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Ex-top official insults Belarusian language when shopping in Minsk

Uladzimir Zamyatalin. Photo: Ihar Kolchanka’s Facebook

Former chief ideologue Uladzimir Zamyatalin started a scandal because of the Belarusian language, director of a PR agency Ihar Kolchanka reported in social media.

The conflict started when the former top official was addressed in Belarusian at the Euroopt supermarket at the  Galileo mall in Praspiekt Pieramozcau. In this supermarket, cashiers are marked as We speak Belarusian, We speak Russian and We speak English.

Zamyatalin apparently proceeded throuth the cashier serving customers in Belarusian. He did not like her speaking to him in the Belarusian language. He started shouting at her: “I do not want to speak your freaking language. Read the Constitution and speak Russian to me!”

It was really him, Zamytatalin confirmed to He explained his position: “The service staff must reply in the language they are spoken to. This is a norm everywhere. I do not understand what all this stir is about. Nothing extraordinary has happened.”

Journalists asked Zamyatalin whether we would reply in Belarusian if he were an official. “When people speak Belarusian to me and I understand them, I reply in Russian. If I do not understand, I say it. I am not going to study another language at the age of 70,” he responded.

Uladzimir Zamyatlin will turn 70 this year. He was born in Tula, Russia and graduated from Donetsk military academy. He served as a political instructor in the Soviet Army units in Germany and in the Far East. Then he arrived in Belarus and headed the press service of the Ministry of Defense. He has a rank of Colonel.

Zamyatalin used to be a press secretary in the Council of Ministers, vice Prime Minister and deputy head of the President’s Administration in charge of ideology. At the end of his career, he headed the state film production studio Belarusfilm.