My friend Andrei and I were detained on the evening of August 11 not far from the Yubileinaya hotel at the moment when we were returning home from a bike ride. The riot police in bulletproof vests quickly threw their bicycles into the paddy wagon, and they twisted our arms back, shouting: Lie down! Face down! After that they threw us into a paddy wagon, where other riot policemen "accepted" us. Here they began to beat us at once. I can't say that they beat me very hard. After all, I understand how they can beat if they wanted to beat us harder: I've seen enough on the video how people were beaten in the last days.
The blows inflicted on us were clearly not made at full strength. After that, our belongings and phones were taken away from us. In Andrey's phone, among other things, they saw videos from the Internet from peaceful demonstrations. This caused additional aggression among the OMON fighters. After we were "shoved" into cells, into the so-called narrow "glasses" located on both sides of the paddy wagon. One could only stand in them, it was very stuffy and there was simply nothing to breathe.
Upon arrival at the Leninskoe district police department, they immediately began to beat us right at the exit from the paddy wagon. They shouted at us to lower our heads, and I accidentally, not seeing anything in front of me, took a step to the side, and immediately blows with a truncheon flew at me. They immediately pointed to me as the main instigator, and accordingly they began to beat me harder. Why did they decide that I am the coordinator? I do not know. Perhaps because I am tall and sturdier than my friend and the two other men in our paddy wagon. In the courtyard of the police, all the detainees were put facing the wall, forced to spread their legs wide apart, and began to beat. They beat me severely, with frenzy, aggression, with whatever they had to do: with their hands, feet, clubs. The blows were applied to the back, legs, buttocks. Striking blows, the "men in black" shouted: "If you want a country for life, we will arrange it for you! For twenty dollars, protesting?" It was pointless to persuade them. Perhaps their bosses tell them so that people really go out to peaceful demonstrations for money.
Already after one man became ill, he was breathing heavily, and an ambulance was called for him. I realized that the riot police are actually afraid that someone might die here. Or perhaps I came across such.
At night, all the people were placed in two technical boxes, similar to garages, measuring about 8 by 4 meters. The premises were warm, ventilation was working. Here we spent the whole night with a coupler on our hands, which made our hands completely numb. They put my friend in one box, and me in the second. Basically, we stood all the time, we managed to sit down only in the morning. People continued to arrive all night. By morning, I counted about 35-40 people in my garage. Basically, there were men in the boxes, but in the box where I was there were 4 women: 2 young women and a mother and daughter. People were different: mostly young people, but there were people over forty and over fifty, there was even a very old man. With me in boxing was the head of tribuna.com Maxim Berezinsky (he, as I read in the news after, was released the next day). There were both students and people from Serebryanka, there were active protests there that evening. Many of the detainees had blood on their faces and bodies, it is evident that they were detained harshly, with aggression and the use of force.
The stories of detentions are completely different, people began to share them later. Someone was dragged right out of the car, severely beaten, and then brought here. They even detained builders from Pinsk and Luninets who came to work in Minsk to do the reconstruction of a building in the center of Minsk. The riot police took them right in the passage at the railway station. There was a man whose wife died, and he cremated her that day, and after that in the evening he drank with friends and just returned home. This is the last thing he remembers. His head was broken and his face was red with blood on one side. Many were depressed, considering all the beatings, all this brutality and aggression of the security forces, and people also did not know what else to expect.
We were guarded in turn by militiamen, many of whom were quite adequate people, they certainly did not commit atrocities like riot police, they responded to requests. True, there were those who were negatively disposed towards the detainees. In general, everyone was allowed to go to the toilet on request, they drank water from bottles, there was no food.
With the onset of the morning, the police called an ambulance for the three victims, who were feeling very bad. My leg continued to hurt badly due to blows with a truncheon and legs, and I asked the police officer to see a doctor. I didn’t even hope that the doctors could pick us up. I asked to examine my leg, because it was very painful and swollen, I hoped that at least they would bandage it for me. And the doctor, after the examination, told the police that he was taking the examined with serious injuries to the hospital. Already in the ambulance outside the ROVD, I realized that she did it on purpose, tried to save us in this way, and I am grateful to her for that.
We were traveling in an ambulance, and I heard what the doctors were saying about OMON. They despise him, to put it mildly. First of all, because the riot police shoot at people, beat them, so mercilessly and brutally maim. Also, doctors are outraged that riot policemen are rumored to be paid a lot of money for these "hot days". Already in the emergency room at the traumatology department, another young doctor told me what kind of beaten people were brought to them, showed terrible photos of wounds. According to the doctor, iron nerves are needed to calmly look at all this.