European games in Belarus: what will they bring to common Belarusian?


Belarusian government does a lot to assure foreigners that Belarus is a democratic and safe country. It even lobbied the right to hold the II European Games in Minsk in 2019. I am going to explain what Belarusian citizens had to go through as a result of this decision of the government.

First of all, we need to point out that for the overwhelming majority of Belarusians the tickets for these games are not affordable. It will be games for the rich and privileged: mostly bureaucrats, top police officials, and, of course, foreigners, whom government want to see here as a “milch-cow” for Belarusian budget.

Nevertheless, all the money necessary for hosting Games were taken from the Belarusian budget (almost no investors were eager to invest in this show), and it cost Belarusians $112 mln. For example, the average monthly wage o аa simple Belarusian amounts to 150-250 dollars. And, as government officials said, Belarus had not found any investors eager to invest their money in II European Games. That means even more money from the budget will be taken.

Moreover, the European Games-2019 will bring many Belarusians even more troubles and hardships.

– Preventive arrests of social activists and opposition leaders are expected. In 2014, before the World Hockey Championship, Belarusian government, attempting to avoid any protests or public political expressions before foreign guests detained at least 37 activists: members of the opposition political parties, anarchists, football fans. As Belarusian law does not have legitimate articles for preventive detentions, people were arrested for alleged “peeing on the street,” “minor hooliganism”, and other absurd accusations. Each of the detained spent 10-15 days under arrest, just enough to keep them away during the Hockey Championship.

In order to “clean” the streets and not let foreigners see the “unpresentable face of Minsk.” police conducted mass detentions of prostitutes and homeless people. According to human rights defenders, during these days, temporary detention facilities were “overcrowded” – police even had to move the arrested to Minsk region facilities. About 350 prostitutes were detained and put under arrest.
Now, before the II European Games, activists, human rights defenders, and the civil society is worried that this massive “cleansing” may happen again.

– Just as the government also intends to clean the streets from the “undesirable” people, street animals are going to face with even worse treatment. In Belarus, stray animals are not receiving care or fixing. They are kept in shelters for three days and then killed. Animal rights defenders expect massive killings of stray pets on the streets of Minsk before the II European Games, for the same was done at the Olympic Games in Sochi and during the Football Cup in Russia. The animal rights defenders even started a petition against that, and it already collected more than 5,000 signatures.

– Belarus is expecting more than 5,000 athletes to visit the II European Games. All of them need to be accommodated, right? Students of five (!) Belarusian universities were evicted from campuses to free the space for athletes. The government promised, that all the evicted will be given some other accommodation, but it was a broken promise. Most of the students did not get any accommodation at all and had to come back to their native towns, and those who did were put in terrible conditions. Many have to live in rooms with 4-5 beds and just around 3 square meters per person. But many just had been kicked out and had to manage their problems by themselves.

The European Games in Belarus are presented as a fest of sports, joy, fun and happy leisure for both Belarusians and guests of the country. But in fact, they are going to be held to satisfy the ambitions of the Belarusian leadership and polish the international image of Belarus, which is associated with dictatorship, repressions and severe human right abuses. The foreign tourists will be enjoying the clean streets with no signs of political life, no discontented folks – because they all will be in temporary detention. The guests of the country will be surprised that Minsk has no stray animals – because all of them would be killed before their visits. And the athletes will be settled in free and comfortable campuses having no clue that someone was resettled to let them be there.

Still, we may spread the truth and tell many people what the cost of the European Games will be for common Belarusians and support those who are going to suffer because of the ambitions of the rich and privileged.

Mikola Dziadok




Is Belarus dangerous?

Belarus hosts II European Games in June 2019. At the moment, the authorities take a huge effort to present Belarus as a friendly country of law and order, absolutely safe for foreigners. But this has nothing to do with reality.

My name is Mikola Dziadok, I am a journalist, blogger and former political prisoner from Minsk, Belarus. And against the background of the governmental lies, I am going to tell you about how safe Belarus is for foreign citizens.

Belarus has one of the highest incarceration rates in Europe. Moreover, the police per capita rate of Belarus is 1442 police officers per 100,000 population, which is the biggest in the world. The Freedom House ranks Belarus 176 in the human right index, accompanied by Congo and Cameroon.

Belarusian president Aleksandr Lukashenko has been in power for 25 years already. Also, many things that are legal in other countries are illegal in Belarus. For example, the Belarusian criminal code has an article criminalising assembling in a certain space without government permission, criminal punishment for participating in anti-government organisations, and even punishment for “discrediting the Republic of Belarus” which is wide enough to imprison any person critical of authority. In Belarus, police systematically raid gay clubs and parties of swingers. The latter are accused of “organising prostitution.”

Belarus was NOT included in the Global Finance magazine rating of the safest countries.

On 17th May 2018, the International Day Against Homophobia, the British embassy in Minsk hung up a rainbow flag. The Belarusian Ministry of Internal Affairs, headed by minister Shunevich, issued a statement titled “We stand for truth,” defaming the British officials who did it, accusing them of the propaganda of “false values.”

Belarusian drug policy is one of the harshest in the world. In 2014, the president issued a decree, according to which distribution of drugs is punished by up to 25 years in prison. What falls under the concept of the crime? Mostly that is just sharing a joint with your friends. By now, around 8 000 people, mostly youth, serve their terms in terrible conditions of Belarusian prisons for such a crime. Most common terms are 8-12 years. In 2014, Lukashenko demanded to create special prisons for “drug dealers”: “Make them ask for death,” he said to his ministers. And they did. People are dying in Belarusian prisons as a result of tortures, lack of medical care, and suicides.

The mothers of the imprisoned have tried many ways to fight for their sons, including hunger strikes.

At April, 4th, Belarusian authorities demolished 70 handmade crosses, surrounding the Kurapaty a forest near Minsk where from 40 000 to 200 000 of people were killed during the Stalin’s repressions. Before the demolition was made, the forest, where the crosses were standing, was encircled by the police. 15 opposition activists, who tried to stop the demolition were detained. Few days before president Lukashenko said that the sight of the crosses irritates him when he drives by – they “spoil the look”. The Stalin’s repressions still were not condemned by the Belarus officials.

But what about foreigners? If you think that all above-mentioned only concerns Belarusians, you are wrong. The punitive system of Belarus does not care whom to punish. And here are the most well-known stories of foreigners, who thought that visiting Belarus was a good idea:

Daichi Yoshida is a 27-year old well-known Japanese cartoonist, who was visiting an anime festival in Kyiv, Ukraine. There, he bought parts of an antique rifle in a shop. Kyiv customs were totally OK about it, but after getting to a transit area of the Minsk airport, Daichi was searched, detained, and soon sentenced to 4,5 years of imprisonment. In prison, Daichi went through depression, syncope and blennocystitis, but never got decent treatment.

No one paid attention that these parts of the rifle could not be used for shooting. No one paid attention that Ukrainian customs had no questions to Daichi. They found him guilty. Daichi spent almost 2 years in prison. All the higher instance courts refused to review his case. He was released after the intervention of the Japanese embassy and wide press coverage of this story.

Read his story here.

Jolan Viaud, a 24-year old French citizen, was travelling to Ukraine from Lithuania through Belarus. In Lithuania, he bought a souvenir cartridge. While passing the Lithuania-Belarus border he was searched and accused of not declaring the cartridge. Basically, he simply could not do this, because Belarusian border patrol knows neither English nor French. He was accused of smuggling the weapons and detained immediately.

Jolan Viaud’s case is an exception in some way. He was acquitted during the trial and set free. Nevertheless, he spent two years in custody.

More details about his story here.

Andreus Golubeus, a Lithuanian, bought a painkiller called Tramadol for his wife who lives in Belarus. But in Belarus, this painkiller is considered a drug. On the Belarusian border, he was detained and accused of smuggling drugs. Neither the court nor the prosecutor cared about the fact that he was not concealing Tramadol but gave it to customs officers voluntary. Andreus got 3,5 years in a high-security prison. His wife, who is confined to a wheelchair, was left without his care and the medicine she needed.
Now Andreus is in prison, and prison administration prevents him from applying to international bodies. They just do not let out the complaints he files.

Alan Smith is a British businessman. He was acquainted with a woman from Kurdistan, who was trying to get refugee status in Lithuania. After this woman was detained on the Belarus-Lithuania border, Alan Smith was detained in 2016 for allegedly “organising illegal migration.” The connection between Alan and that woman were enough for such an accusation.
In prison, he was pressed by the administration to plead guilty, stayed in isolation because he speaks neither Belarusian nor Russian and faced with all the bad conditions.

He served his full term being deprived of visits from his relatives, food parcels and was allowed a minimum sum for buying goods in the prison shop, which is comparable to torture under Belarusian prison conditions. Upon release, he told the press a lot about the abuses and torture that prisoners experience and the unjust sentences from the Belarusian courts.

In the penitentiary, Alan drew awesome cartoons depicting the Belarusian state and penal system. Most of them were smuggled outside illegally. None of the higher instance courts considered his appeals. The British ambassador was not too active in improving his fate: no one would like to spoil the international relations because of one citizen.

UK press about Alan Smith.

You should keep in mind that these are only the examples which became known thanks to the Belarusian press. Many other foreigners do not enjoy the attention of human right defenders or ambassadors, like Columbian citizen Gedi Kalderon who is prevented by the prison administration from meeting with ambassadors from his country.
Human right defenders who file appeals to the Constitutional Court demanding to make the life of foreigners in Belarusian prisons easier, often get formal and negative answers.

Apparently, the Belarusian state continues to assert that Belarus is safe and hospitable for foreigners – because they need your money. But in return, they will never guarantee your safety.

Mikola Dziadok






Лайфхак: калі экстрэмісцкія налепкі ляпіць на дарожныя знакі, яны правісяць там ВЕЧНАСЦЬ і іншапланетныя цывілізацыі, корпаясь у развалінах нашых гарадоў, будуць вывучаць па ім культуру чалавецтва 🙂

Lifehack: if you stick extremist stickers on a road signs, they will hang there ETERNALLY, and extraterrestrial civilizations, when exploring the remnants of our civilization, will learn our culture by them 😉


Watch this

A short story about how guns grant women rights much better then anything else (pink hats, chanting slogans etc.)
Honestly, the woman on video is an off-duty police officer. But anyhow taking account on your own security is mch better then shifting it to the state, eh?

Siauries Atenai

My text “The cop’s nazism” (based on this video) was published in Lithuanian newspaper “Siauries Athenai”.
I’m so glad that some more citizens of the EU will now what is the Belarusian militia 🙂

Бунт у ПК-3\ Riot in panal colony #3


Учора ўвесь дзень прыходзілі супярэчлівыя дадзеныя аб нейкай заварухе ў ПК-3 (Віцьба). Відэа манёўраў АМАПу ля калоніі апублікаваў Nexta. Па апошніх дадзеных, там адбыўся бунт: два атрады (асуджаныя па 328) адмовіліся выйcці на заўтрsк. Прычына – забарона адміністрацыяй цыгарэт у якасці сродкаў разліку.

Дарэчы, гэта ўжо тэндэнцыя. Некалькі месяцаў назад усё тыя ж “тры-два-восем” бунтавалі ў Воўчых Норах. Такога ў беларускіх зонах не было даўно, мо дзесяцігоддзя. Маладыя хлопцы, пакаленне сацсетак, не раздаўленыя зонай, не быць рабамі і адажваюцца на масавы і смелы пратэст. Душой і сэрцам я з імі!


It seems that penal colony №3 (Vicba), near Vitebsk, Belarus, is rioting now. The riot cops squad was spotted near the colony. Fragmentary evidences say that 2 units (around 200 ppl) of young guys, sentenced to a huge terms by Article 328, refused to take food. Belarusian colonies did not experience such a disobedience for, maybe, 10 last years.


Just to remind for those who do not know: in Belarus abbreviation “ACAB” is officially banned, you can get up to 15 days of arrest for writing, posting, or even saying it.
Now, good night.

You know nothing about the diversity

Shortly for my friends abroad about what happened with me recently. I was set free yesterday. The initial trial at 04.03.2018 fined me by around 500 for pic related. Abbreviation ACAB is illegal in Belarus. Writing, posting and even SAYING it considered “extremism” and exposes you to possible fine or up to 15 days of arrest. Right after I went out of the court, cops detained me for participating in protest picket at February, 26 in Minsk. They were waiting for me, apparently. After 2 days under arrest I have got one more fine – around 250 eur. This is Belarus!
Now please, come to us for #EuropeanGames2019, our country is so safe, democratic and respects all the citizens! 😉

Collectives in Spanish revolution (1936-39)

I spend 2,5 years on reading this book. Not because it is very complicated, but because it is big (almost 700 pages) and I was reading it non-regulary.

That’s “Collectives of the Spanish revolution” by Gaston Leval, the guy who participated directly in this greatest anarchist experiment. He describes the structure of the cooperatives and agricultural collectives, the work of the factories and the pluralities of the forms of economic organizing. Watching on this all makes clear that the anarchism of Spanish revolution was not ideal, but it was certainly the best that could be offered for this historical period for Spanish society.

This book will make you sure: anarchism is real. Abolishing of money is real. Non-capitalist, mutual-benefit economy is real.

A special attention was payed to a betrayal of stalinists, who played a crucial role in destroying the anarchist order and giving up the Spain to Franco.

This is the quotation I have chosen for you:

“What is in the core? The vivid creativeness of the masses. Without organic preparation no social and truly socialist revolution is possible.

Our constructive revolutionary achievement was destroyed by the Francoist victory and by the sabotage and betrayal of Stalin and his agents. But
it remains in history as an example and a proof that it is possible to avoid the dictatorial stages when the capacity to organise the new society quickly is present; and dispense with the so-called dictatorship of the proletariat or more exactly the revolutionary party usurping the representation or delegation of the proletariat which those drunk with power — their power to which the people must bow — persist in wanting to impose on us under pain of massacring us as counter-revolutionaries. Just as in their time Marx and Blanqui, and more recently Lenin and his henchmen and all dictatorial maniacs, they have riot the faintest idea of how to reorganise social life after capitalism. But just as Lenin did, they would very quickly organise a police force, a censorship, and in due course concentration camps.

A new way has been indicated, an achievement which emerges as a beacon light of which all revolutionaries who seek mankind’s emancipation and not its subjection to a new slavery will have to follow. If they do, yesterday’s defeat will be largely compensated for by tomorrow’s victories”.

Here is the .pdf