Updated at 15:27,23-09-2020

Alexander Klaskovsky: During 9 months in prison, I got something, that I could never get at large


A year after the events of 19 December 2010 the most vivid images remained in memory. On one of them - a young man in police uniform with a bloody head, facing the special forces shields - Alexander Klaskovsky.

Remembering the events of that black Sunday for Belarus, Alexander told about the worst days in prison, that helped him not to break, and about what he has got during the months of pre-trial prison and colony.

- Alexander, you have to come through a lot of things: the KGB jail, the court, the colony. Almost a year thrown out of life. Do you regret, that you came to the Independence Square on December 19?

- Majority of the Belarusians were forced to change their minds about the authorities because of the economic conditions. And I had political motives to do this. Mr. Lukashenko from 1995 is not very pleasant to me. Back in 1996, I participated in the "Chernobyl Way" rally.

I do not regret, that this happened. These 9 months haven't passed in vain. I obtained something in thinking, understanding, perception of the world. That, what I wouldn't get, if I was at large. But of course, I wouldn't wish anybody to pass such a school.

- What was the hardest for you all these months?

- I spent 6 months in the KGB detention center, than 10 days in Volodarka and 3 months in the colony. Difficulties are different everywhere. But the most terrible and difficult was the first day in prison, and the last week before the release.

The first day, when they thrown me in the KGB jail ... A small camera, the size of a train compartment, there were already five people in four places, and I was the sixth. A few days later, they added the seventh. And people sit there for a year, year and a half. And you think: here you go crazy in a week, how to serve such terms? Since 30-40 percent of those who sit in the KGB, than go to a mental hospital.

... And the last week, when they teared the guts to appeal for a pardon, and threatened me and my family. I didn't sleep for two nights.

- And what helped to sustain, not to break?

- What else could I? Firstly, the feeling that I'm an innocent person, as they say, our cause is just. I knew, I was sentenced not for a some theft, not for a murder. And secondly, the attitude of the colony administration was special. We were greatly distinguished from the rest of the convicts. One can say, that the attitude was good, until they started to stir up the administration against us, in July and August, when they began to push to write an appeal for pardon. Then I was even thrown to another group where the ground was cleared.

In the KGB jail other convicts treated us normally. The elite of the criminal world of Belarus seats there: the people who held major positions of military colonels and above. And many came to me with their problems, to talk about what happens in Belarus and in the world.

- Perhaps, prisoners do not think of the authorities well...

- It's better for Lukashenko no to know how they think of him. How can they relate to him, when you can go shopping at a local store only for 5 basic units per month - 175 000. Those who was brought a real action (and those are more than a half), has only 1 basic unit per month. One cannot even buy a can of condensed milk once a week. So, how can they think of the authorities?

- Behind the prison walls was held a campaign of solidarity with political prisoners. Did you feel that support from outside?

- In the KGB we hardly felt something. The first two months was complete isolation: they immediately cut off a television, no newspapers. Even the older inmates, who subscribed to "Narodnaya Volya" and other newspapers of this kind, didn't receive them. Only sometimes they brought "Komsomolskaya Pravda" with carved articles, even "Sovetskaya Belorussia" appeared once with such holes.

Only three months later, when was the first meeting with my wife, I found out what happens at large. It's hard to name it a meeting, but at least we were talking. And a lawyer came to me only after three months.

Already in the colony from newspapers we learnt about a wave of support. And, of course, this positively impacted on us.

And now, after a few months after release, do you manage to adapt, to get back to normal life?

- First weeks, a month after the release, it was an euphoria. You doesn't really understand what is happening around - just so happy that you are at large with family and friends. And then those first feelings pass, and you see everything around. It was even hard to go by public transport, because these empty eyes, gray clothes create a pessimistic mood. It is especially hard to go near the tractor factory, when their shift ends. They occupy this little public garden, and 200 people drink from the bottle ... what they're drinking, the byrlo (very low quality vine - udf.by) probably. How many KGB agents monitor the mood...