It's hard to be a man

Associate Professor of the University of Grodno Alexander Lyalikav describes his own experience the person who breaks the interrogations. A sense of bitterness and shame that he experienced, has forced him to write a letter to freedom.

— Freedom is not a means to an end, it is the goal.

It took more than a month after the presidential election campaign of 2010, in which I was directly involved. During this time, thoughts calmed down a bit, and there is a need to share lessons learned. I decided to recreate the emotional picture of this election with greater stress than the bare facts are known to all, and to the sensations experienced by me.

Road to Space

The first interest in politics came to me in the spring of 2006. Pre-election TV appearance Milinkevich touched a nerve. Cropped and quickly gained momentum desire for change. Next on my eyes were rigged, area, repression … It's over. Only my heart for many months ahead remains a heavy oppressive feeling. It was a feeling of guilt. I felt like a passive accomplice to the crimes committed during the election campaign.

In autumn 2010, the day before the next election, I enlisted in the Grodno headquarters of two candidates: Neklyaeva and Kastusiou. Against the backdrop of high load main job were collecting signatures and election campaign. While collecting the signatures I have come to the conclusion that the real support of Lukashenko is very large and can be on the order of 30-40 percent. Coming home to the voters, I am often faced with the various manifestations of fear. Someone refused to sign, admitting that he was afraid of losing their jobs or ruin your career. Someone referred to his indifference to politics, employment, or lack of information, which, of course, in many cases could be simply a front, masking fear. Sometimes could hear how scared wary voice behind the door said that already gave the sign for his candidate. What kind of candidate who could only guess. Still, there were many people who openly and courageously gave his signature for alternative candidates. I almost never encountered manifestations of rudeness. Even refused to sign, usually politely.

In the endless bustle flew fall, and come December. On the eve of the election, all pointed to the fact that there will again be rigged. The electoral commission, as usual, were formed without the participation of alternative candidates. Observers did not have the right to control the preliminary voting and counting process. Such an election could not be recognized, regardless of their outcome. His voice does not have to carry a ballot box, and in the area.

I attended several meetings with presidential candidates. It was a pleasure to listen to these clever speeches worthy and courageous people who voluntarily and knowingly went to a huge risk. At each appointment authorities sent a small but active group of representatives. Achieving the right to ask a question these people, as a rule, gave an entire speech in which he listed the achievements made, in their opinion, the current government. Often they are just shouting down the speakers presidential candidate. They did everything they could to divert the conversation away from such important issues as the falsification of elections and transfer it to any small issues are usually related to the economy. Arrogant unfriendly tone with which the authorities turned to the presidential candidate, more eloquent than any words made it clear: "fixers, who are you and where are you going?" Best of all such attempts to disrupt the meeting to oppose Statkevich. He did not allow "swing" serious questions, making a particularly active defenders of the ruling regime in the literal sense of powerlessness to howl in anger.

The decision to go to Minsk on YouTube I took the day before the elections, quickly and with no one talking. Not letting fear and insecurity to take over my thoughts, I quickly gathered. An hour later, I left my home town of Grodno, depriving themselves of the opportunity to vote and, thus, declaring personal boycott of the elections. In the car all the way to work the radio, and then calling to vote for stability and confidence in the future. What song aggressively drove to the listener that Sanya will stay with us.

Under the banner of freedom

Finally the day of elections, 19 December 2010. Waiting until the evening, I went to October Square. After going down the avenue past the circus and going to the intersection, I passed a group of identically dressed tough guys who shifted from foot to foot and examined the passers-by. Soon I found myself on October Square. There was flooded ice rink in the center of which stood a tree. At the rink as if nothing personal riding some young people. There was no sign of expected stock, except for a very characteristic appearance of intelligence personnel in plain clothes, who walked around the rink.

Suddenly, everything changed. There are white-red-white flags. People were quick to arrive. The meeting began. Emotional speeches by leaders from time to time changed loud "Long live Belarus!" Campaign became a truly mass. Area filled with different flags over which ruled a white-red-white, has long been not just a national symbol, but the flag of the struggle of the Belarusians for the right to be called people , our flag of freedom.

The rally on October Square ended, people came out onto the avenue and moved to the Independence Square. The number of participants in a peaceful demonstration just amazed! Boundless prospect over the entire width was packed with people. Despite the anxiety in the air a sense of freedom and solidarity. According to the prospectus was a lot of people, but I did not witness a scene of violence or vandalism, did not see any broken windows. There was not drunk, as drunk to come to the area can only be a suicide or an agent provocateur.

The river of people flowed with national flags on Independence Square. Held a rally near the Red Church. Began a rally near the monument to Lenin. By the time the whole area filled up people! The square thundered: "Go away!" "Go away!". Everywhere waving flags of freedom. There was a feeling that all the people of Belarus came in and demanded a change! Dreams that suffering Belarus finally gaining freedom, seemed at the time quite real.

Front of the Government occurred a strange vanity. Heard the thud and the sound of breaking glass. Men in black with shields and batons then partitioned off input, carried away somewhere. After the crackdown began. The series, which consists of several rows of well-equipped commandos ran into the crowd and cut off part of his front line, which was located between the monument to Lenin and Government House. There was, and I am. Realizing that you need to break out, people began to break through the chain. In place of a breakthrough commandos formed a corridor. People held on this corridor, they are on both sides showered blows batons. I received two blows to the head. One broke the glasses and left a bloody scratch on his forehead. The second hit the back of the head and I lost consciousness for a moment. I fell, but then he awoke, jumped up and ran to a safe distance. Probably, there were blows to the body. But, loose layers of winter clothing, they did not attract my attention. Time after time, scroll to the memory of this episode, I am reminded of the words of our great poet: "We lie sheaves currents. We flailed everyone who has a chain in his hand. "

In a state of mild shock I got out of the encirclement. Without glasses, all in front of his eyes became blurred and indistinct. He could hear the sound of hundreds of batons on their shields. The amplified voice of someone megaphones of the leaders seem Rymasheuski, still trying to control the demonstrators. But human wave has already r
olled on the way out. Passing the Red Church, I noticed he had a group of people with national flags. They were not going to voluntarily leave the area. Paying tribute to their courage, I joined the bulk of which went to the Plaza.

Leaving the area, the flow at each intersection was divided into streams and then into small streams in order to sneak into the city. Struck sad silence of the scene. A large number of people whose voices have recently rocked area, was now without saying a word. Heard only measuring their steps I moved away from the Square, avoiding the prospect and wide streets.

The Price of Freedom

After a sleepless night, I returned home safely in Grodno. Despite the fact that the size was behind not let me feel anxiety. I was so mentally exhausted, so the thought of Piazza sprychynyala me pain. In an attempt to divert attention I plunged into work. Since last Monday, Tuesday and the first half of the medium. From time to time I've heard terrible news on the detailed reprisals against members of the Plaza, which further exhausting me. It turned out that the official propaganda filed rat race to the Government House as riots and pogroms. Responsibility was placed on the opposition. Well, who would doubt! Thus, there was reason to justify the dispersal of peaceful demonstrations, hide for a long time the most active and progressive leaders in jail and thus intimidate enemies of the people a little bit of a lower rank.

I do not know how I figured the KGB, but the conversation took place on Wednesday afternoon at my work, and have come to the all-powerful office worker. This conversation took place in a relatively friendly tone. I do not hide the fact that he was in the Square. Next committeeman promised that if I did throughout confess that when considering my case for me would react favorably. After all, it would be a pity to break the career of such a promising young professional. After this, the series is quite like innocent questions. I began to answer them honestly. But over time the questions became more serious: to me it's the feeling I had come in his testimony, as in the swamp. The attempts at humor, politely but firmly suppressed. I was given to understand that my situation is very serious, and now is not time for jokes. While there were no direct threats, but through innuendo created an atmosphere of fear painful. Employee gradually lost interest in me and moved on to questioning about my friends. Not wanting to substitute the friends I was slow to respond and fight back, it was very difficult, as originally adopted had to change the tone of the conversation gullible. The employee said that it is still all in all recognized. In addition, the committee, and so everything is known. So for me the most would be better if I frankly tell it like it is. As he left, he told me that I even invited for an interview inside the KGB. He also warned that contact with friends, which is bound to become known to the Committee, will be treated as abtsyazharavalnaya circumstance. I was frightened, demoralized and cut off from friends.

The KGB was invited the next day. Familiar from yesterday's conversation officer prepared a paper with my testimony. Do I need a signature. Breaking the tension that paralyzed me, I carefully re-read several times the paper and brought back their adjustments. This caused discontent, which has not yet been relatively polite. I was faster, citing a lack of time. Finally I put the signature. As it turned out, I still missed a slippery ambiguous phrase that is hidden in the last paragraph. I was taken under police escort to the exit, they delivered the confiscated at the entrance cell phone, gave passport and allowed to go home. However, instead of relief, I felt tired depression and anxiety. It was hard to believe that I was so simply left alone.

And the alarm was not in vain. About an hour later I was again invited to the KGB, but by another investigator. I was seated on a chair, standing with its back to the door, and was told that I act as a witness in a criminal case. On the contrary, at a table with a computer located investigator. Acquainting me with my rights, he furrowed his eyebrows and clinging to me a stern look, and began questioning. Questions were asked assertive tone. Gaining protocol, his fingers furiously banged on the keyboard, as if punishing the unfortunate device. The investigator came forward and noisy breathing. Sometimes he was making sudden movements with his hands. Several times he got up and, walking behind me, out of the room to a couple of minutes to go back. From time to time because of my back, there were other people who were in the room, doing something and going out. At first, I still somehow held on. Two hours later I asked I was allowed to call my mother and comfort her, saying that I was all right. The request was made. I swept the unexpectedly strong sense of gratitude. In my eyes, the investigator has become a friend. The interrogation continued. Suddenly, unexpectedly burst into the room the other investigator and started screaming, showering me accusations and threats. I'm insecure and stupidly fought back. When he left, the interrogation continued as usual. I started to become unstuck. My body was limp on the chair broke. Heart pounding, so it was seen as flutters in the chest sweater. The palms were covered with cold sweat. My mouth was dry. It was felt that to me is a pungent smell. The voice was shaky and squeaky. The interrogation, which lasted about three hours, was completed. At last report was printed. Hardly realizing I first long proofread it, and then even longer to make improvements. It took about two hours. In parting, I was handed a summons for the next day and promised to talk to me for real, when I'm on the "play-act".

Out on the street, I noticed that I do not understand where I am. I went on a street, but soon realized that I was going somewhere is not there. Finally I orient and was soon home. I do not drink alcoholic beverages without a good reason, but in the evening thoroughly kissed the gun. This is a time led me to my senses. The night passed in endless agonizing thought. In the morning of Friday, 24 December, I felt completely overwhelmed and broken. My will become plastic and receptive. Concepts such as pride, honor and dignity, seemed remote and unreal. Every move was worth the incredible effort. Waves interspersed with mlostsyu bore down feeling full of despair. Ahead I saw only torture, prison, the Iron Curtain and the presentiment of a meeting are not new in 2011, and the Orwellian 84th. Life has lost all meaning. Taking a shower and gather strength, I reached out to work. I think I was a pitiful sight that has not disappeared from the attention of my colleagues.

When I came in for questioning, the resistance could be no more strength. I said what I wanted to hear from me, and then I did not try. Read the cautionary notation, the essence of which was to ensure a bad situation with human rights in other countries. Printed record of the interrogation. I have put their signatures wherever wanted investigator, and was allowed to go home. Later, analyzing sure naporlivy and slightly menacing tone notation, I came to an interesting conclusion. It was a tone speakers broadcast the truth of the official Belarusian TV.

Those Christmas remembered all my life. When he came home, I got drunk again. Then, yielding to a panic attack, killed on his computer books, movies, music, and other information that is relevant to Belarus. Threw icons and other symbols of Belarus. To give us something to do, for the first time in a long time, turned on the TV and stopped on the channel, where they sang Christmas carols. I've never listened to Christmas carols. But that evening their quiet kindness was the balm, which required the May harried soul. Apartment entrance door was closed all the locks. Phone calls made my hea
rt shrink in horror. I was expecting that at any moment I can be back in the interrogation room. So, staring glassy-eyed at the TV, I still stayed up late at night.

Next month has passed in a blur. I was afraid to look out the window and go outside. At me every now and then piled bouts of despair and fear. My mother got up the pressure on the voltage. Sometimes she cried. That's when we came to the aid of our old friends. People who have never had anything to do with politics, shared their warmth. This gave the desired effect. I'm on the mend. I already had the courage to go on the Internet. From there, I learned that through interrogations were many Belarusians. I have found and studied all the available information on how to behave during interrogations. Hopefully, this knowledge will help if I again find myself in that room. With the improvement of mental state intensified feelings of bitterness and shame for the testimony that I gave at the time of the last interview.


Well, it's so hard to be a man in a free country! If you do nothing, then ROBIS passive partner. When you try to do something, then you're crushed and turned into a traitor. To avoid this fate, you need a great courage and fortitude. Unfortunately, courage is not one of my good qualities. I broke down, despite the fact that I'm a grown man, who recently knocked for 33 years. And if you want them to press and stronger … One can only guess that survived and are going through the rest of repression. How many of them have broken down? How are the ones who are sitting in prison and deprived of moral support? These issues have little to no answers.

Finally I want to share some thoughts. Once on the examination, report to the investigator as little as possible. Do not try to convince of anything. He — a professional who is able to turn every word of what you say against you and your friends. And he certainly it will make. To him you are not a friend, but only human material to be processed. Do your best not to look inward. That is what you from the investigation. Tell your friends and members of the independent press about the future of interrogation. And after questioning find the courage to meet with them and discuss everything. This will give you a huge charge of energy and strength. If you were given a subscription to disclose, tell your friends about your feelings, which, of course, are not secret investigation.

Belarus came to the troubling times. Frightened by the scale of the latest Square announced the termination of the power games in democracy. More clearly manifested known for centuries, the signs of totalitarianism, which did not disappear, but will return again and again. The most worthy representatives of the society are in prison. Hundreds, maybe thousands, of innocent people are being repressed. Official propaganda mouthpiece sow hatred in the country. Manifest and opened some conspiracy organized from abroad. Manifests an unhealthy interest in the sources of financing the opposition. Those who disagree are declared enemies of the people. In such circumstances it is important to set aside their ambitions, not wasted on trifles and stop blaming each other in various, usually imaginary sins. Now the main thing — it is a universal solidarity!

Lyalikav Alexander, Associate Professor of the Theory of Functions, Functional Analysis and Applied Mathematics, State University of Grodno Yanka Kupala

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