2014 12/07

This question was actually raised up today at central post Office in Zhodzina, when local human rights defender Aliaksiej Lapicki dropped by to pay state duty for supervisory appeal to Miensk regional court and send post for its intended purposes.

At first one of the post officers Maryja Aczypouskaja received written data from human rights defender for the payment of state duty for supervisory appeal and probably misunderstood something written in Belarusian, as she denied transacting the payment to Belarusbank and explained that “central post Office in Zhodzina doesn’t interacts” – attention! – “with such banks”.

In order to make the necessary payment human rights defender had to forget about “one window principle” and go to the Belarusbank in question and to stay in queue there. However on returning to the post office in order to send the correspondence, the hidden problem revealed itself once again.

None of the officers could answer the question whether there were envelopes for letters of A5 format. Again the answer was “No, there isn’t”. However in several minutes time it became possible to buy an envelope from the same post officers. Among clients there were people who managed to translate to the post officer Maryja Iardanskaja what was required.

The latter answered with approximately the following: “One should speak as everyone. I was born not in Belarus and don’t understand the Belarusian language. And moreover I’m not obliged to know it! What for do I need it?!”
Then as it is said “correction of mistakes” took place – human rights defender explained the duties of Belarusian post officers, who work with the clients in Belarus.

It was a surprise that that was not the only adventure. Everything was only starting. Belarusian-speaking client of Post Office of Zhodzina had to receive a new “portion of adrenaline” very soon in another wicket of the post office when sending the correspondence.

After supervisory appeal to the Head of the Regional court Valery Krajko was paid and completed as a registered letter a language question was raised again – Aliaksiej Lapicki received his mail back together with the check and the change. When he offered to the officers to receive the envelope with the papers, they were received, but the officers reminded him in a peremptory tone: “you could put it a post box somewhere yourself.. ”. As they say, no comments.

While the additional personal data of “monolingual officers” was being registered in conditions of declared “Belarusian bilingualism” and of forced communication with them, an additional problem appeared. A man of impressive dignity heard an argument about the Belarusian language and decided to come out for “those like him” and addressed Belarusian-speaking opponent as follows:

– Do you want us to have the same order as crests did for themselves?! Look what’s happening now there!

– Are you the main “goat-like” there? Or are you just for them? Why do you let yourself to offend the Ukrainians so freely?! Who did let you do it? And where did you get from that the Ukrainians “had made that” for themselves and that it is not the brotherly east who every day “does” it for them?

There was a deep silence instead of the answer – as in a “shotup tank”.

Aliaksiej Lapicki noticed that: “After such a communication I had to take pills and demand for customer comment book from Post office administrator Zosia Navickaja in order to make a statement there”. (see photos)

As it was found out, the latter doesn’t understand either why her subordinates who work at Central post office in Zhodzina have to know the Belarusian Language.(!?)

We hope that the high management of the Central post office of Zhodzina understands a little more. We would like to hope that Belarusian legislation, however bad it may be, will act this time and “guest officers” will attend necessary language courses or will receive other “working tools” or will be moved to other “positions” and will do appropriate work not connected with oral communication and contacts with clients.

Do the new-comers have to study the Belarusian language if they acquired the citizenship, live and work in Belarus – that is the question!


1) Supervisory appeal to the Head of Miensk Regional court Valieryj Krajko on case about prohibition of picket on the 4th of August 2013 in Zhodzina in support of Alies Bialiacki and others political prisoners;

2) Appeal to the administration of the Central post office


Alies LETA for
Belarusian Legal Portal
Photos by A.Lapicki

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