Among other possible reasons its residents name a sale of the land to a new owner.
At a special briefing held after the demolition of the village of Paulovichy, the chairman of the Vitebsk city executive committee Viktar Mikalaikin solemnly stated the journalists of the government owned media that all the residents of the village received apartments in the city in exchange for their houses. And compensations were added to that. That is why the noise around the topic was redundant.
A resident of the burnt Paulovichy village Alena Karavina tells Euroradio that “her family indeed received an apartment. But only 5-6 dwellers of not a very small village received the compensation”.
“People were given apartments in exchange. But some people received apartments which did not correspond to the houses that were taken away. From all the 34 houses of the village only 5-6 people received the compensations”, - the woman says.
In the distant 1992 Paulovichy was not destroyed completely. Money was not found for the heating plant planned on the site. Ten houses remained there which were bought from the state by former residents. But they did not succeed in getting back the land. The officials claimed that they would allow to do that if the people returned the city the apartments that they had received.
People in Paulovichy have lived in a non-existent village for twenty years more or less peacefully up until 1 December 2012, when they found out that their property is about to be burnt. They had two days to pack and leave. Another Paulovichy dweller Alena Golubeva says that she did not manage to save the valuable real estate:
“We took what we needed from the house. But we did not manage to do the same with the garages. We had two big brick garages there. We wanted to dismantle them for bricks, but were not allowed to do that”.
But the most interesting question is why the Vitebsk authorities decided to deal shortly with the village on such a short notice when they did not have any problems with it for the previous twenty years. According to the official version a building of a tannery will start here in spring, But there milk and meat processing factories very near to Paulovichy. It is doubtful that anyone would allow building a harmful chemical production enterprise here. That is why part of the residents believe that a favorable location of the village could interest someone of the local or Russian businessmen which wanted to build something here.
However, yet another version is considered the most probable. Alena Golubeva assumes that process was speeded up by the residents themselves, when they wrote about their problem to Lukashenka’s administration:
“It is hard to answer this question. But I think that such a rapid annihilation of the village is connected to our appeal to the president’s administration. We asked to sort out the situation, our issue. Nothing has been built on this land for twenty years and we asked to give us the land for use in order for everything to be legal”.
It is quite probable that someone in the Vitebsk city executive committee found out about the letter of the villagers and decided to literally wipe Paulovichy out of the map. If there is no village – there is no problem. Especially in the context of the coming visit of Lukashenka to Vitebsk. What if someone asks him about the village…