ministry of Internal Affairs are absolutely bad was repeatedly acknowledged by the Minister himself. For example, on December 1, 2016, Shunevich in an interview to the Belarus-1 TV channel stated that “this year 123 criminal cases were opened against police officers” (!). On May 31, 2017, the minister told reporters that the Ministry of Internal Affairs every week identifies those who violate professional discipline.

“Every week, mostly on weekends, we conduct raids to check the behavior of police officers. And almost every time we find those who behave incorrectly, ”said Shunevich.

That is, even according to the confessions of the minister, the Ministry of Internal Affairs is not a law-abiding organization, and appears even a criminogenic one. The body, which must stand for the protection of the law, is the offender. Its further existence became simply dangerous for the society. In a normal country, the Ministry of Internal Affairs would immediately dissolve and declare a new recruitment to the police under civilian control. And the minister would have long retired in disgrace.

However, the minister got away with all this, like water off a duck's back. He was forgiven for everything. Even that tragicomic story, when someone stole 270 thousand dollars from the safe of the ministry. And the series with the Tsar Policeman sculpture became a part of the Belarusian political folklore.

The tragic story of the death of the Mahiliou traffic police inspector Yauhen Patapovich and the “Roma massacre” by the police severely hit the image of the Ministry of Internal Affairs and its head. As a result, Head of the Lukashenka administration Natallia Kachanava had to go to Mahiliou and apologize to the Roma - an unheard of case for Belarus.

Unsinkability of Shunevich was explained very easily. Not only by the fact that the police are tough with the opposition. Shunevich tried to run ahead of the locomotive, to guess the unspoken aspirations and dreams of Lukashenka. Only one persistent struggle with the rainbow flag over the British Embassy in Minsk is worth something.

I think that the unpopularity of the Ministry of Internal Affairs and its leadership among the population even benefits Lukashenka. According to authoritarian logic, when people hate the police, the latter will more zealously defend the existing regime and its leader. After all, it is worth only a little to call into question the unlimited right of police officers to harshly suppress everyone, regardless of guilt, then the authoritarian model will begin to erode. Therefore, the instinct of self-preservation system.

Something unexpected happened already during the report of Shunevich, which prompted Lukashenka to take a radical personnel decision. And this is on the eve of the European Games, during which order and security lie on the shoulders of the police. At such a time, it would seem that it is not necessary to make radical changes in the leadership of the Ministry of Internal Affairs.

What happened there during the report of the Minister remains a mystery. Perhaps this secret will be reported by Lukashenka himself, he does this sometimes.

And summing up the police career of Ihar Shunevich, one can say that he is a man of scandal. All of his activities as a minister were accompanied by unpleasant stories, and the resignation itself was scandalous. But perhaps this is not the matter of the minister’s personality, but of the nature of the Belarusian political regime itself, under which the police department is outside the control of the society.

And what happened yesterday is, it seems to me, the continuation of a scandal with elements of a detective story. See for yourself.

At 11:15 on the website of BelTA a message appears that Lukashenka met with Shunevich and set tasks for him how the police should work during the II European Games. Explains in detail what to do and what not. Shunevich calmly reports. Then they discussed the issue of affairs with the Dynamo-Minsk hockey club, where the Minister of Internal Affairs traditionally chairs the Supervisory Board. Then Shunevich tells that the sources of information leaks in the Ministry of Internal Affairs have been established, the employees involved will be dismissed. Everything seems calm, routine.

And suddenly at 14:22 BelTA informs that just during this conversation, which was delayed for three hours, Shunevich gives a resignation report and Lukashenka accepts it.

That is, obviously, the resignation of the minister was not planned. After all, why setting tasks to the minister, whom the ruler was going to dismiss?

Valer Karbalevich, Radio Svaboda