An employee of the Ministry of Internal Affairs told the truth.
One of the high-ranking officials of the Ministry of Internal Affairs of Belarus, a representative of the senior officers contacted the website Charter97.org and spoke about the situation in the power structures of the country, the mood of colleagues, and their real attitude towards the illegitimate ruler.
- Why did you decide to give an interview to our site?
- I can’t be silent any longer. More and more Belarusians are faced with abuse of power and official authority by police officers.
I decided to do this also because of the recent changes and additions that were made to several normative legal acts, such as the administrative, criminal code, the law on internal affairs bodies, and the law on public service. Just a year or two ago, such a version of the laws was simply impossible, some provisions do not fit in the minds of not only citizens but their own employees. Now, if we specifically refer to the law on the internal affairs bodies, a provision has been introduced according to which an employee at his discretion (this is also an innovation of the law) can use firearms and special means for any administrative offense. Over time, this can affect everyone, including the employees themselves, their family members, and close relatives. You can't keep silent about it!
- How did the events of August and September last year, when up to half a million people took to the streets in Belarus at the same time, influenced your decision? How did you and your colleagues at work perceive what is happening? Have you been impressed by the popular protests?
- Firstly, the fact that so many people took to the streets was a shock for the security forces. Secondly, most of all, the leadership of the power structures is afraid of the truth. Therefore, the employees who work in the units responsible for the ideological support of official activities were given the task of telling in every possible way that those people who leave are “paid agents,” “residents,” that these are “people who succumbed to provocations prepared by Western countries.” And when we entered the service, many of the deputy chiefs of the police department said that we must “defend statehood.” But my colleagues, especially those who follow and analyze the situation in the country, read, among other things, the website Charter-97, did not believe in this propaganda and do not believe it.
- How many of your friends from the security forces were those who treated the protesters with understanding or even sympathy?
- In my opinion, about 55% of the security forces are convinced that Belarus needs changes, that we are now at a stage of stagnation and Lukashenka has certainly lost the election. Many employees saw, when they participated in the maintenance of public order in precinct election commissions, how even the original protocols were destroyed, they saw how fake protocols were planted by the secretaries of the commissions. Many, when communicating with the heads of precinct election commissions, heard from them that the heads of districts and administrations, in the middle of early voting, instructed them to make sure that Lukashenka “wins” by the elections.
Many police officers, the Ministry of Emergency Situations employees discussed in smoking rooms, assembly halls, and gyms that the voter turnout exceeded all their expectations. There were people who for ten years did not take part in any elections at all - neither local, nor presidential, nor parliamentary - and then they came, wanted to leave their vote. Already on August 9, 2020, they realized that the elections were rigged. It was drilled into the police officers' heads that they were at the polling stations purely to protect public order and that their duties did not include interfering with the vote-counting procedure. Although there were even daredevils who reported falsifications to the management, that is, to the heads of departments. The same responded: "Well, you understand that we will not do anything. In the best case, we will all be fired, in the worst case, they will also go to jail." And most of the employees, especially those under 30, realizing that they had loans, young families, pregnant wives, small children, simply continued to be silent.
I am convinced that when we win, there will be a lot of evidence of fraudulent presidential elections. And the employees themselves, when communicating with me and with others, said that "we will not be silent, and we will definitely tell you all this in the new Belarus when there will be a trial over those who, among other things, took part in the election fraud."
- What is the real balance of power in the Department of Internal Affairs now? How many of the officers are the determined opponents of the authorities, how many supporters, how many vacillators and those, who are secretly not loyal to the authorities and are just waiting for a signal, are there?
- Of course, we have the majority on our side. This is not some fictitious figure. This can be observed from communication with a large number of employees with whom I have to communicate. As a percentage - 55% are on our side, that is, on the side of good and truth. These people want changes, they want Belarus to become a European country with the values that Europe is positioning.
But if we talk about doubters, then there are about 25 percent of them, who, in principle, seem to be happy with everything. But you need to understand that these 25% are not at all interested in the political situation in the country. For some reason, they have a fairly good financial situation, perhaps, their parents support them, and they don’t think about the fact that it would be much better with democratic development life in the country. These 25% also include the management team, who, in principle, all the time say the same thing to their subordinates: “I just have a couple of years before retirement,” “I am no longer interested in these changes, and they will hardly help me in any way...” They want to sit out, retire, and forget about service in the internal affairs bodies altogether.
And there are still 20% of the "Yabatski" people who are convinced that they acted correctly. From my observations, these are people who came to Minsk or the regional center from the villages. They have a low level of education, they are not interested in additional information, they watch state television, do not communicate with the category of the population that works somewhere in business, in non-state structures. These, as a rule, are rather small-minded people, they communicate either with the police, or with the military, or with civil servants, who, in principle, even sometimes are afraid to say that they are against the government.
- That is, there are no more than 20% of supporters of the regime in the police?
- I'm sure of it. And this is confirmed not only by observations but also by communication with many people who work not only in the system of the Ministry of Internal Affairs. This is in executive committees, including district administrations, and representatives of the prosecutor's office, and judges. The position of prosecutors is generally incomprehensible because, earlier, the prosecutor's office was perceived all the time as the most competent backbone of lawyers, whose main task is precisely to ensure that the law was being implemented in our country. Instead, they withdrew into themselves and accepted that they were scoundrels and cowards.
- And what can serve as a signal for the transfer of structures of the Ministry of Internal Affairs to the side of the people? What factors might be at work?
- All of us, including the security forces, are very little shown what we have now and how it could be. It is not in vain that, for example, trips abroad organized by the Ministry of Internal Affairs only include chief executives and a very small number of employees who are not in leadership positions. Although, such trips are mainly made to Russia and the CIS countries. There is no need to talk about some advanced experience that would make one think. We do not show young people, young employees, how it could be. We do not organize training at all, which would take place on the basis of some educational institutions of developed European countries. Now, when Lukashenka is illegitimate, this is, of course, impossible. But, before that, there was such an opportunity, however, I repeat, except for the chiefs, almost no one used it.
Today the truth, only the truth, can induce the police to go over to the side of the people. Therefore, we must tell the truth more often, we must more often open people's eyes to the fact that the current situation is catastrophic for the country, it will definitely kill the regime and the regime's accomplices. And either we will move to the status of North Korea with the closure of the borders, or we will nevertheless defeat the dictatorship and take the vector of European development, ask the countries of the European Union to help us in the reforms that Belarus needs, including in the judicial and law enforcement system. Then we can overcome all these difficulties.
Police officers understand that the majority of the people are against this government. They felt how much the attitude towards them and their loved ones had changed since the falsification of elections and the use of violence against civilians. Every sane representative of power structures understands that this cannot last long and is psychologically preparing to take the side of the people. I do not doubt that this will happen.
- Will the economic sanctions help to take the vacillating police officers a position on the side of the people?
- At least through their relatives, friends, acquaintances who will begin to tell the police about it. This will make them think. This will make them start reading something. Much has been said about sanctions in the police environment. Although, the police, due to their low level of economic education, do not understand all the severities of the consequences of economic sanctions. But, at the same time, many of them have wives who work as accountants, economists, financiers. And they already understand exactly where this will lead. Therefore, everyone thinks about it.
They are very frightened by the collapse of the ruble and, as a result, the decrease in wages. They understand that, in this case, their salaries will decrease significantly, and there will be no point in supporting the same Lukashenka. These 25% of those who hesitate will immediately say: "Well, that's it! We are sick of him!" He tells us here about mountains of gold, the growth of production capacities, but in fact, they do not exist and cannot be.
Therefore, of course, the sanctions work and are valid.
- Let's go back to the landmark events of August 2020. After the blocking of the Internet ended on August 11, the world was shocked by the atrocities of those who suppressed peaceful rallies. How did you and your friends react to the facts of mass beatings, torture, and even murder? Was there a feeling that you could become accomplices in crimes against the people?
- In the police environment, after all these events, the attitude towards the AMAP and GUBOPiK officers became very negative. Even before, everyone understood that the AMAP were fools. In principle, someone always made fun of them, someone tried not to touch on this topic. But, after the events of 2020, everyone realized that there were scumbags.
Moreover, many people realized that there is a category of sadists who like to mock people and show their power to the defenseless. A lot of people began to say that it is for the category of these employees, and, possibly, for all employees of the internal affairs bodies, it is necessary to introduce annual mandatory psychological testing. Which is not there now.
We hope that this will happen in the new Belarus. Because normal people simply cannot act like that. These are unambiguous deviations in the psyche of people. They need not only to say goodbye to but also to isolate those individuals.
There will be even more evidence of unlawful actions by the security forces: many employees who have this content keep it with them until better times. I personally know that many of my colleagues are now collecting evidence for those sadists who mocked people. They try to keep these materials somewhere very, very far away, so that one day they can reach and show the true face of those who participated in these beatings. Many leaders were informed that there was a humiliating attitude on the part of AMAP officers and other units against the protesters, but there was no reaction.
If we are talking about the psychological state of employees, then they are all tired. Many of them already understand that they may be subject to sanctions and will not be able to leave anywhere. It hurt them. Moreover, if earlier they said: "Well, okay, I’m not going on vacation. Nothing is wrong." Now, this already concerns their families. Many, for example, wanted their children to study somewhere in European universities. At the same time, now because of the hijacking of the plane, they understand that this dream of their children and grandchildren can be said goodbye. Many of the leaders, who are among the 25% of the doubters, liked to go to Lithuania, Latvia, and Poland on weekends. Now they are deprived of this opportunity and, of course, it affects them. Each time, they remember the illegitimate "president" with an unkind word.
- That is, few people want to drown with the captain of the Titanic? Is there an understanding that it would be easier to arrest the hapless captain than to go to the bottom with him?
- It would have been easier to arrest him if Lukashenka himself had not traveled to the AMAP units of the internal troops before the elections. When he came and talked: "you are the bulwark of statehood, I count on you, you must act as tough as possible." It’s easier if there weren’t so many dirty people. Therefore, the authorities are now trying in every possible way to smear all employees, smear prosecutors, smear all investigators, judges, and heads of administrations. In this way, they want to drive into their heads that they will definitely be “shot” and their families will be “torn up.” And our task, the task of journalists, the task of politicians, is to say that there will be an element of forgiveness unless the security forces have participated in the grave and especially grave crimes.
I think that an independent structure should be created in the new Belarus, which will investigate the unlawful actions committed by the security forces. And then everything will be decided by an independent court.
- Tortures and killings of civilians continue now. Suffice it to recall the strange death of Vitold Ashurak in prison, the suicide of a 17-year-old teenager-orphan, who was pressured by the police, Stsiapan Latypau's attempt to cut his throat in court... do those who continue to participate in repressions against Belarusians realize that they still have to answer according to the law? What punishment awaits them in the end?
- No, criminals in uniform do not think about it. They believe that there will be complete impunity. But we know who it is. We understand that Stsiapan Latypau mentioned the GUBOPiK employees for a reason. Because if we are talking about free access to the institutions of the penal system, then it is the employees of the GUBOPiK who have free access there. This is the well-known Second Directorate. If earlier their work was limited to criminal authorities, now they have completely switched to the category of those citizens who are persecuted under political articles. And they work out their piece of bread. They can no longer stop - they tasted the blood.
But you need to understand that there are not many of them, in fact, GUBOPiK is a small division. There are 12 departments in GUBOPiK. Each department employs an average of 12 to 30 people. There are many departments, fifth, sixth, seventh - people who are engaged in analytics and do not take part in any actions related to causing bodily harm to citizens or bullying them.
The current criminal legislation contains norms that those who contribute to the disclosure of a crime are exempted from criminal liability. If we remind them about this, we will find out the names of most of the criminals.
- What to do to those employees of the Ministry of Internal Affairs who would like to keep an honest name and cleanliness of uniforms?
- They must understand that there are more of them. They need to understand that they are younger. And they must understand that it will never be the same as before. I talked with young employees, they asked me the question: "You are a leader, you do not support the regime. And why? It seems that everything is not so bad." To which I told them that "not bad" is when the law is observed. And if something doesn't work out, then we try to change the law so that it works. And when now the law is being rewritten, and we are convinced that illegal actions will be recognized as legal, this is utopia, and in no case should one agree with this.
I used to give young employees an example with a mobile phone: "Lukashenka is a push-button mobile phone, why don't you use it? Why do you need a smartphone? Give it to me, and use the button one." Police officers need to be given simple, maybe even childish examples. Because, otherwise, they do not understand the essence of the problem. When I give an example with a mobile phone, they instantly get it. And everyone says: "Yes, you're right. We had to change it a long time ago."
- What will happen in the future for those police officers who will make the right choice now?
- I would remember the words of the Bible: "And the last will be the first." Therefore, it is precisely those employees who now believe that nothing depends on them - they can organize themselves into some communities, they can already somehow think about the fact that when there will be mass protests - it is not that they cannot use weapons, but we must make sure that their colleagues do not use these weapons against the civilian population.
- Lukashenka has been literally obsessed with the ideas of a conspiracy and an attempt on his life lately. By signing decree No. 2 on the transfer of power to the Security Council, he publicly admitted that he would be shot. What are the dictator's fears based on? How strong is the dislike for him among the officers of the security forces? Could there really be a Colonel von Stauffenberg among the Belarusian security forces?
- The militiamen do not like to use the word “dictator” and come up with their nicknames for Lukashenka. Most often he is called "a perforated ticket." And if the militiamen say "a perforated ticket," then when we talked with the military, they call Lukashenka “a downed pilot.”
If the military and police use such vocabulary, believe me, many of them are even waiting for the moment when they can go over to the side of the people. But the police, like the military, need to understand that, indeed, the people are in the majority, and they are ready for decisive action. We need strikes, serious statements from other strata of the population that they will not feed the regime.
- What else can serve as a signal for people loyal to the oath and true patriots of the country to act against the state criminal? Are decisions of international courts on crimes against humanity important in this sense, where lawsuits against Lukashenka have already been filed?
- If the status of this person turns into the status of an international terrorist, many law enforcement officers will think: "Who do we still serve?" And if the majority desires to change the government, then this must be supported.
- What would you like to say to your colleagues, who still hesitate and doubt, but understand that they need to jump on the last car so as not to be an accomplice in crimes against the people?
- I would remember the words of Robert Rozhdestvensky:
To a man in a police uniform
The essence of the oath cannot be forgotten!
Indeed, against the most unofficial background -
Think about it! - what it should be!
If different people,
Looking at it from the side,
Solely by it
Judge the Law of the whole country!