1 October 2023, Sunday, 12:37
Sim Sim, Charter 97!


Iryna Khalip

Ladutko as a unit of humiliation.

I read the news: "A repentant video of director of Motovelo, Ladutko, has appeared on the Internet". I wonder whether he had his door kicked out or he opened it himself? Did law enforcers beat him to make him repent, or did he just agree? Was he taken to prison after the recording, or was he just punched in the kidneys several times?

It was an initiative from below. He asked it on his own. He repented in front of state journalists and called Lukashenka's rudeness a fatherly word which one had to obey. Hang in there, Viktor, Dmitry and Nikolai. It seems you have another brother, about sixty-three years old. Be careful. Such speeches, penitence, and public covering of heads with ashes will soon make him a senior in your company. He will inherit his father's fortune, while you have nothing but a golden pistol for all three of you.

Yes, Nikolai Ladutko is 63 years old. He reached the retirement age even with the retirement age growth. At that very age, a man who has no idea about upbringing dips his face in the dirt accompanied by the joyful laughter of other officials. In front of him, he addresses the deputy chairman of the City Executive Committee, Nadezhda Lazarevich (also in an informal manner) and demands to find a pension position for Ladutko, because he can't run and is not able to move at all. Ladutko, instead of demanding at least a respectful attitude, or generally to stop the humiliation, obediently keeps silent. He then runs to state journalists and tells about his strict but fair father, so that they could record his humiliation on camera and distribute it. Is this kind of BDSM entertainment, or what?

I don't know how good or bad Ladutko is as a "good boss." (In a 2018 Sovbelia article praising the progressive Motovelo director, I read there used to be hundreds of assemblers at the plant. Now there are only ten left. Ladutko considers it his main merit - "maintaining a small collective of enthusiasts. Each of them can assemble a motorcycle almost with eyes closed"). But he plays a perfect "punching bag".

When journalists asked him sarcastically why he was not trusted so much when he used to be the chairman of the Minsk City Executive Committee but remained acting director, he answered obediently: "The president has decided". Then he received the post of the mayor and served as a perfect punching bag. Lukashenka either promised to jail or dismissed him, or threatened to rip his head off. He said that one evening he would lock up the City Executive Committee and hire a new staff in the morning. In general, he had a lot of fun. And Ladutko was silent all that time.

They all keep silent. Three years ago, Lukashenka demanded to handcuff Minister of Agriculture Leonid Zayats. The minister also stayed silent. Lukashenka rubbed his nose in the "shitty cattle," as he served it. The minister remained silent again. Lukashenka shouted, "Kill them all!" He remained silent. But now Zayats is the deputy prime minister in charge of agriculture and all the cattle. Lukashenka still publicly humiliates him. On August 5, he promised to "cut the heads off" in the Postavy region. However, it's just another case in the chronology. It will happen again.

Officials have realized that the only thing one needs to work in the government is to be a "punching bag". One must be ready for public humiliation and, even better, to humiliate oneself as Ladutko did. Then, if one loses a position, there's a chance to get another one. Maybe not as high but with high corruption opportunities. Or, on the contrary, one will be promoted but with smaller bribe potential (all the classics of satire shared it long ago). Officials have realized it back in the nineties, when Lukashenka's guards at first removed Minister of Defense Maltsev from the hall in a live broadcast, while Lukashenka was yelling "get him out of here!" Instead of taking the last opportunity to speak out everything they were thinking, they obediently left with security guards. After a while (a very short time) they returned to the familiar hierarchy. Maltsev then headed the Security Council and returned to his beloved ministry. Even now, at the age of 73, is still a director somewhere in the Institute of State something. Kulichkov became Minister of Trade soon after being kicked out of the hall.

We can stay completely relaxed about Ladutko. He will get a job. Probably a much better one than the "collective of ten enthusiasts" out of hundreds of Motovelo employees. Well done, Ladutko. He sets a good example for his comrades. We are waiting for repentant videos from officials who want to make a career leap. By the way, to replenish the budget, I recommend not to upload them to the Internet and not to broadcast them on TV but to record hundreds of them and show them in cinemas. "Offended, Season 3". I guarantee queues at the ticket office and hundreds of thousands to the budget from ticket sales and the purchase of popcorn and coca-cola.

Iryna Khalip, especially for Charter97.org