August 10, 2020, 20:58: Svaboda
Severe burns, shrapnel and rubber bullet wounds – people with such injuries are in a military hospital. There are also seriously injured women. Some were provided with medical assistance and let go home in the morning. In the afternoon of August 10, there were 26 wounded people in the second surgical department.
Svaboda’s reporter has talked to six victims in the main military medical clinical center №432 of the Armed Forces of the Republic of Belarus.
Vyachaslau: „Doctors appreciated our public position”
Vyacheslau approached the stele at about 10.30 p.m., there were a lot of people there.
“When I came, I heard explosions, but people did not run anywhere. I stood quite close to the police. For a long time, people did not move, someone put out garbage cans. There were no attacks or provocations. People shouted: ‘We are for peace’, ‘Police are with the people.’
After a while, the first flashbang grenade exploded quite close, three meters away from the place where we were standing. The people were frightened, tried to run away, but the place was too crowded, and it was difficult to escape. Then two more explosions followed. The third flashbang exploded right behind me. It “riddled” all over my back. A few shrapnels hit my back and my left arm. My hair got burned.
My t-shirt turned into rags. I barely felt the blood flowing. I took off the T-shirt, started looking for an ambulance. I saw two cars, but at the time of the explosion they were not nearby anymore,” Vyachaslau said.
He was next to the stele with his girlfriend. She was standing a little behind and was not hurt. Vyachaslau’s girlfriend called an ambulance, and they were waiting for the car for 25 minutes.
“While we were waiting, the guys gave us peroxide and bandages. The guy with the medicaments doused my back with peroxide and put the bandages. An ambulance arrived, then they bandaged the wounds normally and took me to the military hospital,” Vyachaslau said.
“Representatives of the Investigative Committee came to me at night. First, it was one guy who collected the data and photographed my wounds. Then came the second one when I was taking a nap. I woke up – and there was a camera directed at my face, I tried to hide my face. Then another investigator came and started asking me about everything again,” he added.
In the morning, a doctor diagnosed an eardrum rupture of both the left and the right ears. He did not know how fast it can heal and said sympathetically that the development of the disease differs. But it sounded encouraging.
The man said that the doctors treated the wounded with understanding and compassion, expressing gratitude for their public position.
“I didn’t expect people to be shot at. I saw people being watered, but not by a strong stream, but tenderly, from the hose, like flowers. They did not say anything through loudspeakers, did not warn that they would go against people. There were no provocations. I am shocked by all this,” Vyachaslau said bitterly.
Siarhei: A woman with a mutilated face was already lying in the ambulance car. And on the floor, there was a guy injured with a bullet in the stomach
50-year-old Siarhei lives near the „stele”. He said that he is a completely apolitical person, never goes to parades or opposition rallies. He said that when parades or other government events take place, he is forced to close all the windows, and he often sees snipers on the roofs of the neighboring houses.
On Sunday evening, Siarhei was simply walking to a store. He walked across the yard from Gvardeyskaya Street without going to Masherau Avenue because there were a lot of people there.
“When I was walking, I heard explosions and shots. I approached the Biggs supermarket and quickly ran toward the store. Then something rumbled loudly right nearby. I felt that I could not move one of my legs.
A woman led me to an ambulance that was standing nearby. A woman with a mutilated face was already lying in the ambulance. And a guy was lying on the floor, injured with a bullet in the stomach,” Siarhei said.
He was taken to a military hospital. The man has a badly injured leg with a rubber bullet having penetrated deep into the tissues.
Siarhei: „On the night from Sunday to Monday, 26 people were brought to the 2nd surgery department”
Siarhei also lives next to the stele and was walking to a store on Sunday night. Riot policemen, fully equipped, were coming from the side of the Lake Komsomol.
“At first I saw a watering machine but it was not a water cannon. The machines did not specifically water with a strong stream, but simply gently sprayed from the hose. And when the riot police left, they were already beating people. They started throwing flashbang grenades which are the reason for people’s burns and bloody wounds. When the shooting started, I thought I should go back to my house on Gvardeyskaya Street. But when I turned around, I don’t know who came – the riot police, special police unit SAKhR, or the police. Today, a man from the Investigative Committee, who interrogated us, said that it was actually the police.
And it was awful: people similar to who we are! The first guy beat, the rest grabbed people. I did not realize when I ‘caught’ a rubber bullet. Thanks to guys and girls who didn’t get confused and called an ambulance. At first, I could walk, but the wound is deep, the tissues are torn, it hurts a lot,” Siarhei said.
Siarhei has kept the bullet for himself because he understands that the people will be accused of organizing mass riots and malicious hooliganism. Ambulance doctors wanted to pick up the bullet, but he did not give it back.
Siarhei said that 26 people were brought to the 2nd surgery department on the night from Sunday to Monday, and there are also seriously injured women. One of them got very badly – injured arms, legs, face. The other two have leg injuries. One foreigner was also wounded in his legs.
Victar: „They threw grenades into the crowd without warning, it was very scary”
On Sunday evening, Victar was near the bridge across the Svislach River, closer to the Opera and Ballet Theater.
Riot police officers with shields were already standing there. They warned through loudspeakers that special means would be used, Viktar said.
“I started to walk away. I heard an explosion and ran. They threw grenades into the crowd without warning, it was very scary.” A flashbang grenade exploded next to him.
“My leg was covered with blood. I limped to where I had recently seen an ambulance, however, it had left already. But I saw a guy in an ambulance vest, he was helping someone. They went to a taxi car. I went after them. People shouted, „Here’s another victim!” They bandaged me too. And at 1.17 a.m. they brought me to the hospital. I have shrapnel wounds and severe leg burns,” Viktar said.
The guy added that the people were peaceful, constantly shouting „Police are with the people,” „Army is with the people.”
Kirill: “80% for Lukashenka is a bust. And North Korea has been set up here, with these Internet blackouts.”
Kirill was at the intersection of Masherau Avenue and Daumana Street on Sunday evening. Riot police officers with shields were standing there for a long time, and water cannons were behind them. Just near this place, the driver of the 44th bus blocked the road, and people managed to move away from the military. But there also were grenades.
“Fragments of a stun grenade hit my leg. I have numerous lacerations on my leg, quite deep ones. They hurt, of course.
From 3 to 6 a.m. the officers of the Investigative Committee came to us and interrogated everyone several times.
We are shocked with what is happening in the country. 80% for Lukashenka is a bust. And North Korea has been set up here, with these Internet blackouts,” Kiril stated.
Mikalai: “There are a lot of people here with bullet wounds. But the medical cards say that the injuries are fragmentary”
Mikalai was wounded in the back part of his head with a rubber bullet. He said that those who fired rubber bullets were on the bridge across the Svislach and at the intersection of Pobediteley Avenue and Dowman Street. He „caught” his bullet at the intersection of Masherau and Dauman Street.
“There are a lot of people with bullet wounds here, in the military hospital. But the doctors write in the medical cards that the wounds are fragmentary,” Mikalai said.
Svaboda’s reporter could not talk to the guys anymore. She had to run away because a young doctor threatened to call the security. It was not possible to visit the wounded women either as at that time they were undergoing procedures and medical check-ups.