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(en) Anarchist black cross Belarus: The third of September is the day of testing
Sat, 8 Sep 2018 13:36:49 +0300
Today it is eight years since September 3, 2010, the day of the beginning of the most
massive attack of the state on the anarchist movement for the history of independent
Belarus. Since then, a lot of water has flowed under the bridge. Behind other repressions
and the daily struggle for the survival of our groups, much has been erased from memory
and forgotten. Today, a whole generation of anarchists has grown up, who knows about those
events that are far from what they are, only from the stories of comrades or does not know
at all. ---- The Pramen group has prepared for you an analytical longride dedicated to the
"clean-up" of September-October 2010 and the first "contemporary Anarchist cause" in
modern Belarus. Make yourself comfortable - read a lot.
As it was or a five-minute nostalgia
In the distant years 2009-2010, the anarchist movement of Belarus was a completely
different picture than it is now. The marker of the then level of development can be
considered regular participation of the anarchist "black bloc" in many sanctioned
opposition marches - mainly in the Chernobyl Way.
In 2009, the black block on the Chernobyl route was, according to various estimates,
Anarchist unauthorized processions, held on various occasions several times a year,
collected 30-40 people - and almost never ended in detentions. In 2010, after the
authorities decided to make a pass to the Chernobyl Way only through metal detectors, as
well as in protest against the right-wing organizations at rallies, which then began to
"poke" the anarchists, angry at their presence (from opposition leaders even the
statements sounded, that milia should remove anarchic brochures while inspecting the
framework), the anarchists decided to hold their event by collecting an unauthorized rally
of about 50 people near the Pushkinskaya metro station.
There were other, equally spectacular actions. For example, the 9-meter banner "No to
Fascism", posted on the day of solidarity with Russian anti-fascists and anarchists on
January 19, 2010.
For example, from 9 to 16 March 2010, in single days of action against police lawlessness,
anarchist actions took place in six cities of Belarus (Minsk, Logoysk, Bobruisk, Polotsk,
Gomel, Baranovichi), and in Minsk - in several districts of the city.
From 2006 to 2009 in Minsk for a while there were two squats ("Flat" and "Workshop"),
where half-open events were frequent. Regular campaigning with graffiti, leaflets were
regularly conducted. Punk concerts were filled with agitational literature. A certain
anarchist influence was present among the fans of MTZ-RIPO: and on their sector, some
games were attended by up to 500 people. An initiative was created for constant agitation
in the working people and students. Anarchists have been actively campaigning against
nuclear power plants in Belarus for about two years. And this is not all.
However, almost all the activity of anarchists - including unauthorized processions in the
center of the city, as a rule, passed by the media. They simply ignored us. Interest in
the anarchist movement among the political forces, civil society and the media was at
zero, although at that time our numbers did not exceed, then it was clearly approaching
the number of any youth opposition movement like the MF, BUNT or "European Belarus".
It will be fair to note that such an extent of the anarchist movement became possible
largely because the liberal opposition was much stronger and more massive - and
consequently, the influence of repressive bodies was largely drawn upon it, and anarchists
for a long time were not perceived by the state as a threat. This gave us definite head
start and time for unpunished growth.
In the conditions of a lively and growing activity of the anarchist movement, continuous
numerical growth, any, even the smallest social unrest, as well as the next discriminatory
laws of the state, gave hope for a revolutionary explosion and swift changes. Many
comrades began to feel that the movement is marking time, and it needs radicalization,
that we seem to have stalled to some limit of development, behind which, as many thought
then, the revolution is almost looming - it is only worth pressing. Many forms of activism
were tried (thousands of leaflets, stickers, unauthorized rallies, graffiti, banners,
etc.) - and the desired rebellion never came. To expand the sphere of the permitted and to
attack the state with more radical methods, rather than agitation and propaganda, was seen
by some quite logical and correct decision.
A tactic of conducting actions of direct action was chosen alongside his comrades. I must
say that her views differed, as did her expectations. But the general was the narrative
that while doing spectacular, albeit sometimes symbolic, actions of direct action, we will
be able to attract the attention of the major media to ourselves - and therefore our ideas
and our movement. And then the workers, youth, students, seeing anarchists acting
radically, or reading our press releases, where we call for fighting the state with the
In the understanding of those who did then these actions, it was propaganda by own example.
Smoke without fire and with fire. And the paint
The events in Greece in 2008 had an enormous impact on the transition of a number of
associates to such methods. Not for nothing that the first "officially registered" action
of direct action, directly committed on behalf of anarchists in Belarus, was an action on
December 20, 2008, when around midnight an anarchist group was attacked by the ROVD of the
Central District of Minsk. Here is what the portal "Indymedia Belarus" wrote about this:
"The entrance to the building and the surrounding area were thrown by smoke bombs. Smoke
covered the entire territory of the ROVD and the adjacent roadway. Here are the words of
one of the participants: "Our comrade from Greece was killed cold-bloodedly. He was only
15 years old. It does not matter which policemen did it, they are the same in all
countries. Their function is to protect the looted wealth and privileges of those in
power. And they will not stop at any cruelty. By our action, we pursued two goals: to show
solidarity with the Greek comrades and all victims of the Mentovsky terror, and also to
let the rubbish know that for every attempt on anarchists and any social activists, they
will receive radical radical responses. This time it was only smoke bombs. Greece, we are
with you! "
After the action, the anarchists fled safely. "
After that, from 2009 to 2010, a number of actions of direct action of varying degrees of
symbolism took place.
September 19, 2009 - an unauthorized procession near the General Staff of the Armed Forces
of the Republic of Belarus, during which anarchists throw a smoke bomb on the territory of
the Ministry of Defense. The action is timed to the Russian-Belarusian military exercises
December 5, 2009 - Anarchists paint the casino "Shangri La", throwing several faeriers and
light bulbs in the façade.
The action is presented as a struggle against demonstrative luxury in a country where many
workers live in poverty.
March 9, 2010 - Anarchists broke a window in a militia stronghold in Soligorsk. In the
window thrown fire.
April 29, 2010 - Anarchists break windows in the house of the Federation of Trade Unions
of Belarus, urging workers on the eve of May 1 to fight more radically for their rights
and not trust official trade unions.
May 1, 2010 - Anarchists set fire to the entrance to one of the branches of Belarusbank.
The action is timed to the May Day.
On the same night, on May 1, anarchists hacked the site of the Novopolotsk City Executive
Committee. On the main page was published the text of the brochure "Who Stole Our
Happiness?" And a video clip with the address of the Minsk anarchists for 2009.
At the same time in Minsk, at least 3 billboards with state propaganda were burned (some
videos are here )
Press releases from shares.
Already after the first action, a criminal case was filed, which garbage reported in the
media, saying that they began to search for the perpetrators of hooliganism. However, this
did not entail any consequences for the anarcho-movement. As the attack on Shangri-La, for
which the administrative officer was originally initiated, did not bring consequences. For
the broken window in the cops of Salihorsk, an administrative case was also initiated
("Minor hooliganism"). Running forward, we will say that when the time came, all this was
re-qualified for a crime.
Shares near the House of Trade Unions and offices of Belarusbank strained the rubbish much
more. Began to appear alarming messages - GUBOPIK began to harass the conversations of MTZ
fans (with whom the anarchists were then closely associated), and representatives of
punk-hardcore parties, but still - not one anarcho activist. They asked about arsons, they
assured us that they had "started criminal cases and will be imprisoned".
Like a bolt from the blue - the first cover of an open event. On May 17, the cops and OMON
came to the occupation of the Free-Spot School
(https://avtonom.org/freenews/minsk-zaderzhanie-uchastnikov-bespartshkoly), an initiative
of the Anti-University forerunners, detaining 17 people. All were taken to the Moscow
police department, where they copied the data and photographed, with some held conversations.
The reason for the coverage of the Spotless School is simple - it was announced in the
Belarusian "Indymedia" (news portal with a free publication, which was conducted by an
anarchist collective). It was on "Indymedia" originally appeared all the anarchist news
about arson - and only thence dispersed through other anarchist sites.
On the morning of August 31, 2010, the information space of Belarus literally explodes:
the Russian embassy in Minsk is attacked by Molotov cocktails. The embassy Mazda burned down.
At that time, none of us knew that this day would be fateful for the anarchist movement of
All analysts, commentators and experts are puzzled: who? The Internet is full of
conspiracy theories. Russian politicians begin to speak out: the Belarusians did this to
blame Russia. Lukashenka said that the Russians could do this to blame the Belarusians. A
full-scale diplomatic scandal is beginning. All that is happening: both the conspiracy
frenzy and the helplessness of the Belarusian "experts" are well reflected in the film
"Anarchy is a direct action. Non-Engaged Version. "
It should be noted that it was hard to choose a more painful moment for the attack. First,
presidential elections are on the nose, and the authorities are more nervous than ever.
Secondly, for several months, Russian TV has been showing films "The Godfather", where
Lukashenka denounces them in every possible way. These films are watched and discussed by
a huge number of Belarusians.
Two days of mutual accusations, the construction of unimaginable theories and sofa
analysts are taking place - and on September 2, Indymedia reports that responsibility for
this action is assumed by the Friends of Freedom group, and the attack is an act of
solidarity with Khimki hostages - two Russian anti-fascists, Gaskarov and Solopov, who
were placed in custody for organizing the defeat of the Khimki administration.
After some time, the statement from the site is removed by the moderators, citing the fact
that the group "Friends of Freedom" no one knows. Subsequently, this was regarded by many
participants of the movement as a betrayal. As it turned out later, the Indymedia staff
seriously decided that the action and the press release were a cops provocation aimed at
clearing out the protest movement on the eve of the elections. Although outwardly such an
act looked, in the context of the radical nature of the action and the huge publicity in
the media, more like a fear for oneself.
Subsequently, at least two articles appeared on Indymedia, from the anarchists themselves,
where the "arsonists" were condemned or ridiculed. One of the collectives who published
the article, when the situation cleared up, publicly took it back.
On the website of the defenders of the Khimki Forest, in turn, a statement appeared on the
inadmissibility of such actions of solidarity. In a personal communication group support
Gaskarova and Solopova condemned the "Friends of Freedom", saying that the detainees from
such support actions "only worse."
Catching anarchists with a wide network
The next day, around 7 am, at once, six special forces broke into the 6 apartments in the
city of Minsk, where the anarchists lived (and even in the apartments of several
right-wing activists) with combat weapons and made searches. One of them is in an
apartment that the cops considered the "headquarters" of the anarchist movement (because
there were six activists living there). There the search lasted 7 hours. Six system
blocks, thousands of brochures and leaflets were seized. At the same time, two future
defendants were detained: Nikolay Dedok and Alexander Frantskevich. On that day, September
3, 2010, 9 anarchists left for Akrestsin Street as suspects.
A few days later, on September 6, there were several more searches and detentions. The
third stage occurred in October. In the amount of the case, at least 100 people were
detained and / or questioned as witnesses. 17 was sent to the IVS as suspects.
On October 6, "Friends of Freedom" held an action of solidarity with the detainees,
showering Molotov cocktails with a door to the IVS in Akrestsin Street. From their
statement it followed that on charges of attacking the Russian embassy innocent people
were detained, and radical actions would continue. The report about it was posted on
"Indymedia", however, it was also removed by the moderators - the anarchists had to
distribute it independently through opposition media.
Initial detention of garbage was conducted, most likely, having either operative
information about the location of anarchist apartments, or by calculating by IP-addresses
active in LJ Anarchists (at that time LiveJournal was the main platform for communication
of anarchists and expressing their opinions). Almost all subsequent detentions took place
thanks to the garbling scheme of the callers. While inspecting the activist's phone, they
watched with whom he had the most chickens and detained this person. He, in turn, also
seized the phone and checked the contacts. And so on the chain, until somehow all the
active anarchists of Minsk and other cities were detained.
Initially, everyone was detained on suspicion of attacking the Russian embassy. However,
after 6-9 days, everyone was released, except for Dedk and Frantskevich.
On September 19, Maxim Vetkin was detained, who would later cooperate with the investigation.
September was the key month for getting garbage depositions. Having received a large
number of potential witnesses, the operative GUBOPiKa and the KGB began to actively
promote them to the testimony - and not only through the embassy. Anarchists remembered
everything done in 2009 and 2010.
The testimony of Alexander Frantskevich
Having made a confession, Denis Bystrik left the country
How garbage worked
Naturally, the cops do not waste their bread for nothing, and they were allowed to
understand many anarchists by the old kind psychological pressure on those points that are
painful for most of us.
The key threats during the conversations (which, of course, were conducted without a
protocol and a lawyer) were:
- Deduction from the university
- Creating problems for the parents at work
- To put on a long term with all the accompanying prison sufferings (of course, the guys
were first threatened by sexual violence from inmates)
Of course, screams, insults, mate, rudeness were also widely practiced. The then head of
the Third Directorate of GUBOPiK, Alexander Litvinsky, several times beat detainees.
Under these threats many people agreed to testify against their comrades. One of the first
to set foot on the path of betrayal was Zakhar Konofalsky and Younes Akdif.
One of the witnesses, Alexei Zhingerovsky, also testified, but refused them at the
Of the accused, testimony was given by Maxim Vetkin and Alexander Frantskevich. At the
same time, Yevgeniy Silivonchik (Canada) was detained from Soligorsk. He was charged with
an episode with a pedestal in Salihorsk. He almost immediately agreed to cooperate with
the investigation and surrendered everything and everything that he knew.
In general, the tactics of the cops were simple: either you give testimony to everyone we
demand, and you go as a witness, or you sit yourself. The rubbish already had an
approximate list of people whom they considered leaders (although they were asked, of
course, to testify at all and "ease their fate"), and it was the testimony against them
that interested in debris.
So, while they had accumulated enough evidence against Nikolai Dedk, he had to be rebooted
seven times without letting him out of the IVS, and when the anarchist episodes were over,
he was restrained on charges of robbery. On the same day, the investigation was provided
with a scan of the passport, indicating that Dedok was on that day in Lithuania. Under the
law, he was to be released immediately, but, of course, this was not done.
Zakhar Konofalsky gave testimony not only about the shares, but also told the garbage
about the internal dynamics and structure of the anarchist movement.
Thanks to the testimony of the traitors, primarily Konofalsky and Vetkin (who almost
immediately agreed to cooperate with the police), garbage came to the conclusion that the
Russian embassy was set on fire by Igor Olinevich. He was put on the wanted list. Through
their operational channels, they learned that he was hiding in Moscow. Denis Bystrik
(Igor's friend, who lived with him and who also gave incriminating testimony) was offered
to go to Moscow and meet with Igor there. He managed to avoid such a "task" and fled abroad.
But Anton Laptenok agreed to it. We do not know what garbage was promised to him and what
was threatened, but this is certainly one of the most vile acts of betrayal in this whole
affair. Anton ("Pinocchio") went to Moscow, where he offered to meet Olinevich. The latter
went to her, and on November 28, 2010, he was captured by the FSB officers and transferred
to the Belarusian garbage on the Brest-Moscow road at night.
Lapteonok soon left the country and now lives in the US and works there as an IT person.
It is noteworthy that for a long time some Moscow anti-fascists refused to believe that
Laptenok helped the FSB detain Olinevich, and those who accused Laptenka were called
Igor Olinevich was brought to the KGB jail, bypassing all extradition rules, was kept in
handcuffs for almost a day, the first interrogation lasted many hours and was accompanied
by all possible methods of psychological pressure. Here is how he describes it in his book
"I'm going to Magadan" .
"... The border with Belarus. Head vtaplyvayut in the floor, then the operation - illegal.
Transfer to local in a bead.
The Moscow people say:
"Do not throw any more garbage."
"Of course, it's our duty, men," they say.
Get moving. They start with threats:
- Did you understand what to say? Or shall we go to one place for explanations?
- Yes, I understand, understood, - I answer, - what's there ...
Yeah, how. Do not dig into memory, do not regret, take seconds, calm your nerves. We need
to mobilize, focus on one truth: "Do not believe, do not be afraid, do not ask ..."
- Already at 20.30, call.
The gate collided and the car stopped. In front of his eyes still a hat. I'm completely
disoriented. They are led into the study, put on a chair, face to the table, the edge of
someone's hand falls on the neck. Ahead of the longest night in my life ...
- Igor, let's talk with you as a man with a man, - a voice came from the opposite.
"People do not talk in this situation," I was surprised at my own voice. Apparently, they
did not expect resistance and for a while hesitated. This gave me confidence. Then they
"We all know, talk, confess!"
- I do not know, I was not.
"You've already been turned over, why should you refuse?"
Torturing only one question: Dima left or still took later? But how do you know?
- And what about Dima? Giving a testimony?
- What is Dima? You mean Dubovsky?
Clear! They did not! So everything is not so bad.
- What news on the Internet? Have not you kidnapped anyone? Bad work. About your "Cossack"
was known in advance. We have prepared. The door opened, someone said:
- Indeed, already hangs on the site.
There was an awkward pause. It seems that they were offended to admit that both were in
their hands. All, but there were three or four of them, left. From the heart like a stone
fell: Dimon in the wild, did not lose his head, and Buratino was uncovered. Now we have to
go through the inquiry. Having once been in a seminar with Markelov's participation (he
rest in peace), I learned firmly: no confessions! It is on the testimony given in the
early days, as a rule, cases are built.
The investigators returned.
"You're naive." Do you think you have friends? You were all betrayed, and you suspected
the wrong thing! But I no longer listened to this nonsense. The first rule is "Do not
believe!". All they say is a lie, half-truth. And if true, then for further manipulation.
The technique was simple: they started with one episode, but, as soon as they received a
rebuff, they switched to another. General Staff ... Casino ... Billboards ... Trade Unions
... Bank ... Embassy ... IVS ... Bank ... Casino ... And so on ad infinitum.
They took it by storm. I fell asleep and woke up many times - as soon as I felt tired,
immediately increased the pressure. In the course everything went on: threats, flattery,
blackmail, admonished in the senselessness of the struggle, questioned the loyalty of
comrades, the emphasis on selfishness, and so on. I did not know how much time had passed.
It ceased to exist. It was unclear where the reality, and where the dream ...
"Let's throw it in the hut to skinheads! We have a special skinhunt! ... You are handsome,
they like such in prisons ... You have not been beaten yet ... Why do you need this? I
would have lived like everyone else. Still have the opportunity! ... Do you do karate?
It's hierarchical, you contradict your principles! ... You're afraid to take it, you're a
coward! ... You'll sit down. The question is settled. Only here for five or ten years -
it's up to you ...
I would give you 12, no, even 20 years ... ("And I would shoot you without options,
bitch", it seemed to me). I'm calling your grandmother. Let him know everything about you
... Nobody will hire a lawyer for you ... We need to know only one thing: who paid you? ... "
I only turned on to say, "I do not know, I was not," and again went into unconsciousness.
The second rule says: "Do not be afraid." As a rule, they bluff. But even if not, it's the
only way to know if you can stand it or not. Who was scared - already defeated. It's worth
showing fear - and you're on the hook, you'll get everything out of you.
For a while they took off their cap. There was only one sitting at the table:
"Ah, you're a good guy." Engineer, you lead a healthy lifestyle, do sports. You can not go
on like this. I also understand that you are saying a lot of things correctly, that's just
realization ... Or maybe, well, its all this? During the whole interrogation, a
sense of recognition periodically arose that this is it and I read it somewhere. This
thought was very sobering, it was confirmed that all this was a dramatization. After all,
there was still a sense of some isolation, subconsciously I wanted to believe in their
arguments and thereby stop everything. Psychological defensive reaction. From it you can
Again, put on the cap on the eyes. A new one came. He did not begin to fully unharness,
but with all the suggestion, selective phrases and a specific tone began to rub what kind
of type I "leaped" .... Waiting again. I was thirsty and I wanted to shoot a cigarette.
But I knew that this can not be done. Any request should be placed in the format of the
requirement. The third rule is "do not ask." Any request makes the psychological climate
softer, and maybe this drop will be enough to outweigh the chalice in their favor. "
Meanwhile, a support campaign was unfolding in the wild. Remaining at large, the
participants in the movement were extremely difficult: they had to build a network of
solidarity from scratch. There were no finances, connections with lawyers, with the
parents of detainees, with human rights defenders. The latter agreed to help from the
first days, which helped at first save the situation.
In the first months, until the stable group of the AFC was formed, the group of
AChK-Moscow rendered substantial assistance to the Minsk comrades.
It should be noted that solidarity and support, even in the anarcho circles themselves,
was not unconcerned. Some people, considered old activists, refused to provide assistance,
many simply were afraid of repression and fell off.
Due to the fact that many gave, to varying degrees, testimony, the movement was strongly
demoralized. Confidence among the comrades was seriously undermined - it was not clear who
can be trusted, and who does not. General suspicion, distrust, fear of repression gave
rise to a very unpleasant atmosphere and actually paralyzed the movement for more than a
year, breaking it into very small groups on the basis of trust.
All this, of course, was exactly what the garbage was striving for. As part of this
strategy, for example, they even posted on Indymedia texts about how to disown arrested
comrades, condemn violent actions, because "they pose a blow to the whole movement."
Massive attack on all anarchists after a radical action by a small group, provoked a
debate that, in fact, should have happened much earlier. On the acceptability /
effectiveness of radical actions, on solidarity and support strategies for different
teams, and, of course, on the place in the movement of those who agreed to cooperate with
A broad support campaign has been launched throughout the CIS and Europe. Graffiti,
leaflets, pickets, rallies, processions, smoke bombs, light bulbs with paint and Molotov
cocktails of the Belarusian anarchists were supported by Moscow, Peter, Omsk,
Novorossiysk, Irkutsk, Vladivostok, Ekaterinburg, Ufa, Kazan, Cheboksary, Nizhny Novgorod,
Volgograd, Voronezh, Belgorod , Ryazan, Smolensk, Simferopol, Mariupol, Donetsk, Kiev,
Lviv, Chisinau, Minsk, Bobruisk, Baranovichi, Gomel, Zhlobin, Grodno, Bereza, Vilnius,
Riga, Lublin, Warsaw, Szczecin, Budapest, Prague, Sofia, Vienna, Tyrol , Berlin, Rostock,
A total of 74 solidarity actions took place 8 months before the trial.
Anarchists also paid attention to state television. BT released a horror story in its
spirit: "Anarchy is a direct action", where it showed anarchists terrorists and warmongers
In response, our comrades released the film "Anarchy direct action - unbiased version",
where they told how things really happened (see the link above).
On October 16, 2010, in Bobruisk, a group of young people (as it turned out later, 2
anarchists and 1 nationalist) threw Molotov cocktails into the building of the local KGB
in solidarity with those arrested on the "anarchists' case" in Minsk. All of them were
detained after 3 months. Despite the fact that the damage to the KGB building was miserly,
all three were charged under part 2 of Art. 208 of the Criminal Code of the Republic of
Belarus and received 7 years in prison.
On May 15, 2011, 3 days prior to the trial of our comrades, to the House of Justice on ul.
Semashko in Minsk was thrown Molotov cocktail. The building suffered minor damage. Nobody
took responsibility for what happened. And despite the fact that the police detained
several opposition activists and held several shmons from the members of the anarchist
movement, the perpetrators were never found.
Judgment and disgrace of traitors
On May 18, 2011 the court began. The trial in the Zavodskoy Court of Minsk was conducted
by Judge Zhanna Khvoynitskaya. Before the court appeared five: Olinevich, Dedok,
Frantskevich, Vetkin, Silovychnik. In total, they were charged with 7 episodes (attacks on
the General Staff, Trade Union House, Shangri La, Belarusbank, IVS in Akrestsin, Russian
embassy, breaking the Novopolotsk City Executive Committee site). Articles: 218 of the
Criminal Code of the Republic of Belarus, 339 part 2 of the Criminal Code of the Republic
of Belarus, art. 351.2 and 354.1.
Silvonchik and Vetkin confirmed their confessions at the trial. Both in speeches and in
the last word, they fully supported the prosecution's version, saying that they demanded
garbage from them, asked the court for indulgence and repented of their deed. All this
looked very sorry. It became obvious to all that traitors were able to buy their freedom
(if this can be called freedom) only at the price of direct infusion of their friends and
associates with garbage. All of them in a moment lost their main circle of communication
(anarcho-activists) and for many years lived in fear of punishment, jumping off on the
street from yesterday's friends.
From the very beginning, no one doubted that the court would issue a guilty verdict.
Nevertheless, all came to the legal side of the defense responsibly. In fact, there was no
direct and conclusive evidence of guilt: there were no fingerprints, no filming of CCTV
cameras that could identify the accused. The only evidence of this kind is DNA samples
that "could most likely have belonged" to Olinevich on one of the items left near the IVS
in Akrestsin Street after the arson attack. In other respects, the entire matter was based
on the testimony of traitors: Konofalsky, Akdif, Vetkin, Bystrik. All of them, being (by
their own words) participants in the shares, were witnesses. For example, it became clear
at the trial that Konofalsky was throwing the paving slab into the glass of the Trade
Union House, and Dedok, he said, was filming it on camera.
The court not only attracted the enormous attention of the press, but also generated a lot
of jokes. Starting with CDs with video materials, literally stitched to the punch hole
(after which it was impossible to read them), ending with the widely-cited dialogue of
Olinevich and the prosecutor:
(Prosecutor, indignantly): Do you even recognize the laws?!
(Olinevich, flematically): Of course, I recognize the laws of ... chemistry, physics.
The court was also remembered for its unprecedented security measures. The building was
surrounded by riot police, and before the beginning of the process, they were combed by
dog handlers and dogs. To get into the hall it was possible only through the frames with
metal detectors and registration of the passport at the entrance. The accused were
transported by a special convoy with flashing lights, guarded by a detachment of twelve
garbage. However, all this did not prevent lively and sincere support: at all five
meetings, those wishing to attend the meeting lacked space - people were standing on the
The verdict did not shock anyone. Olinevich - 8 years of the strengthened regime, Dedok -
4,5 years of the general regime, Frantzkevich - 3 years of the strengthened regime.
On the episode with IVS, Olinevich was acquitted. Dadk removed article 218 part 1, leaving
only "hooliganism" through Art. 18 of the Criminal Code of the Republic of Belarus is the
"organizer of the crime". None of the perpetrators of the burning of bigboards could be
identified by the investigation and the court.
Vetkin and Silivonchik received "chemistry" and were released for their betrayal in the
At the end of the process, the AFC-Belarus released a heartfelt text about solidarity and
intermediate conclusions drawn by the anarch movement.
All the accused soon went to the zones. Their relatives, the Belarusian Chancellery and
the democratic public of Belarus continued their struggle for their recognition as
political prisoners, and in November 2011 all three were recognized as such. Every year,
pressure on political prisoners-anarchists intensified: deprivation of visits and
transfers, SHIZO, PKT became revenge of the regime for recognition as "political" and
unwillingness to write a petition for pardon. Nikolay Dedok, three days before the end of
the term, was sentenced to another year of imprisonment under art. 411. But this, as they
say, is a completely different story.
The interpretation of the incident took an anarchist movement for several years, and some
issues are still debatable. But there are conclusions that can not be questioned:
1. Absolute majority of anarchists were not ready for repression of this level. Many
thought that the regime can only give a day, and for anarchists, no one will take, because
there is a goal more important - the opposition. People did not fully understand what they
are doing and how dangerous it is. Hence - the psychological breakdown on the first
The majority had no experience with trash. Even after the trash was covered in "May 2010,"
Spotlight School "in search of arsonists, there was a completely carefree atmosphere in
the movement, as if nothing had happened.
People did not give enough time to prepare for repression, to learn how to behave during
interrogations, information security. Those who insisted on learning this were often
looked upon as alarmists or paranoid. As a result: most people to a greater or lesser
extent gave the garbage the necessary information, supplying them with new information
about the movement, its structure and principles of work.
As for the a priori principle "Do not surrender your own," it turned out that it is much
easier to adhere to it in words than in deeds. Pompous words about brotherhood,
solidarity, ASAV and others for many quickly lost power when the prospect of sitting down
for 4-5 years began to loom. The overwhelming majority of the participants in the movement
were, even in theory, not ready to sacrifice freedom for their ideas.
2. The repressions of 2010-2011 were the first repressions against anarchists of this
magnitude after the collapse of the USSR. To combat them, a full-fledged anti-repressive
network was needed, which was not available at that time. However, through the efforts of
the Minsk AFC, solidarity comrades from Russia, Ukraine and European countries, with the
help of human rights activists sympathetic to the anarchists of journalists and public /
political figures, the anarchists were able to minimize the consequences of this attack
and to structure further strategies for their defense. Direct achievements include:
a) Recognition of anarchists by political prisoners (which, incidentally, led to an
unprecedented situation when the liberation of anarchists from Lukashenka was demanded by
foreign politicians at the level of foreign ministers of European countries or US
b) Legal Aid Organizations
c) The organization of sufficient financial support to the political prisoners themselves
in the zones and their relatives
d) Extensive publicity of the case through the media both in Belarus and abroad.
3. The "Anarchist Affair" seriously affected both the Belarusian society and the anarchist
If we talk about the Belarusian society, then:
- The recognition of the anarchist movement has increased by several orders of magnitude.
Olinevich's book "I'm going to Magadan" was read by thousands of people who are not
anarchists, all people who were politically interested in Belarus knew about the existence
of our movement, many of them gained a certain authority, and most importantly, anarchists
ceased to be unknown marginals, grata, becoming a full-fledged part of the political
scene. If previously non-state media often ignored the actions of anarchists, their voices
and opinions, now this is almost not happening. Thanks to reprisals and the court, a video
from the actions of anarchists, for which they were judged, was watched by thousands of
- New repressive laws were adopted. This is equating the arson of diplomatic
representations to terrorist acts (2012), the administrative responsibility for the
distribution of recipes for the preparation of explosives (2013), the criminal
responsibility for participation in the extremist community and the manufacture /
transportation of the Molotov Cocktail (2015). In some cases (as in the case of the law of
2013) it was announced directly that the law was adopted due to the fact that "anarchists
were preparing terrorist acts".
For the anarchist movement, the consequences were even more radical:
- The anarchist movement became more clandestine and largely unpopular. Instead of being,
as before, a large unified group, it was organized according to the principle of
initiatives grouped not by ideological preferences, but by the nature of the activity and
the degree of trust. The factor of personal trust in general has acquired enormous importance.
- The culture of security in the anarchist movement has grown at times. The giving of
evidence in the course of criminal or administrative proceedings in the overwhelming
majority of cases was considered an act incompatible with further participation in the
movement. Even the very fact of dealing with garbage is now equated with a gross violation
of safety rules. Using Tor Browser, VPN, PGP-encryption was not an exception, but the norm
- Anarchists were in the immediate focus of attention of the special services. If earlier
this place was occupied by the opposition, now the resources spent by the state on
struggle against anarchists, have repeatedly increased. Against the anarchists, in
addition to the KGB, there is a whole department of the Ministry of Internal Affairs of
the Ministry of Internal Affairs. To cover the anarchist meetings and detain anarchists
without hesitation, not only the OMON but also the SBR are involved. It was recorded the
use of advanced technical means (wiretapping in the premises, finding the signal of a
mobile phone), not to mention the external observation.
4.The division of activists into "legal" and "illegal" ones turned out to be largely
ephemeral and meaningless, as well as accusations against "illegal ones" on the part of
the "moderate" that the former substitute them for repression by conducting radical
actions (and such reproaches sounded repeatedly in the first months after detention). It
became clear that any activity is dangerous for the state, and any attempts by anarchists
to organize themselves and declare themselves will be harshly suppressed. At the same
time, debris actively tried and attempted to split the anarchist movement along the
"radical / moderate" line. Although it is quite obvious that the changes in the
legislation that followed in 2010 completely all the anarchist activity was outlawed. For
2.5 years, villages Polienko - just unsuccessfully taking part in the "critical mass".
After a permitted meeting with anarchists, he was sentenced to 3 years old by Svyatoslav
Baranovich - not even an anarchist at all. To attack the absolutely peaceful and legal
(from the point of view of the law) camp under Krupki was attracted by the SOBR. Even
those whose activities are far from being "incendiary" are being detained. From all this,
it follows that one should not play up to the rubbish in their logic, and that in any
repression against the anarchists, the state is guilty, and not other anarchists. And also
that in the anarchist movement, any methods of struggle have the right to exist, and the
criterion for their evaluation may not be the strength of the "rebuff" from the System,
but only their political effectiveness at the moment. Even those whose activities are far
from being "incendiary" are being detained. From all this, it follows that one should not
play up to the rubbish in their logic, and that in any repression against the anarchists,
the state is guilty, and not other anarchists. And also that in the anarchist movement,
any methods of struggle have the right to exist, and the criterion for their evaluation
may not be the strength of the "rebuff" from the System, but only their political
effectiveness at the moment. Even those whose activities are far from being "incendiary"
are being detained. From all this, it follows that one should not play up to the rubbish
in their logic, and that in any repression against the anarchists, the state is guilty,
and not other anarchists. And also that in the anarchist movement, any methods of struggle
have the right to exist, and the criterion for their assessment may not be the strength of
the "rebuff" from the System, but only their political effectiveness at the moment.
Two thousand and ten years was the most important lesson for our movement. Heavy, painful,
but in fact necessary. It was an exam and a transition to a qualitatively new stage at the
same time. Without a doubt, on our way to the revolution we are faced with even more
difficult trials, complex decisions, adversities and difficulties. And we can survive them
only in the same way as we experienced 2010: mobilizing all our courage and loyalty to
ideas. The guarantee of our survival in 2018, as well as 8, and 100 years ago, is mutual
support, iron solidarity and trust in our circles.
A - I N F O S N E W S S E R V I C E
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