Soviet-Afghan war veterans to refuse state award
On 8 January president Lukashenka decreed to found a new medal commemorating the 20th anniversary of the total withdrawal of Soviet troops from Afghanistan. At the same time, Kletsk district organization of Soviet-Afghan war veterans declared they intend to return the medals. The initiative was kept up by a number of veterans across Belarus.
The wave of protest provoked by the deteriorating situation in the field of social protection of war veterans is likely to be supported by hundreds of veterans.
Soviet-Afghan war veteran and professional lawyer Aleh Volchak says the veterans are now considering the legal possibilities to refuse accepting the medal and avoid prosecution for contempt of state award.
The medal is to be awarded to Belarusian citizens and foreigners that had to fight in the Soviet-Afghan war of 1979-1989.