Most residents of Mahilou are against using Russian flags in Belarus.
Radio Svaboda talked to people in Glory Square in the city centre. That's how Mahilou dwellers react to Russian flags in Belarus:
– I don't know why they hang them out. We live in Belarus. What's Russia got to do with it? I prefer our Belarusian flags.
– Why do they use Russian flags here? Let them hang them out in Russia. Some say it's looks good. I know that some hang flags out like a toy or something. Maybe they consider themselves the Russians. We should have our own symbols. I am for our old flag, the white-red-white one.
– I am not against. Russia is our ally. I've never heard that someone was beaten for a Russian flag. I have a Belarusian flag. I am a Belarusian, why should I have Russian flags?
– I don't have Russian symbols. Why should I? We are two separate countries. I think Russia is a country of criminals. Young people don't care what they hang out. They want to earn money. You speak Belarusian, but I cannot. Only five of my friends can speak Belarusian. This is Belarus.
– It's not my business. I wouldn't hang them [Russian flags] out. I don't need it. What can I show [by hanging a Russian flag]? I have Belarus. I don't need Russia.
– If they want to demonstrate symbols of another country, they are welcome. I cannot prohibit it. I tried to learn history deeper. It's not always that we were friends with Russia. I am not against our white-red-white flag. It had been our state flag until 1991, but the current one is an upgraded flag of 1951.
– I wouldn't decorate my car with any flags, because it blocks the view. As for other people, some do it. We are a free country. Some wear shirts with American flags.
– Everyone has his own interests. I do not condemn anyone. We depend on Russia. We are still fraternal countries. We would live much worse if Russia didn't exist.
– There's no sense in it expect for demonstrating support for a certain state. If they want to live in Russia, let them go and live there and hang their flags.
– I take it normally. Well, maybe they are from Russia. I wouldn't decorate my car with their flags. I am a Belarusian. Russia is another country.
Residents of Babruisk, Hrodna, Vitebsk, Homel, Orsha, Polatsk and Baranavichy reported that some people distribute or sell Russian flags. The campaign was initiated by pro-Russian organisations working in Belarus. A man from Brest became a witness of aggression from distributors.