Posted: 22.12.2021 13:18:00

‘I could not keep silence’

Polish soldier asked for political asylum in Belarus

Emil Czeczko’s interview to Belteleradiocompany’s journalist Ksenia Lebedeva  

There was a lot of noise on the Polish border. A real information bomb exploded: a Polish soldier fled to Belarus, outraged by the inhuman attitude of official Poland towards refugees at the border. This is how the State Border Committee reported the incident:
“On December 16th, at 5.50pm, a Belarusian border patrol stopped a serviceman of the Polish Armed Forces, Emil Czeczko, born 1996, near the Belarusian-Polish border at the Tushemlya border outpost of the Grodno border group, in the border security zone.
The man said that he was a serviceman of the 11th Masurian Artillery Regiment of the 16th Pomeranian Mechanised Division named after King Cazimir. Its units were deployed to ensure protection of the border with Belarus during the state of emergency on the border territories of Poland. In connection with disagreement with the policy of Poland regarding the migration crisis and the practice of inhuman treatment of refugees, the soldier asked for political asylum in the Republic of Belarus.”
Watching Warsaw’s clumsy reaction was downright embarrassing. The first hours after the news spread in the Belarusian information space, the Polish media remained silent. Meanwhile, the command of the 16th Pomeranian Division spread a message that the soldier had ‘died while performing tasks’...
At the same time, for some reason, it was announced that a search was underway for the heroically deceased infantryman. Then the command said that ‘it does not confirm the information spread by the Belarusian media’. Finally, the last ‘gem’ from the Polish generals was the lightning news that the soldier had... disappeared! Where the soldier — previously buried by his command — could have disappeared, was not reported. The parade of absurd excuses was completed by Defence Minister Mariusz Błaszczak himself. It was pointless to deny further (as scans of Emil Czeczko’s documents had already appeared on the Internet), so Błaszczak hastened to declare that the soldier who had asked for political asylum was at odds with the law, and indeed had already quit the army.
The Polish public was quick to respond to this ugly performance by demanding the disgraced generals resign.
What did Emil Czeczko tell Belarus 1 TV Channel journalist Ksenia Lebedeva? We publish a fragment of the interview.
— Emil, tell us how you ended up on the territory of Belarus and why did you want to leave the army?
— I deserted from the army through barbed wire, tore my trousers and hurt my hand. I ran across the no-man’s land and saw that a Polish patrol was driving. I took off my uniform and ran in a roundabout way towards Belarus. I decided to leave the Polish army in this way because it is impossible to keep silent about what is happening in Poland.
— Now the Polish side says that you created a lot of problems, and in general they say that you ... died, that you don’t exist now.
— They just don’t want to admit that after everything they’ve done, they really want to hush up this case so that not a single soldier escapes. They couldn’t even admit that a soldier had escaped and told what had happened. Now, the only thing they are capable of is to make the worst person out of me, or even to say that I have died...
Czeczko also spoke about the killings on the border, which he had witnessed.
— Have you seen how volunteers from public organisations who entered the border area to help migrants are detained?
— I was in such a situation when a volunteer drove up and began to say: ‘Where are you taking them [refugees]?’ And the border guard just shot him in the forehead.
— Do I understand you correctly that they killed volunteers as well? Ordinary Poles? Did you see that?
— Yes, I myself have seen at least two such situations.
In an interview on Belarus 1 TV Channel, Czeczko admitted that he had to kill people. According to him, this happened for the first time in May, “It was at the end of May. It’s impossible to describe. It just feels like someone has torn your soul, and then you feel like you have no soul.”
The Polish soldier stressed that it is impossible to forget. “The faces of these people are always remembered. The faces of the first ones — those whom I was told to kill. And then you do not look at the face, only aim at the chest,” he added.
* * *
The Polish soldiers simply can’t live with their nerves. So, Emil Czeczko asked for political asylum in Belarus because he does not want to participate in the lawlessness that the Polish authorities are pushing the army into.

By Roman Rud