The idea to make the teenager express regret for slapping the Gorodovoi statue in Minsk came from Belarusian Interior Minister Ihar Shunevich.
The video published by Euroradio.fm includes an interesting dialogue between Mr Shunevich and reporters who asked him about the reason for such an extravagant decision.
Don’t you find it strange?
No, if it was strange, I would not have done so, I am a sane person!
The Gorodovoi that is rumoured to be liked by Ihar Shunevich has apparently gained notoriety for the recent years. In November, the Minsk police made a young man apologize for slapping the statue and posted a corresponding video on their official Youtube channel. Later, Minsk resident Dzmitry Zavadzki was taken to the police station only for putting a scarf on the statue – he just wanted to take a picture of the ‘dressed’ Gorodovoi.
On December 2, anarchist Vyachaslau Kasinerau, Syarhei Sparysh and other activists laid a funeral wreath with the inscription ‘The Interior Ministry’s Public Image’ at Gorodovoi. Kasinerau and Sparysh were tried and fined.
In March 2017, a group of activists held a performance by putting a noose around the neck of Gorodovoi. They protested against police abuse and harassment of anarchist activists for participating in peaceful protests. Kasinerau was charged with committing a crime under part 1 of article 339 of the Criminal Code (hooliganism) and fined.
However, forcing the teenager to apologize to the sculpture, as well as the police, triggered a wave of public outrage. A week ago, Heorhi Yauchar, Head of the Information and Public Relations Department of the Ministry of Internal Affairs, lost his position. At the same time, Shunevich denies that the situation has become the reason for removing his subordinate.
Interestingly, the Belarusian Interior Minister is an ardent admirer of the Bolshevik secret services that murdered and executed tsarist officers without remorse.
On December 6, Ihar Shunevich presented the draft law “On Amendments To Laws of the Republic of Belarus Regarding Tightening Fight against Propaganda of Nazism and Extremism” to the lower chamber of the Belarusian parliament. It is announced to introduce criminal liability for the ‘rehabilitation of Nazism’.