Jail sentence and heavy fine for political writing on pipe

A 19-year-old Yulia Aleynik has been fined 90 basic units (2,610 BYN) for the inscription “Long Live WRW” on a concrete pipe of a sewage collector in Vitsebsk, which was made on the morning of May 30, 2021.

The inscription on the pipe.
Photo: vitebskspring.org

The girl was found guilty under Article 341 of the Criminal Code (“Desecration of structures and damage to property”).

Yulia says that it took the police a month to find her:

“The police recognized on the surveillance cameras, which are located on the buildings of the streetcar museum and Vitebskoblgaz. After a month, they broke into my dorm room and searched me for spray cans, then took me to the police station and the GUBOPIC department”.

The law enforcers kept Yulia Aleynik for 9 hours. They took away her phone and laptop and then let her go. But a week later, Yulia received a call from the police and was told that she had to come to the police station. There she was detained for three days.

Because of the criminal case, the girl was forced to drop out of the Faculty of Art and Graphics of the All-Union State University named after Masherau:

“The document was sent to the rector, and I wrote a resignation letter. I was told to drop out; otherwise, they would do it themselves, and I wouldn’t be able to get reinstated,” said Yulia.

The girl fully admitted her guilt, but the judge of a Vitsebsk court, Snyazhana Kindzeyeva, still sentenced her to a huge fine, which Yulia Aleynik has two months to pay.

“I think that if I had written something like Kolya+Masha and not “Long Live WRW,” there would not have been this whole story, and I would have stayed at the university and would not have been convicted. I think there is no corpus delicti of the criminal article in my actions. Still, I chose another position, hoping for the mercy of the law enforcement and the court, which, most likely, was in vain,” Yulia Aleinik said in her comment on the court decision.