20 June 2021, Sunday, 6:35
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"The Security Forces in Belarus Are Already Recording Each Other, Collecting Dirt"

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"The Security Forces in Belarus Are Already Recording Each Other, Collecting Dirt"

An internal war broke out in the power block.

A video of Belarusian protests, filmed on cameras worn by security officials, has appeared on the Internet. It was published by the By_Pol initiative, which unites employees of the law enforcement agencies of Belarus who refused to obey orders: they publicly or non-publicly declared their disagreement and quit their jobs. Some of them went abroad, and others remain in Belarus.

The video is a sequential gluing of three recordings. The first one has no dating; from the detained people's clothes, it can be assumed that it was made in the fall, not in the summer. People in a cramped paddy wagon are kneeling, and new and new detainees are being dragged inside.

The second video has a date - October 25, 2020. On that day, the security forces violently dispersed the protesters on Arlouskaya Street - near the building of the Central District Department of Internal Affairs in Minsk. Judging by the angle, the video was shot by one of the participants in the dispersal.

The third video is dated November 1, 2020, and was filmed between Maskouskaya and Uvaskhod metro stations. On that Sunday, protesters tried to march to Kurapaty, a memorial to Stalin's repression victims.

The Current Time journalists discussed these videos with one of the organizers of the By_Pol initiative, Andrei Astapovich. In the past, he was an investigator from Minsk. He resigned after a surge of violence in the country, was detained, and fled from Belarus. Now he lives in Warsaw.

- How did you get this video?

- I can't say directly, but I will explain that the current government is beginning to persecute its own employees within the system. I have already commented on all the lists of those who signed for candidates: how they begin to identify people, begin to fire, de-certify, deprive them of service, titles, and pensions - those who are against the current government and remain within the system. Due to the same authorities' actions, there are already protest trends in the system itself - people begin to defend themselves. This is an intelligent block, which is now ready to make war with the power block, which was directly involved in what is captured on the videos. Now an internal war begins, let's see who wins: a monkey with a club or intellect.

- Are there a lot of dissatisfied people inside?

- They found 700 signatures from the central offices only from Babaryka's headquarters, digitized, which they got from the Ministry of Internal Affairs' central office - 700 people signed there.

- Was this even before the elections?

- Yes, signatures are put with the passport data. Now all these signatures from the CEC have been completely digitized, analyzed, and people are being dismissed, expelled, and persecuted for their civil position, just for their opinion, for their signature. And the reverse process begins.

- How many people who, seeing this brutality of security officials in the streets of Minsk and other Belarusian cities, decide to leave the authorities?

- I can't say a specific figure. This is very difficult to track down. Some turn to [us], some just leave, not declaring themselves for personal safety, and so on. If we take those who applied for BY_soul, their number has already reached 1000 people. But I know that the percentage of those who applied there and left probably will not exceed 50 - there are more of those who did not apply.

- And those who remain and continue to carry out these orders: do you understand why they have such cruelty?

- Firstly, those who remain do not necessarily follow these orders. The power unit system is huge, and you can't take everyone under the same brand. There are a lot of people who simply work with ordinary criminality - at the moment, it has not gone anywhere - and they are not involved in these events. Of course, when all this happens, and they face it directly, at least as witnesses, they disagree, plus internal services begin to press them very strongly, and such trends begin: "I still remain in the system because it is so vital for me for one reason or another, but now I will fight like a partisan - in a different way."

- Those who take to the streets to beat the protesters, and not just beat them, but mock and torture them, where did they get such cruelty, do you understand?

- This is more a question for military psychologists.

- And do they pay extra to those who take to the streets from the side of the security forces?

- It's also a difficult question. I have not seen the persons, I will not lie.

- In your opinion, what can stop this violence?

- I think time will sooner or later stop this violence because there is no direct resistance, no military action, which is very good. And it [happens] simply by sucking resources and loosening of all systems peacefully. The changes will take place gradually because those who constantly use this violence will be tired. Huge resources are constantly spent on maintaining the entire current system in the form in which it is when all the people are against, and they must be contained. It is impossible to force a person to work effectively when he is against it. This is a protracted resistance if you go peacefully. But everyone thinks differently. We think that we will achieve our goal.

- Can some kind of appeal change an individual employee's opinions? For example, when one of the protesters gives him a flower, can he be touched? Or if they appeal to think about mothers?

- It's also a question for psychologists. But, in my opinion, for law enforcement officers, especially ours, a flower is a little different approach. I am not saying that they should be persecuted and beaten, but it certainly will not work for those who use violence and such brutality.

The introduction of real sanctions, the danger of criminal prosecution, and the verification of everyone who committed crimes will work better. Then they will understand this and understand that the mask will not help. They will then already think a little that suddenly the regime will change; Lukashenka, it seems, is also old and not eternal, and someone will replace him. And all this procedure will nevertheless be carried out either within the framework of an international investigation - and you will not leave Belarus anywhere - or when the government changes, no one will forget it. When there is an understanding that you have been identified, you already have a responsibility that will simply be applied sooner or later - this will slightly affect those who committed [the violence]. They will start to fear and think about their future. And it [will affect] those who can do it, but have not yet done it, who has become a witness. That is, in terms of his protection and confirmation that he did not commit this, he will simply testify to all the others who committed very serious atrocities, which is already happening: they record each other and collect dirt.