Alyaksandr Lukashenka has commented on the death of Alyaksandr Korzhych on Monday.
“What happened in your military unit is a disaster. I am not exaggerating! Everything may occur in the army, but it is absolutely catastrophic for the Belarusian army, because we have always been proud of our not having hazing. Indeed, there is no hazing! I do not want this blot to be on the reputation of the whole army, whatever our opponents say on the Internet. It is an army. It is clear that this is a special, severe service, and it will always be so. But any hazing is unacceptable,” he said when appointing Uladzislau Budzik Chief of 72th Guards Сenter for training warrant officers and junior specialists in Pechy.
He takes such cases in the Belarusian army hard, the Belarusian leader said.
“Parents leave the dearest persons of them in our care. And what do they get?” he put a rhetorical question.
Lukashenka also wondered whether a youngster who is the only son in the family should be called up for military service: “We need to study this practice. An only son is the only go-to for parents.”
The Belarusian Ministry of Defense faced a massive public outrage after the tragic deat of conscript Alyaksandr Korzhych. By mid October, over 10,000 persons had signed the online petition demanding the resignation of Defense Minister Andrey Raukou. However, the petition was blocked after the ministry’s complaints.
The 21-year-old soldier was found hanged in the basement in the territory of a military unit in Pechy, his legs were tied up. According to the family and friends, senior conscripts bullied, battered and tortured the young man to squeeze money out of him. As a result, they allegedly killed him and then faked his suicide.
The Investigative Committee opened criminal cases under Article 443 (hazing), 455 (failure of authorities to act, resulting in grave consequences), 209 (fraud) of the Criminal Code of Belarus.