This day will be the most grandiose in the history of modern Belarus.
Our hero's name is Artur Kandratovich, writes the Basta! Telegram channel. He is also known by the call sign “Punk”. He is 24 years old. Artur was born and raised in the city of Ivatsevichy. Since 2015, he has been a member of the anarchist movement in Belarus. Participated in many protest actions. As Artur himself says, at home he had an ordinary job and a secondary specialized education. In 2017, he was forced to leave Belarus due to political repressions and came to Ukraine. In Ukraine, Artur helped refugees from Belarus. At the moment, since February 24, he has been actively involved in the defense of Ukraine from Russian invaders.
— What motivated you to this lifestyle?
— Before I got involved in the subcultural environment, I didn’t really understand what was happening in the political spectrum in my homeland. Over time, I began to pay attention to the lawlessness of officials and punishers, the indifference of the authorities to their citizens, and public lies in the media. This prompted me to join the anarchist movement, as it was hard for me to sit still looking at this picture.
— 94 years for ten — such prison terms were given to your supporters in the case of the “international criminal group”. Why did the Lukashenka regime start giving such huge sentences to activists and dissenters?
— Lukashenka uses such methods to intimidate people. Telling them that “if someone dares to rock the boat, they can get the same”, or even worse. And these methods force people to either go to extreme measures, which in most cases end in a prison term, or leave. Thus, there are no people left in the country who can influence this. And if they do, they sit quietly, waiting for the next moment to come.
— What did you feel when Putin attacked Ukraine, and why did you decide to take up arms?
— I and some of my friends understood that a full-scale war was inevitable, everything led to this. And then my comrades shared this opinion. We had an understanding of what this war would cost the Ukrainian people, that it would take many civilian lives. Which, in fact, happened and, unfortunately, is happening now.
I felt aggression, fear and hatred. And I took up arms because for me armed resistance is the only way to fight back, especially in wartime.
— How would you characterize the Putin regime and the war it unleashed?
— I think that one of the reasons for unleashing a full-scale war in Ukraine is Putin not having the best rating. Here we can recall the situation with the “act of terrorism” in Nord-Ost. Putin deliberately created this conflict in order to save his position in the political arena. He doesn't give a damn about the lives of peaceful people, not that of a neighboring state, but also of his own. And there are a whole bunch of examples of this. The war in Ukraine is actually an attempt to set up a genocide of the Ukrainian population, an occupational seizure of territories for the sake of one's position and strengthening the propaganda resource. Also to create an army of freaks, both civilian and military. But he will not succeed, he will simply follow the Russian warship, along with his puppet Lukashenka.
— Some anarchists joined the Kalinouski regiment. What division did you join?
— I am one of the first anarchists who joined the regiment, after me came my other comrades.
In the video: Shooting training and testing new weapons
— Where did you serve earlier, and why did you decide to go to the Kalinouski regiment?
— Previously, I was in the volunteer battalion “Hospitallers”. As a paramedic and evacuation crew unit. I joined the Kalinouski regiment due to official registration and acquaintance with the battalion and its fighters.
I tried to apply in many places, but everywhere I was refused due to problems with documents. It is very difficult to get legalized when you are not a citizen of Ukraine.
“Neither Putin nor the Russian General Staff itself anticipated such a powerful rebuff”
— More than 86 thousand Russian interventionists have already been liquidated in Ukraine (according to the General Staff of the Armed Forces of Ukraine). What, in your opinion, are the reasons for the failures of the Russian invaders? Why couldn't Putin take Kyiv in 3 days?
— Neither Putin nor the Russian General Staff itself anticipated such a powerful rebuff. I heard about the situation first hand, when a group of hunters defeated a group of Russian paratroopers near Bucha. What kind of equipment the hunters and landing forces have — everyone understands perfectly. This suggests that Ukrainians are ready to do anything to protect their home, even to give their lives for it. It is palpable to this day. No one is ready to give even a piece of land to these freaks. Putin did not take this into account.
— Have you ever participated in combat missions?
— Yes. Basically, our specificity consisted in assaults, ambushes and “gop-stop” actions. Unfortunately, we suffered losses on missions, but at the same time we tried to do everything to prevent this, or rather, to do everything possible in war conditions.
As for feelings, it is always fear. I always feel fear before any task, but the understanding immediately comes that if nothing is done, then all this can end with death, mine or my comrades’, then the fear goes away.
War, as for me, is not, as they say, “war romance”. It is dirt, fatigue, exhaustion, pain, and death. But at the same time, sometimes you rejoice that everyone is alive and completed the task, perhaps this is the so-called “romance”, I don't know.
— You left Belarus back in 2017. Do you miss your small homeland?
— I don’t miss my homeland, not at all. And I am glad that my fate turned out in such a way that I had to leave the country. The only thing I regret is that I did not do enough to see Belarus free. I believe everything is ahead.
— How do your friends and relatives feel about your choice?
— I have no friends and relatives in Belarus. I don't communicate with my acquaintances in Belarus. And the last person dear to me, my mother, died when I was here and, unfortunately, I could not bury her ...
— The press secretary of the Kalinouski regiment, Krystsina “Chabor”, said that Lukashenka cannot be overthrown by peaceful protests. Do you agree with her opinion?
— Yes, of course. But the question is whether the people living in Belarus are ready for an armed, forceful protest and with whom they are ready to carry out this protest. It's definitely worth a try.
— In a recent interview with French journalists, a fighter of the Kalinouski regiment Dzianis Kit said that a liberation army is being prepared to overthrow the dictatorship in Belarus. Are the Kalinovites already preparing to overthrow Lukashenka?
— I can say yes, these prospects are real. I think that this day will be the most grandiose in the history of modern Belarus.
— Lately, Belarusians have been receiving summons to the military registration and enlistment office more and more often. Also, military registration and enlistment offices call up those liable for military service. Subscribers of our Telegram channel reported that some “trainings” were planned in December. What is it — covert mobilization or planned activities of the regime?
— I think that either Lukashenka has begun preparations for participation in hostilities in Ukraine, or he wants to at least create the appearance of a threat in an attempt to divert the attention of the Armed Forces of Ukraine to Belarus.
— What will the Belarusian volunteers do if, at the whim of Lukashenka, the Belarusian army nevertheless enters the war? What do you think, in principle, is the likelihood that Belarusian soldiers will storm Ukrainian territories?
— I think that we will accept the battle, but it all depends on the command, and so the chances of this are great. As for the likelihood of such a scenario, I can’t predict anything yet. I don't imagine it. I would have tried to surrender in place of the Belarusian soldiers until they were killed. And those who will try to go further, they will die in this war, unnecessary and senseless for them.
— Here is our traditional question: will Ukraine win?
— I believe in Ukrainians and in my comrades-in-arms. Together we will win back every centimeter of the land seized by the Russian fascists. So yes, Ukraine will win!
— What would you like to wish our readers?
— I wish people would argue less, and write less nonsense on the Internet. I urge all the brave to come here to Ukraine and join us. No Pasaran!