The storm has been brewing since Saturday. According to some information, it was then that a "conspiracy" was uncovered in the leadership of the Belarusian TV and Radio Company. “They said that part of the BT leadership in internal chats allegedly agreed to air programs about atrocities and torture against opponents of Alexander Lukashenko. On this occasion, even a night meeting of the leadership of the Belarusian TV and Radio Company with the head of Lukashenko’s administration Natalya Kochanova was hastily convened, ”the deputy said. Boris Garetsky, the head of the Belarusian Association of Journalists.
Employees of the Belarusian TV and Radio Company notified the management of the strike in advance. They signed and submitted this document to the head of the company, Ivan Eismont. In this document, radio and television workers demanded to invalidate the results of the presidential elections, dismiss the head of the Central Election Commission, Lidia Yermoshina, release political prisoners, and abolish censorship in the media. According to our sources on Belarusian TV, more than 300 people signed the strike notice. In total, the company's TV and radio company has 1.5 thousand employees.
On the morning of August 17, the Belarus 1 TV channel aired the news in the usual format. But then the old news broadcasts went on the air, and not the programs indicated in the TV program. Only music remained on the air of the radio station "Stalitsa". And then miracles began to happen. For example, on the air of the main Belarusian state TV channel “Belorussia 1”, music played for several minutes on the background of an empty sofa without presenters. Subsequently, the lights in the studio were also turned off. Later on the air of the state. instead of the programs announced in the TV program, the channel re-launched the old news broadcasts.
We tried to call the management of the state Belarusian TV and radio company by phone, but no one answered our calls in the morning - neither the head of the Belteleradiocompany Ivan Mikhailovich Eismont, nor his deputy Sergei Gusachenko.
NI asked to comment on the situation on the Belarusian television the deputy chairman of the Belarusian Association of Journalists Boris Garetsky. “From about 9 am at the building of the state Belarusian TV and Radio Company, TV employees began to gather. Employees of the ONT and STV TV channels also joined the employees of the state Belarusian TV and Radio Company. They did not show up to work in protest against the aggressive actions of the Belarusian authorities. In the morning there were 100-150 people at the rally. The participants demanded that the head of the television and radio company Ivan Eismont go out into the street for negotiations. However, soon it was reported that at 9.30 am Ivan Eismont was ready to meet with cameramen in the meeting room inside the building. But this did not suit the audience, they demanded that Eismont go out into the street and talk to all those present. After that, an employee of Belteleradiocompany went to the protesters and said that at 10.30 Ivan Eismont was waiting for everyone in one of the premises of Belteleradiocompany. But the audience demanded that he go out to the people and talk to them. Those gathered shouted: "Come out!", - says Boris Garetsky.
“I was at the rally in the morning. He passed to the shouts of "Shame!" Those gathered demanded to broadcast the truth about the detentions and torture. The journalists gathered to talk about the situation in which they found themselves. Many do not want to broadcast lies. There were demands to start peace negotiations. But none of the leadership of the Belarusian State TV and Radio Company came out to the protesters”, - said Boris Garetsky.
The popular TV presenter Svetlana Borovskaya also attended the rally. “How could I not come out? I am 50 years old, I have been on television all my life, I have never been ashamed of what I said. Today it was difficult for me to say "Good morning!" It is not really good. I found other words ... All cruelty must be punished, of course. I am for people to see the whole picture of what is happening. I have been working in television for 28 years. And now it hurts me to see that many of my colleagues are standing with their eyes swollen from tears. What is happening in the country "hooked" everyone", - said the popular presenter Svetlana Borovskaya.
Meanwhile, employees of the Belarusian television continue to leave. On August 13, the head of the presidential pool of journalists of the National Television of Belarus, Dmitry Semchenko, voluntarily left the ONT TV channel. The work book, according to him, has not yet been given to him. To do this, you need to return the work suit and other items from the work sheet. Semchenko is an iconic figure for Belarusian TV not only because he headed the presidential pool of journalists who worked with Alexander Lukashenko. He has been on TV for 11 years, a laureate of the Televershina national television competition.
“Today I know about 15 people who quit the state TV and radio. Among them are ONT economic observer Nadezhda Tsvirko, editor of the First National Channel of Belarusian radio Dmitry Sidorovich, host of Belarus 24 Yulia Yurchenko, ”said Boris Garetsky.
At 4 pm, a huge column of workers approached the building of the Belarusian State Television and went on strike. Among them are employees of the country's largest Belarusian Tractor Plant, the Minsk Wheel Tractor Plant. The workers who went on strike intend to continue their protest actions. Other industrial giants have the same intentions - Belaruskali, Naftan, MZKT, MTZ, BMZ. According to Belarusian journalists, among the demands are to stop the violence by the security forces and bring the perpetrators to justice, the resignation of Alexander Lukashenko, the recognition of the elections as illegitimate and the appointment of new ones, as well as the release of political prisoners. Since the authorities do not make concessions, workers declare that they will defend their civil rights through strikes.
According to the deputy. Chairman of the Belarusian Association of Journalists Boris Garetsky, the crowd of workers is now mingled with the journalists protested outside the building of the state TV and radio company.
What is happening now on Belarusian television? “All TV channels are working as usual. The protesters agreed not to go on editorial assignments today", - says Boris Garetsky.
By the way, it is worth recalling that Belteleradiocompany is an analogue of the USSR State Television and Radio Broadcasting Company, which existed in our country until 1991 and unquestioningly "carried out the will of the president".
The Belarusian TV hasn’t seen "Swan Lake" yet, but what is happening there is even more comical. The program of the State Belarusian Television now includes serials, stories about Lukashenko's meeting with the workers of the MZKT, under the heading "No President's Control" - student teams. And also - a grand rally "in support of peace, security and tranquility." It is obvious that the leadership of the Belarusian state television, loyal to Alyaksandr Lukashenko, has chosen the tactic “I see nothing, I don’t hear anything, I won’t tell anyone”. How long will this parallel television reality last?
“Nobody knows what will happen tomorrow. I don’t even know which country you’ll call tomorrow”, - sighs Boris Garetsky, deputy chairman of the Belarusian Association of Journalists...