Ihar Kuzminich: More lecturers to experience pressure soon


Why have you quit your job at the university?

They talked to me in autumn and asked me
to leave. Then my salary dropped to about 2 million roubles. It was cut in half.
Any Belarusian citizen should have the right to express their opinion even if
the opinion is different. A scientist must do it – scientists must express new,
different opinions. I am dissatisfied with the pressure exercised on me and other

What exactly didn't the university administration like?

They did not like two of my fairy tales published
in my blog: about the origin of the white-red-white flag and the tale about
"Pahonya". In fact, those are children's fairy tales. And the other
materials I was accused of did not have any hidden political motives in them. For
instance, who can be called a Belarusian writer? I expressed my opinion about

Historian Andrei Charnyakevich was fired from Hrodna University first, and now
you are leaving...

The university administration may not be
to blame for it. Charnyakevich and I worked there for 20 years. We did not hide
our views. We could not say one thing to students and write something else on the
Internet later. I lectured in Belarusian. It started all of a sudden. I was on
good terms with the university administration at the beginning of spring in
2012. Then the administration summoned me at the end of spring. And they asked
me to leave in autumn. The pressure began during the election campaign. I do not
think that the university had the courage to do it on its own.

Is the university administration exercising pressure on anyone else?


More lecturers are going to experience pressure
soon. I have already heard about several cases. By the way, it is not only connected
with the publication of the book Hrodna Studies.
it is much broader.

 Euroradio: What are you going to do now? Have
you received any job offers?

There aren't any offers. Maybe this free
time has been given to me so that I defended my thesis. I will not be able to defend
here anyway. But this is a different problem.

Historian Andrei Charnyakevich, one of the authors of Hrodna Studies printed in Poland, was dismissed from Hrodna
University first. Head of Hrodna City Executive Committee Syamyon Shapira confessed later that "he had made the decision
personally". A new rector was appointed afterwards –  Karol. And the Council of Hrodna State University did not
chose Ph.D. Vyachaslau Shved to work
as a professor there on April 1.

Photo by: savaboda.org