The development of the situation in the country will depend on the people in epaulets.
I am the daughter of a military man myself. My father served 25 years in the military aviation. Our family has lived in garrisons and military camps for many years, including five years in Polish Legnica, where the headquarters of the Northern Group of the Armed Forces of the USSR was located, in 1980s. In 1986, my father was a liquidator of the Chernobyl accident, his crew on Mi-6 helicopters was hurling down lead on the burning reactor of the nuclear power plant. In 1988, he was supposed to fly to Afghanistan, but a tragic accident saved his life: a Mi-26 helicopter, on which Belarusian pilots began flying, crashed in Georgia. The flights were suspended for the time of inspection, and then the withdrawal of troops began...
The oldest helicopter unit of Belarus was located in Kobryn, where I was born. It was formed as the 65th separate helicopter regiment in 1962. That's why there are a lot of military men among my relatives and neighbors. There are also policemen among them.
There has never been a "civil war" in our family, although some relatives supported Lukashenka for some time, and I've been against this regime all my conscious life. Of course, we could argue ourselves hoarse, but continued to love and support each other cousinly.
Now nobody argues in our big family. There is absolute unanimity in it: it's enough of Lukashenka, he must leave as soon as possible.
So I think I know the sentiments among law enforcers. Most of them are against this regime. Their relatives and friends have also been taking part in pickets to collect signatures and rallies in support of alternative presidential candidates. Their fathers and mothers also get poverty pensions, and their wives - poverty wages. They want their children not to leave the country, but to realize their potential at home. They all go to the very same shops and buy food at the very same high prices, pay absurd taxes and fees, and see that life in Belarus is not developing for the better, but is going down the tubes.
Today, the group that has seized power is trying to force law enforcement officers to commit a crime. And I want to address the servicemen and policemen.
Remember that in the eyes of Belarusians and the entire civilized world Lukashenka is an illegitimate president. All election campaigns and referendums, which have been held in Belarus, are not recognized by the international community as free and democratic.
All orders of the inadequate Tsar are illegal. And the order to go against the people - is doubly illegal. This crime has no limitation period.
You swore an oath to the Belarusian people, not to the usurper. Your duty is to protect your fellow countrymen, not cowardly Sasha 3%.
I address the relatives of the military and police officers. Talk to your husbands, fathers, sons, grandchildren. Call on them not to go against their own people and conscience. It is easy to make a criminal mistake, it is difficult to live with it later.
I am sure that Lukashenka and his accomplices will certainly come to trial. Do not let your relatives become accomplices to their crimes, otherwise they will have to sit together with them on the same bench.
I appeal to all Belarusians: talk to your friends, neighbors and friends from law enforcement agencies. The development of the situation in our country will depend on how people in uniform will behave. A kind word, said in time, can prevent and change a lot.
In these crucial days we must be united and solidary like never before. We must become a wall. We must feel like one nation. Be together. And then we will definitely win.
Natallia Radzina, Charter97.org editor-in-chief