23 April 2021, Friday, 16:19
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The Military Man Who Took the Side of People: I Do not Regret My Decision

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The Military Man Who Took the Side of People: I Do not Regret My Decision
Photo: Sputnik/Viktor Tolochko

The officer told what he felt when standing in the cordon near Stella.

Dzmitry (name changed at the request of the hero of the publication) commanded a platoon in one of the military units in Minsk and was forced to resign after the election.

- I openly expressed my position and intention to vote for Sviatlana Tsikhanouskaya, the former serviceman told Salidarnasts.

According to him, even before the elections he was interested in events in the country and watched the news. However, he did not express his opinion publicly. There were few commanders like him in his entourage:

- The majority listen to their superiors and ideologists.

As for the conscripts, many of them were afraid to talk about politics. They want to finish their service in the army. As the events of August showed, fear sometimes recedes.

- I heard this story after the election. During early voting, the military staff somehow learned that many soldiers were voting for Tsikhanouskaya. Then commanders started to agitate soldiers to vote for Lukashenka.

Not to be on the cordon in the city during the first days after the election, Dzmitry went on sick leave. However, he had to participate in it once. It was near Stella. His unit was an augmentation one and did not hold the line.

The view of the sea of people on the streets impressed him.

- I asked myself, "What am I doing here? I want to quit".

Dzmitry posted a video of what was happening in the Minsk streets in those days. One complained to the leadership. They started sensitization. It even reached the morale officer of the unit.

According to the former serviceman, he did not receive answers why the army, which aims to repulse external aggression, had to take to the streets in a peaceful time. The only answer was that the internal troops were not enough.

- After a while, I was ordered to record a video "in support of the state". I had to say that I, an officer of the Republic of Belarus, advocate a strong and prosperous Belarus and support Lukashenka. I refused. They threatened me with dismissal.

Dzmitry handed in the notice. By that time, he received the order to transfer to another unit. He had to resign from the new place of service. The resignation was challenging: Dzmitry heard he would not get dismissal at his request but under the breach of contract. Therefore, he had to be late and ignore the service.

- I wanted to resign after the election. I perfectly realized that the army was protecting Lukashenka and not the people. When enrolling in the military academy, I pledged allegiance to the people, not a specific person, says a former military man.

At present, Dzmitry does not work temporarily. He takes courses on programming and is also in touch with the BYSOL fund, established to help and support those who have lost their jobs for political reasons.

My interlocutor does not regret his decision to leave the army, although he had some fears because of the need to compensate for the cost of his studies. His family supported him.

- Before August, I had no desire to serve. You're always at work. One can order you to arrive at work at any moment. Commanders constantly reprimand you for far-fetched reasons. All this is worth 800 rubles. It's no fun at all. But after the elections, my acquaintances suffered. I don't regret my decision.