KGB’s scenario: jail, army or mental hospital

Why is it dangerous for Zmitser Papko (aka Vinsent) to come back to Belarus? The case of the matter is that the musician played a role of a young man who is drafted into the military by force. In the army the recruit is bullied and beaten; at the moment Vinsent himself seems to be facing a situation which bears a strong resemblance to the development of the action.

On April 19 the screening of smashing film Viva Belarus based on the true story of opposition activist Franak Viachorka is to be held in Poland. No wonder that Belarusian men in uniform have taken a great interest in the feature player: “Soon after I returned to Belarus after filming in Poland I was called to police; I was repeatedly questioned because the KGB had laid information against me. According to them, I am in possession of seven cars, in addition, they stated that I keep company with skin-headed bandits and we are engaged in sharp dealings”.

A local army recruiting office annuled the musician’s defernment on medical grounds. Its officers told him: “There are three possible futures before you: serving in the army, going to jail or we find you insane and will drive you mad [by means of special medicines in mental hospital]”. The actor managed to make an audio recording of this conversation.

Mr Papko was also banned from leaving Belarus but fortunately he had set off for Poland a day before. I have never supported dictatorships but when repressions touched me personally I was deeply impressed with that total lawlessness of the authorities, the musician said. But he stressed that the story has its positive side: it proves that Krzysztof Lukaszewicz, Viva Belarus director, did present a truthful picture of realities of modern Belarus.


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