“Some anti-soviet, some anti-Belarusian! You do not support the policy of our president, then?” – such methods of persuasion are used by not the most talented ideologists of Belarusian schools and gymnasiums. For years, lukashenka carefully preserved the ussr in already independent Belarus. One of the attributes became the BRSM – an analogue of the komsomol, for which, as he himself told, he has very warm feelings. Indeed, such guys not only go to “patriotic” actions, but also help to create a “people’s militia”.
It is no secret that most schoolchildren join the BRSM due to threats and pressure from teachers, class teachers and administration. One such “speech” of the head of educational work of Minsk gymnasium once hit the Internet:
— I don’t understand anything. You are 14 years old – you are already making a conscious choice and should understand everything. If the motherland asked, the komsomol answered “Aye Aye!”. We have to do it.
— Nobody wants to do that. Who needs it? – children answer on the audio recording.
— The motherland needs it! There is such a price – to defend the motherland! … Either you are citizens of the Republic of Belarus, or you have to fulfil your patriotic duty or not?
We see today in the actions of the regime towards its citizens and neighbouring countries, which protection of the motherland this woman means. And for some reason, the children and youth of Belarus have to pay the price.
Less creative ideologists scare pupils that without a membership certificate they won’t be able to enter universities or lyceums (the best of which, by the way, were liquidated this year).
“I studied in the 9th class of Minsk gymnasium. My class teacher persuaded me to join BRSM. Naturally, I knew what BRSM was, so I refused. However, at some point, she told me that I might have problems getting into the lyceum. This method could have worked if I had not attended evening courses of preparation for admission. There I asked the teacher if this was really the case, to which she surprisingly replied ‘of course not’. When I told this to the class teacher, she got away from me.
I mean, there was an attempt to pressure, but if you hold your position as a matter of principle, then they get away from you,” the alumna said.
More cowardly ultimatums are used for students: for example, either join the BRSM or do not get a dormitory. The meanness is that a student who has no money to rent accommodation is forced to face a moral choice: either drop out of the university or join the BRSM.
But if you think that not joining the BRSM is difficult, then membership cancellation it is a whole quest. In the autumn of 2020, students massively tried asked to terminate their membership. To prevent this, the BRSM staff thought of nothing better than simply not going to work. The doors to their offices were closed. But this was only a temporary solution, so persuasion and manipulation came into play:
“The barrier to getting out is the guys in these organisations – they try to manipulate, trick and do everything they can do to make sure you don’t cancel your membership. … Whatever benefits these organisations give, they are not worth our lives, because then we are beaten, raped and killed for that money. So, what’s more important???” — wrote the student in the chat room of one of the universities.
We remind that BRSM members pay fees:
- for joining: 5 rubles
- then every six months:
- 1 ruble – for schoolchildren and conscript soldiers;
- 3 rubles – for students of specialised secondary schools, technical colleges, university students, village working youth and unemployed youth;
- 4.5 rubles – for urban working youth.
When they got tired of “ideological training” of students, they decided not to complicate things and started writing meaningless replies to applications:
“In September I tried to cancel my membership, sent an application, a badge and a ticket by registered mail (the application was written by a bot). A month later, they sent a reply that they can not exclude ‘due to the lack of the established sample in the application’,” — says the post in the Telegram-channel BSU.
Such resistance is quite understandable: the BRSM always needs a crowd. For example, for the forum dedicated to the day of unity of the peoples of Belarus and russia, for which they are even ready to pay 30 rubles.
But there is also an invisible side of the BRSM. Its structure includes MOOP – youth detachments of law enforcement. These are seems like some kind of police assistants, vigilantes, but in reality it is a training of future punishers in “omon”. The members of the MOOP will have:
- have the right of preferential admission to the educational institutions of the ministry of internal affairs and the faculty of internal troops of the military academy;
have the opportunity to serve in elite units of the interior ministry’s internal troops.
On 3 June 2022, lukashenka spoke about his intention to create a “people’s militia” in Belarus:
“And I thought that just in case we need to have this people’s militia, a group of people at each village council. There won’t be many of them. Maybe 50 people. But they should also have their weapons somewhere in a warehouse. We call them for training – they will take their automatic rifles (basically an automatic rifle, a grenade launcher, a gun) so that they can defend their homes. The people’s militia can be a reserve for territorial defence”.
On 21 September 2022, the state secretary of the security council start to spoke about the militia. According to him, “the people’s militia in Belarus is intended to defend their country, and Belarus poses no threat to anyone”. However, for 2 years already, the state power structures have been posing a threat first of all to Belarusian citizens. What to speak about a group with a smaller level of responsibility? In case of any crisis situation, such a “militia” will engage in looting.
It is clear that this formation will be staffed with ideologically “right”-minded people. The MOOP becomes the “ideal” solution. These are the people who have actually been raised by the regime: from 7 to 10 years old – as little octobrists, from 10 to 14 – as pioneers, from 14 to 31 years old – as BRSM members, where from 16 years old you can start training at the ministry of internal affairs, and in 2 years the country gets a poorly managed and already armed group in the form of “people’s militia”.
Dear parents, it is you who can protect your children from the regime in the first place. According to the statute, persons joining the BRSM between the ages of 14 and 16 must have the written permission of their legal representatives. Help them and support them to avoid joining the BRSM if school workers suddenly starts yelling about patriotic duty, because you and your child did not “borrow” anything from the regime.