“The student who accused Balaba of murder was sentenced to 1.5 years in the open correctional facility”

Voices from Belarus
3 min readDec 15, 2020


On Nevember 26, the Frunzensky District Court made a decision on a criminal case against a student who wrote offensive inscriptions at the entrance board in Skripnikova Street, “containing a negative assessment” of the commander of the Minsk riot police, Dmitry Balaba, writes TUT.BY.

A 19-year-old student of one of Minsk university Ilya is accused under Art. 369 of the Criminal Code of the Republic of Belarus “Insulting a representative of the authorities.” The sanctions of this article cover the punishment from community service to freedom restriction for up to three years.

As a result, Ilya was sentenced to 1.5 years in the open correctional facility. At the same time, Dmitry Balaba asked for personal compensation for his moral suffering and to pay damages for him in the form of 1,000 rubles.

On September 26th Ilya decided to “leave his message” on the ad that was hanging on an information board near the entrance to Balaba’s house. According to him, he realized that this was an insult, but he wanted to express his opinion.

Probably, we are talking about the inscription “Balaba the Murderer” made with a ballpoint pen on the advertisement about furniture reconstruction. Exactly the same image was shown in the summary of the Ministry of Internal Affairs.

At the trial, Balaba’s testimony was read, according to him, he did not even notice the inscription, law enforcement officers called him and told him everything. When the three guys were detained, Balaba held an explanatory conversation with them in his official vehicle, then the young people were taken to the police department. Ilya publicly apologized to Balaba and other police officers. On the same day, each of them was sentenced for 15 days of detainment according to Article 23.4 “Disobedience to a lawful order or demand of an official while executing their official duties.”

The victim Dmitry Balaba did not appear at the trial due to his illness. Through the state prosecutor, he submitted a statement with a civil claim that the inscriptions caused him moral suffering, violated his personal non-property rights, therefore, he asks to compensate him for the damage in the form of a thousand rubles.

The state prosecutor requested a punishment for the student in the form of freedom restriction by sending him to the open correctional institution (“chemistry”) for a year and a half. She also considers it necessary to satisfy Balaba’s civil claim for damages.

The lawyer asked not to impose the punishment in the form of restriction of freedom, explaining that being free, he would be more useful to society, and would also be able to keep on studying, working and supporting the family.

Judge Andrei Mlechko decided to declare the student guilty of publicly insulting a government official in connection with executing their official duties. Ilya will be sentenced to the freedom restriction for a period of 1 year 6 months by sending him to the open correctional institution

Balaba’s claim for one thousand rubles is to be satisfied.



Voices from Belarus

Stories of people hoping for a democratic Belarus. Created, translated and moderated by a collective of independent authors.