30 September 2022, Friday, 11:42
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Former Official of Lukashenka's Administration: We Will Introduce a Lockdown Ourselves

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Former Official of Lukashenka's Administration: We Will Introduce a Lockdown Ourselves

Every Belarusian official has a “fig sign in his pocket.”

There are former officials among those who supported the ten demands of the Belarusian Workers' Association. In particular, Anatol Kotau, a former employee of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Administration and Affairs of Lukashenka.

In an interview with the website Charter97.org, he told why Belarusian officials keep "a fig sign in their pockets," whether there is an "Italian strike" among the nomenklatura, and why it is so important to stay at home from November 1.

- Anatol, you are one of the signers of the letter in support of the workers' demands. Why did you decide to show solidarity?

- Firstly, all the requirements look absolutely logical. From providing protection to the people from COVID to holding free elections and restoring the rights of those same workers. It can be noted here that this applies to all those who work at least somewhere - a worker at a factory, a teacher, a doctor, the intelligentsia.

There is nothing illogical and criminal in these requirements, and, in fact, for more than a year now, the democratic forces, as well as all sane citizens of Belarus, have been striving to fulfill a certain set of basic requirements, including stopping the violence, new elections, and the release of political prisoners. These can be found in any set of demands, be it three, five, or ten, as in the case of the Belarusian Association of Workers.

- You wrote down an appeal to your former colleagues, urged them to be active. To what extent are Belarusian officials loyal to the regime today?

- It is difficult to call intimidated and tired people loyal. This loyalty is maintained and will last only until the moment of the regime change. Then it will turn out that no one supported him. Virtually every official has a "fig sign in his pocket". I think one of their most popular movies right now is Wedding in Malinovka.

People are tired of fulfilling conflicting requirements, tired of constant wiretaps, controls, and checks. Naturally, in such a regime, it is impossible not only to work normally but also to live. This is constant stress, this psychological burnout, and, naturally, the overwhelming majority - under 90% - will breathe a sigh of relief when it will be possible to return to the mode of functioning that was there before. When it was possible to make plans, feel relatively safe, think about the future. Now everyone is thinking about how to get through this particular day so that you preferably don't get arrested.

There is information that officials from Minsk Tractor Works, who have been demonstrating their super-loyalty throughout the year, have been arrested. This means that today each of the officials is free as long as the junta knows how to exploit him, but, otherwise, he is expendable material. If you become unnecessary, they will come after you, and they will come up with a reason.

- Many people point out that the bureaucratic apparatus in Belarus is already working in the “Italian strike” regime. Some of Lukashenka's orders are being put on hold. Do you agree with this?

- You can call it the "Italian strike," or you can call it a mode of self-preservation. Because it is impossible to fulfill all these requirements at the same time. This mode of operation has existed for a long time, but after the events of August 2020, it became even more obvious, because there is a part of sane people who do not want to ruin their future and completely get dirty, become "lame," carrying out assignments to track their ex (or not ) colleagues and dismiss for political reasons.

In a few months, in six months, in a year, the phrase “well, you yourself understand everything” will stop working.

- One of the most pressing topics today is the coronavirus epidemic in Belarus. How would you describe the actions of officials from the Ministry of Health?

- It is rather difficult to characterize them positively, or it's rather impossible. The specificity of the Ministry of Health is such that, in order to move up the career ladder, you need to be a doctor there. People who understand some basic things in preventing or combating the consequences of an epidemic have shown themselves as performers who are afraid to defend the most elementary, simplest methods of dealing with a pandemic. At least in order to make life easier for the system and for yourself. However, they showed that they forgot that they were originally doctors but became thoughtless cogs of the system, which, unfortunately, does not protect the people in Belarus.

- What can officials and ordinary Belarusians do today to bring the victory of democratic forces in the country closer?

- You need to understand that you don't have to set some grandiose goals about the victory of democracy in Belarus but can take care of yourself.

Any mass event, going to work, visiting an educational institution - now all this is associated with infection with COVID-19.

One may not think about deep things, but some instinct for self-preservation of oneself and one's family should work.

How do you call it? Quarantine? Strike? Vacation? Day off? Actually, that's a secondary story. It's important to keep yourself and your loved ones alive, but to do this, let's just say that, if medical officials are afraid to recommend the introduction of lockdown, then everyone can decide this task for themselves.

The question is what is more important: 500-1000 miserable rubles of salary or the health of your loved ones.