Over a thousand dollars was raised within just a few hours at the charity marathon “Help the Belarusian soldier” in Minsk. CDs with Belsat TV films, bags and T-shirts were presented to donors.
The Belarusian authorities consider them to be criminals, because they are fighting for another country. At the same time, as foreigners, they have no social security in this country. An action in support of Belarusian soldiers fighting in Donbas started in Minsk.
It was not until November, 2015 when foreigners’ serving were outlawed in Ukraine. But they joined informal bodies – the Ukrainian Voluntary Corps ‘The Right Sector’ and OUN Battalion which are maintained by volunteers. That is why the volunteer fighters are not paid and have no health benefits. Civil activists decided to help Belarusians fighting for the integrity of Ukraine.
“They do not have any legal status, therefore, when returning from the ATO zone on a rotational basis, they have difficulty renting an apartment and buying food – they literally have to nickel-and-dime,” bard Zmitser Zaharevich says.
As part of the action, a dozen of paintings by Mikhail Anempadystau, Natallia Bordak and Andrus Takindang has been put up for sale. “Today there will be information in social networks on which works remain, how much time you need to buy them, etc. As I far as I know, half the works has been sold,” organizer Zmitser Dashkevich says.
The scarcity of money imperils the security of soldiers. The death of brest-born Ales Charkashyn was avoidable, Ukrainian volunteers state.
“If he had a normal armored vest with side plates, with Kevlar, he would probably have survived. Therefore, money is not just money. This is an opportunity to purchase equipment that will help save lives,” volunteer Olga Halchenko stressed.
According to the Belarusian Interior Ministry, about 130 citizens of Belarus participated or are participating in the Ukrainian conflict on the both sides. According to the Belarusian law, all of them are facing criminal responsibility for mercenarism. But people defending Ukraine are also protecting Belarus, says the leader of “Young Front” Zmitser Dashkevich.