How Belarusian Red Cross began to be run by state officials

Нормализовали? Как белорусским Красным Крестом начали управлять чиновники

#TyrannyPoisonsRedCross is the hashtag used in social feeds by Belarusians who urged the parent organization of the Red Cross to pay attention to the work of the Belarusian "daughter" organization. Representatives of the Belarusian diaspora from dozens of countries, as well as the writer Sasha Filipenko appealed to the Red Cross. But in Geneva, where the main organization is located, they didn't get a clear answer.

However, the Belarusian Red Cross has had close ties with the state for many years. 

It all began with criticism from newspaper

Нормализовали? Как белорусским Красным Крестом начали управлять чиновники

After the collapse of the USSR, the Belarusian Red Cross was headed by dentist Anton Ramanouski. It is impossible to say that he was far from power: soon he was elected to the Supreme Soviet, later he supported Lukashenka in the elections and referendum and moved to the House of Representatives. Nevertheless, the BRC pursued an independent policy and, what is important, distributed very large sums of money, including "Chernobyl" aid.

In 2004, the Belarusian Red Cross had another chairperson - Lyudmila Pastayalka, then Minister of Health and mother of Iryna Abelskaya -- Lukashenka's personal physician and presumed mother of Mikalai Lukashenka.

Нормализовали? Как белорусским Красным Крестом начали управлять чиновники

Ramanouski stayed on as executive secretary, but not for long.

A year later, "Savetskaya Belarussia" published an angry text about the fact that in the Belarusian Red Cross the emergency service existed only on paper. After that Ramanouski left for good, and his place was taken by Pastayalka's protégé Vasil Zharko.

Zharko would later succeed her as head of the Ministry of Health and even reach the post of deputy prime minister.

Thus, since 2005, the Belarusian Red Cross has actually been run by two people of the system. And it was in the same spirit.

MPs, former officials, heads of election commissions

Zharko did not stay in the BRC for long either: in 2006 he left to become a minister, and his place was taken by former Deputy Health Minister Viktar Kolbanau, who led the organization for quite a long time and then quietly went to work in a private medical center.

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