Six-year-old Kostya from Radoshkovichi educational and pedagogical complex kindergarten-secondary school dreamed of holding a real weapon and riding a special car. His dream came true during the New Year holidays. The Minsk riot police and Interior Minister Ivan Kubrakov came to congratulate the orphans. Radoshkovichi school is under the patronage of the Ministry of Internal Affairs.

Kostya’s dream was fulfilled on December 26 – orphans from Radoshkovichi educational and pedagogical complex kindergarten-secondary school, at the invitation of Ivan Kubrakov, visited Minsk riot police and talked, among other things, with its head Dzmitry Balaba. Children at the Minsk riot police base watched a New Year’s performance, were allowed to sit in the police cars, touch weapons — pistols, grenade launchers and much more. Kids tried on bulletproof vests and helmets are used in scattering the protesters, played airsoft (a game with the pneumatic weapon) and ate soldiers’ porridge[1].

It is not the first time for the security forces to give kids weapons in their hands or roll them in motor vehicles. In schools, summer camps, colleges, lyceums, boarding schools, regular meetings with the police are held. Employees of the Ministry of Internal Affairs become honour guests at the beginning of the school year, the last school day, International Children Day. Besides, the Ministry of Internal Affairs Security Department, riot police and other units participating in the annual actions «Our children», «Children are in the spotlight!», «Unified Security Day» and organize open days. And, unfortunately, lectures, quizzes and acquaintance with dogs are not limited.

On July 11, 2020, employees of the State Traffic Inspectorate, the Vitebsk District juvenile Affairs Inspectorate, riot police and the Security Department with their dog Dukat visited children from the Lipki health camp. The children repeated the rules of behaviour on the road, watched how the police dog working. And the riot police allowed the boys to wear bulletproof vests and helmets, moreover, initiated a duel between the children, during which the kids pulled up in police uniforms[2].

On August 26, in the Minsk Secondary school No. 67, employees of the Department of Security with traffic police officers held an action «Children are in the spotlight!». The children heard about the peculiarities of the work of the Ministry of Internal Affairs. Also, about the importance of quick response to alarms, about the suppression of crimes and detention criminals. And, of course, it was not without fitting uniforms: helmets and bulletproof vests[3].

On September 1, representatives of the Security Department of the Ministry of Internal Affairs arrived at the secondary school No. 5 in Slutsk. Judging by the photo, the younger students lined up to sit in the police car and take a picture for the memory. Also, children could try on hard hats, hold batons in their hands and put on bulletproof vests. «From the meeting with law enforcement officers, the guys left a lot of positive emotions,» – said the Slutsk department of the Department of Security[4].

On New Year Eve, employees of the Security Department of the Ministry of Internal Affairs visited the sanatorium nursery-garden No. 1 in Soligorsk as part of the nationwide campaign «Our Children». Kids participated in the performance with police dogs. Animals searched for hidden things, led round dances with the children and even «sang along» to songs. And after the presentation of gifts, the kids 5-6 years old turned attention at… police cars. «…turned on flashing beacons to the shrill sounds of sirens. Some tried on helmets and bulletproof vests, others besieged the sliding staircase, » the Shakhtser newspaper writes about the holiday[5].

On January 18, Mogilev Secondary School No. 46 hosted a winter holiday dedicated to Christmas. But for some reason, his guests were employees of the Security Department of the Ministry of Internal Affairs. In the photo, you can see how the guys play outdoor games and compete in strength, speed and agility, and, also, try on helmets, bulletproof vests, and pose with shields (which are used in the dispersal of protests) and with batons in their hands[6].

In February, the Academy of the Ministry of Internal Affairs held an open day. Guests asked questions and received information about the faculties. They could get acquainted with the work of the riot police in all its glory. The teenagers watched self-defence techniques, tried on helmets and bulletproof vests, hold weapons, batons and shields[7].

In recent months, after the elections, the Security Department began to visit schools, kindergartens and boarding schools more often. And children, accordingly, more often tried on the ammunition of the security forces. Perhaps, in this way, the Ministry of Internal Affairs is trying to show itself as a safe and child-friendly agency. But maybe, the security forces are already preparing children for the future, when they will have to take up batons and shields and beat civilians?

[1] https://reform.by/190110-komandir-omona-pozdravil-detej-sirot-poezdkoj-v-avtozake

[2] https://vitebsk.ohrana.gov.by/2020/07/13/сотрудники-милиции-в-гостях-у-детей/

[3] https://minsk.ohrana.gov.by/2020/08/26/в-центре-внимания-дети/

[4] http://slutsk-gorod.by/novosti/item/1-sentyabrya-departament-okhrany-posetil-srednyuyu-shkolu-5-v-slutske

[5] http://shahter.by/soligorsk/aktsiya-nashi-deti-sotrudniki-soligorskogo-otdela-departamenta-ohrany-pobyvali-v-detskom-sadu-1/

[6] https://mogilev.ohrana.gov.by/2021/01/18/пришла-коляда-отворяй-ворота/

[7] https://www.sb.by/articles/den-otkrytykh-dverey-shkolniki-i-abiturienty-akademii-mvd-posetili-uvd-administratsii-frunzenskogo-r.html

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