State-run TV channel blurs white-red-white flag on musician's T-shirt

Screenshot from the ONT TV video / Pavel Belavus

ONT, a state-run TV channel in Belarus, chose to blur the white-red-white national Belarusian flag on the T-shirt of Yury Stylski, the front-man of the popular punk-rock band Dai Darohu from Brest, in their televised pre-recorded version of the Rock za Bobrov music festival near Minsk earlier in August. When on stage, Stylski worn a T-shirt reading "Tactical group Belarus" meaning the unit of Belarusian volunteers fighting in the Ukrainian armed forces. The musician had the same T-shirt on when he was answering questions from an ONT correspondent. The flag was blurred on this footage of the interview.


Screenshot from the ONT footage / Pavel Belavus

“We will not comment on this as there is nothing to comment," ONT press office told Euroradio.

The festival took place on 4 August at the Baravaja airstrip in the Minsk suburbs. The televised version was aired on 26 August. Dai Darohu's set was scheduled for the first part of the concert when it was hot and Stylski removed his controversial T-shirt in-between his numbers.

Photo: Rock za Bobrov organizers
Фота: арганізатары фэста "Рок за Баброў"

“I know what this T-shirt is all about. I always wear it. I have learned about blurring from you. During the chat with the ONT correspondent, there were no questions about the T-shirt asked. I am not going to approach the channel and try to sort it out. I don't care. This whole situation is just obvious," Stylski told Euroradio.

The Tactical Group 'Belarus' is a group of volunteers who have since 2014 taken part in combat in eastern Ukraine fighting for the pro-Ukraine forces. The print on the T-shirt depicts a man in camouflage walking on a road and holding the historical white-red-white flag of Belarus.

In Belarus, the Tactical Group 'Belarus' community in Vkontakte is blocked under the resolution of the Ministry of Information.