Ukraine’s battalion ‘Donbas’: Belarusian volunteers hoist national flag


Ukraine’s volunteer battalion ‘Donbas’ has formed new fighting units at a training centre near Kyiv. The Belarusians who entered the battalion have planted a white-red-white flag over their tent, belaruspartisan.org reports.

There are about 15 Belarusians in ‘Donbas’ now. Some of them have been living in Ukraine for long, but most came to the country intentionally, aiming to join the battalion. There are former activists of opposition organisations among the volunteers from Belarus.

The Belarusians are dwelling in tents in the territory of the Ukrainian National Guard’s training camp. Our compatriots, Georgians and Ukrainians get along well in the tent under the Belarusian flag.

One should have the Ukrainian citizenship or residence permit to join the battalion that is now finishing recruitment and may be sent to the east of Ukraine soon. All the Belarusians, who have signed up for the service, asked Ukraine’s Interior Minister to provide them with a residence permit or citizenship. The minister promised to assist in preparing the necessary documents so that the Belarusians could legally serve.

In general, a lot of foreigners have signed up as volunteeers: Georgians, Russians, Belarusians, Azerbaijani, even an American and a Spaniard. There are various flags over the tents: colours of different states and cities.

As it was reported before, Belsat TV’s ‘In Focus’ found our compatriot among the volunteers. A soldier who goes by the nickname Zubr (Bison) hides his face, real name and any information that can be turned against him or his relatives. He also asked to change his voice.

English subs:

{movie}On opposite sides of the barricades: Belarusians at Ukrainian war. ENG subs|right|17040{/movie}

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After the 1995 referendum the white-red-white flag has been often associated with the opposition to the regime of Aliaksandr Lukashenka. The flag is not officially banned from public usage, but is treated by the authorities as an unregistered symbol which means that demonstration of it by political activists or sports fans can lead to arrests and confiscation of the flags.

The current flag of is a red and green one with a white and red ornament pattern placed at the staff end. With a voter turnout of 64.7%, the new flag was approved by a majority in the ratio of three to one (75.1% to 24.9%). The way of carrying out the 1995 referendum as well as legality of questioning the national symbols on a referendum was heavily criticized by the opposition.

www.belsat.eu/en

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