Berkut officers can join the Belarusian riot police without competition.
A Salidarnasts journalist has learnt it from a riot police officer. She described her talk with the young policeman in the article. The full variant of the article is below:
We met on an intercity bus. The road usually takes about two hours, so my neighbour, a young man, decided to start a conversation in the first minutes of the trip. He said proudly that he was a riot police officer.
“Do you know what people say about your guys?”
“What?” he raised an eyebrow.
“You are trained to perform orders and not to think, just like dogs do the 'attack' command,” I said emotionally.
“That's not true! The police that hire people from street, without education, but we have the elite. Everyone has higher education. I came to the riot police not long ago, but I already see the brotherhood. Everyone will defend one another.”
I told the young riot policemen how the 2010 post-election protests had been dispersed, but he asked to not to speak so loudly. The story of student Maya Abromchyk, who was beaten by the riot police on bloody Sunday of December 19, provoked a strange reaction.
The guy said they watched videos from the Maidan protests at work.
“Berkut officers formed a human chain and didn't touch anybody. They then receive an order to resist the protesters, who were throwing Molotov cocktails at them. They moved forward and trampled people,” he continued enjoying the story. “Who knows how many feet trampled on them [protesters].”
“Do you think it is normal to stamp on lying people?”
“What's wrong? They had the order. You know, Berkut officers can join us without competition. They come to work for the Belarusian riot police.”
We continued talking and I found out that my new friend didn't follow the latest events in Ukraine. Perhaps, his chiefs haven't shown them new films about Donetsk, Odessa, Kramatorks and Slovyansk yet.
“Don't burden me with this!” he answered when I tried to tell him about fighting against terrorists and asked what he thought about the events in Ukraine's southeast.
I heard “don't burden me” again and asked why riot policemen were so tired. It turned out that the ice hockey world championship was for them like the harvest time for farmers. They worked from 7 a.m. to 9 p.m.
I took pity on the tired policeman and decided to spend the rest of the trip in silence.
“Why did you move over?”
“I give you an opportunity to have a rest.”
He slept or stared at his phone. A young boy with the face that forgot how to smile. We didn't exchange a couple of words for the rest of the trip.