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Doctor loses job after protest against lead battery factory in Brest

Tacciana Fesikava. Photo: Facebook

Neurologist Tatstsyana Fesikava was fired from Brest Central Hospital. She took part in the protest “Brest women against lead” at the end of April. The action was allowed by the authorities but it did not save the 43-year-old doctor form losing her job.

There are no safe lead doses and official are ignoring more than 38 thousand people who are against the construction of an accumulator plant near Brest, Fesikava said at the meeting on April 29.

She received a phone call from hospital the following day and learnt that she had been fired and would not need to work on May 1, Taststyana told Euroradio.

"They phoned me at the end of the workday on Monday and said that I would not need to come to work on May 1. I was surprised. They said that they would explain everything of Wednesday. I was summoned by the chief physician on Wednesday and was informed that a full-time employee had been found to replace me (I was a part-time employee).”


Tatstsyana started working in the hospital in 2002. She worked full-time until 2008 and part-time afterwards. She is also a private entrepreneur and her business is not connected with medicine. Nobody complained about her work, she said:

"I was surprised at being fired right after the meeting. But they told me that it had been decided long ago and I had not been informed about it because the chief physician was away. He arrived and told me about the dismissal.”

People protesting against the construction of the accumulator plant. Photo:

When Fesikava was getting back her documents from the personnel office, she was told that another doctor has replaced her. But it was clearly not that simple:

"I only know that two doctors form one of the neighbouring departments applied for all the duties after I had left. The salary is not that big. I received about 200 roubles for working half a day. It could be more or less.”

The hospital stuff do not seem to care about Bresters’ protests against the construction of the plant:

"They sometimes were joking and calling me a Greenpeace member at work. They are discussing the issue but the doctors I invited to the meeting told me not to bother because the lead would not reach us.”


It is difficult to access the dismissal from the legal point of view now, rights defender Raman Kislyak told Euroradio. However, the political motive is evident:

"This is a complicated issue. It seems legal at first. But in reality this dismissal is definitely politically motivated. The person was fired for expressing her opinion and protesting against the construction of the accumulator plant. It will all be revealed in court, nothing will be hidden.

It is worth mentioning that there are a lot of vacancies in that hospital and doctors are still needed. That is why hospitals are always interested in part-time employees. But is it not the case for some reason.”

The construction of the plant was started in the free economic zone “Brest”. However, Bresters and the inhabitants of a few nearby villages are against it: people are worried about the possible negative consequences for the environment.

The expertise conducted before the construction showed that the negative influence on people’s health would be minimal and would not be a problem for the ecology. However, protesters doubt the expertise results.