Minsk veterans attacked the editorial office of "Narodnaya Volya" on April 6. The action was supervised by security agencies and covered by state TV channels.
Interestingly, it was the first action near the President’s Administration ever allowed by Minsk City Executive Committee.
About 30 participants of the picket were holding the following banners "No slander!", "Shame on falsifiers of history", "Syaredzich! We will not allow you to eliminate veterans" and others. The editor-in-chief of "Narodnaya Volya" Svyatlana Kalinkina has explained to ERB that the action’s participants were indignant at an article of Illya Kopyl’s memories about the Second World War.
Svyatlana Kalinkina: "The newspaper "Narodnaya Volya" published some recollections about the war – the book "Nyabyshyna. War" by Illya Kopyl. It does not correspond to the official censorship. These are recollections about some other war – memories of a teenager who remembers that partisans did not only liberate them but were also the people Belarusian villagers were afraid of".
However, Kalinkina thinks that the veterans’ action had another goal. The journalist is sure that the picket should be considered as a continuation of the campaign of pressure on independent mass media in the country.
Svyatlana Kalinkina: "Veterans were exited but the excitement was senseless. We think that there can be no right or wrong memories about those events. We can get some understanding of the real events only if we analyze different truths. I think that everything happening to independent mass media now is connected with the political campaign and the presidential elections. Not a single political campaign has been conducted without exercising pressure on mass media in Belarus. The authorities are just trying to do it with the help of other people – veterans".
By the way, veterans were indignant at the fact that the editor-in-chief did not come out to meet them. They tried to find him in the office of "Narodnaya Volya" with the help of state journalists. However, Svyatlana Kalinkina says that they did not phone or inform the edition about their action in advance.