Police Suspect Ales Pushkin in Damaging Monument to Smersh officer in Bobr

2007 2007-05-10T10:00:00+0300 1970-01-01T03:00:00+0300 en The Human Rights Center “Viasna” The Human Rights Center “Viasna”
The Human Rights Center “Viasna”

Source: www.charter97.org

On 8 May the monument Smersh (abbreviation for ‘death to spies’) military counterintelligence service officer Vasiliy Chebotariov was damaged in Bobr settlement by the unidentified people. That is the second case over the last two years.

The criminal investigation service staff of the Krupky district took the explanatory note from Bobr’s inhabitant artist Ales Pushkin.

-I asked, ‘Why have you come to me?’ Ales Pushkin tells to the RFE/RL. They answered, ‘People say that it is just you and nobody else’. Belarusian major Aliaksandr Kishkurna refused to talk to me in Belarusian. He also refused to make a report in Belarusian.

Ales Pushkin tries to answer why the act of vandalism has been repeated on the 9 May eve.

’Why it happens particularly to the monument to the Smersh officer? Do you know who the Smersh staff, NKVD were? For some reason, it is the monument to this particular person that has been regularly damaged. Maybe, it arouses certain doubt.’

Ales Pushkin stresses that nobody has ever attempted to damage the monument to the local population who were killed by the Nazis during the Second World War. Ales Pushkin wonders:

-Why has the monument to the stranger who died defending Bobr been occasionally damaged? Why is there such a trend? And the monument in the center of the city where the youth gathers has never been vandalized?

The region researcher Anton Astapovich goes on professional trips all over Belarus and he has seldom encountered monuments to the Soviet punishment bodies` staff.

’I got interested in this issue. There is a monument in Smargon to the senior lieutenant of the ministry of state security who was killed in 1948. In Kletsk there is a memorial plate. They had been shot there since 1944 to 1952.That is a phenomenon; memorials to military Smersh officers are occasional here. I haven’t heard of any other cases”, the historian says.

Monument to Smersh officer Chebotariov in Bobr was restored by 9 May.