The 21st century. The centre of Europe. We endlessly admire our clean towns and cities, another Wonder of the World – the National Library of the Republic of Belarus, breathtaking stadiums, ever-growing possibilities for Belarusians… If you drive a couple of kilometers off Minsk though, you will witness the barbaric massacre of stray and domestic cats and dogs – our officials’ worst enemy and most dangerous threat. Housing and municipal services are scrupulously trying to get rid of these “evil spirits”, above and beyond their call of duty… Frustrated, common people shed tears. Their health ruined, they give up. Children that witnessed the massacre fail to understand how they can go on living with this burden on their shoulders…
Dwellers of neighboring towns and villages keep writing letters and making phone calls….
Public Association for Animal Protection “EGIDA” is launching a series called “Fascists are trooping across Belarusian Land”. We are going to tell you things you haven’t heard before. As soon as you learn these things though, you will be eager to pass them on to others. What is going on can rightfully be called THE CRIME OF THE CENTURY.
Entrance of the house where Valet, the dog, used to live – 37 Zheleznodorozhnaya Str.
The Town of Stolbtsy, Belarus. December 4, 2009. 3.20 P.M. A blood-covered sanitation truck appeared in Zheleznodorozhnaya Street (railway station district) and parked at Railway Square. Out came Major of the local Militia, named Urban, and public-service officials (or were they public-service officials at all?). They started shooting dogs with their firearms. A man, his wife and their four-year-old son (intentionally left unnamed) rushed towards their house wondering where the dog they were in charge of was. They were hurrying to hide the dog in a safe place and take their son, screaming with fear, home.
This time they managed to hide the dog. But they told me the story and agreed to write a letter to the Prosecutor’s Office... Later they changed their minds though.
The other day I got another phone call: the woman sounded hysterical, obviously crying, it was hard to make out what she was saying… When she calmed down a little I learnt what had happened.
On February 4, 2010 people heard gunshots and animals screaming, in broad daylight. Victoria (let’s agree to call the witness like that) looked out of her window (a two-storied house, narrow streets, ideal sight distance). Dogs and cats were being shot. Valet – the dog they had let inside their house to sleep on their doormat at nights – was being dragged across the road like a war trophy... Victoria rushed outside. Some other people had already come out… Suddenly, Valet lifted its head. The dog was still alive… Victoria darted towards the dog, stumbling… Crying, she realized that something could still be done… Then, all of a sudden, an appalling thing happened. On seeing that the dog was still alive, the man who was dragging it put the body aside for a while, fetched a tire lever and started battering the dog with it. Blood was spattering all over the place, but the man kept bashing the dog’s body like a maniac… On her knees, Victoria begged him to shoot the dog to put an end to its suffering… But the killers suddenly remembered that it was against the law to shoot in public places. Valet was killed in a ruthless way. Its dead body was taken to the local dump site together with other dead dogs, as though they were garbage.
Snow was covered in blood – it seemed it had been raining blood in Stolbtsy …
This cold-blooded murder was overseen by a Militiaman. He coordinated the work of the murderers and kept off the people who interfered with the work of the “cleaners” from Stolbtsy. The incident was video-recorded on the mobile phone by one of the dwellers of the neighboring houses (the windows of his flat overlook the site of murder). On noticing this, the Militiaman started threatening the man. Luckily, the latter was not of a cowardly type.
Victoria got to her place. She felt so sick that people had to call an ambulance. She has not recovered yet. Her son is afraid to leave the house and keeps crying at night. Now he refuses to turn off the lights whenever he goes to bed. But Victoria is not afraid to write and speak about the incident openly any more.
February 5, 2010. I took a TV camera and, accompanied by several people (unnamed for obvious reasons), left for the Town of Stolbtsy.
This is the place where a license to kill is issued…
First I visited the Capital Project Department of Stolbtsy, which is responsible for hiring and sending “killers” to town to massacre cats and dogs. I took the “Recommendations and Concerns” book and began writing. You should have seen the turmoil which started when our cameraman came in to film me writing in the book. Women were flinging out of all the rooms and calling their bosses… It appeared that none of them was at their workplace: Well, it’s all understood. It was Friday. Did they really have to sit there…???? Surprisingly enough, it took the director, chief engineer, maintenance man and others (you name it) only 10 minutes to arrive. Everyone wanted to confront me. Chief Engineer Dmitry Yaroslavovich Murin said that he would denounce me as a thief, claiming that I had stolen something from his room. I dared him to search me: I wasn’t wearing a coat, it was impossible for me to take or hide any of his “valuables”.
I have left a couple of questions of a general nature in the “Recommendations and Concerns” book:
1. How many animal catchers are engaged?
2. If there are no catchers, who signed the contract to render catchers services?
3. Where are the captured animals placed?
4. Do the people involved stick to Clause 28–29 of «Provision about capture, shooting, temporary keeping and euthanasia», stipulating that euthanasia is to be carried out under the supervision of a vet and that only registered animal drugs can be used for injections?
5. If shooting is carried out, what drugs are being used to immobilize animals?
Further were left some questions about that PARTICULAR case which took place on February 4.
We are looking forward to getting answers.
Meanwhile, I will tell you what happened next, when we found ourselves in the Town of Stolbtsy.
Having paid a visit to the Capital Project Department, we met Victoria. She accompanied us to the road spattered with blood. It was a VERY long road. Later, in front of a TV camera, Victoria told the whole story. We were invited to her place, where we copied all the recorded materials to our mobile phone. Such a shocking video it was! Then one more woman spoke in front of the TV camera, telling that her dog had been killed as well…
Later we were searching for people who could assist us in finding the dump site where the killed animals had been taken. It was getting dark. But we still decided to go. The dump site defied all description: You can hardly imagine the stench. Local “tramps” showed us the way to the place where the dead animals had been dumped. We saw their stiff paws sticking out of the heap of rubbish… Near the heaps of rubbish we saw a tractor. Apparently, it was used to press things out.
Suddenly we heard wailful miaowing. We managed to dig out a kitten from under the rubbish heap. It was grey in colour and resembled a highbred cat. We saw no traces of blood. Apparently it had been stifled or squeezed, its ears wounded and starting to get frostbite… Without a minute’s hesitation, the girl accompanying me put the cat in her bosom and started kissing it, elated that it had been rescued. We heard one more cat miaow, but this time the sound was VERY weak. We tried to figure out where it was coming from… In the light of cameras, we started to dig the heaps of rubbish with bare hands, falling silent from time to time… But the sound never repeated. We failed to find the cat (or kitten) that was calling out to us. All this was being filmed with a camera.
What happened in Stolbtsy is not a unique case. Such things happen in every town or village.
All the acquired video materials about the incident in Stolbtsy will be marshaled, edited and uploaded on our website www.egida.by/stuff.
We would like you to watch the film and make your own conclusions.
Our officials cover up such mass killing of animals. What else do we expect from them? It is they who made up and ratified the Laws that allow “garbage collectors” to behave like this.
Please do not hesitate to contact us: firstname.lastname@example.org (Nataliya Alexandrovna Belianova, Chairman of Public Association for Animal Protection “EGIDA”)