Advice from a Belarusian musician.
Siarzhuk Douhushau is not just a musician, but one of the main Belarusian folklore communicators. Not many people know that he was among the creators of the Volny Chor (“Free Choir”), which became one of the driving forces of the 2020 protests.
He told how to get rid of intrusive KGB officers in an interview with the Studio X-97 show by Charter97.org.
– You had been working at the Philharmonic in Minsk till 2018. I know that there were stories when you were invited to work by ideologists and KGB officers. Can we talk about this? What was the reason?
– My tour. I very often travelled to the Czech Republic and Poland for concerts. And the main ideologist, every time they called him, called me: “Serhei Vasilyevich, come to the office. Tell us where you have been. We got a call, you were caught on camera with the people...”
– What people were they talking about?
– They never say. “Do you feel good at the Philharmonic? Do you want to continue working? Think it over.” Then they called again. One day I come, and there’s a guy sitting there, even younger than me. “They came to see you, Serhei Vasilyevich.” This is the first time I have had such a story. He came to me and said: “My name is Serhei.” From that moment on, some Serhei appeared, who called me all the time. He just came to observe. We met with him three times. The first time we met he asked everyone: “Who is this person? What can you say about him?” It was very unpleasant. I’m starting to remember that Belarusians had something similar before, under Soviet rule. He was scaring me during our second meeting: “So, Serhei Vasilyevich. I know that you were in prison in 2010. You don't want to end up there again, do you? You may have problems." Threats are threats, and the third meeting was recruitment. We were walking with him and talking. I just came back from the Czech Republic. “How did you like the Czech Republic? Did you have a good time there?" He knew everything about me. Where did you go, what did you do? "Where are you going? To the Kupala Theater? Maybe you want to work there? We can appoint you, you will have this job. If you like expeditions, we can assign you to the Institute of Culture, you will have a good paycheck and work there. Do it!"
At that moment I was just all tense. They could call you at any second, you feel like someone is watching you all the time. And then one good person advised me: “You’d better start telling everyone about it. And the next time you see him, just ask him to take a photo of his ID.” I never met him again, this man simply disappeared. One day I came to my apartment and my door was broken. I didn't know if there were links, but most likely they were. The door lock was completely crushed and nothing was taken out of the apartment. If thieves did it, then they stole something at least.