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Sandro Rosell
FC Barcelona President

Belarusian Independent Bologna Committee is launching a series of articles with stories of fired university teachers. We cite articles in their entirety, without editing. All authors could hide the names of universities and departments for security reasons.

About myself

My name is Vadim Antipov. I worked at BSUIR, was a teacher of logic and philosophy at the faculty of Computer Science and Networks, at the Department of Philosophy. Graduated from Belarusian State University, Faculty of Philosophy.

The semester began in September, when the protests in Belarus were at their peak.

The university quickly developed a position like "the university is out of politics." For every university meeting, there were main points that in no case should any teacher dare to participate in protest events, that he should not show his political will, because this will negatively affect the university, the educational process, etc.

University policy at the beginning of the protests

At the very first meetings of the department, the very first question that was put to the head of the department was "Didn't you participate in these events there?" At first, I hid my active participation in the protests. And my activities did not extend to the university.

Despite the university's attempt to develop a position "outside politics", in reality, under this auspices, the position "against protests, for the existing order" was taken.

Teachers who are curators of groups, including me, were ordered to conduct classes with students on curatorial hours, where it was necessary to intimidate students, tell them about "responsibility for participating in unauthorized events", and also carry out indoctrination, with an agenda denigrating protests in general.

I conducted these classes, but I said absolutely opposite things to students, about the need to show political will and participate in the political life of the country. What is important, in my case, almost all students were in solidarity and actively supported the protests.

Why did I do this? I knew that against the ideology that supports illegitimate power under the guise of “outside politics”, there must be some kind of counterbalance at the university.

Detention and follow-up, threats

Events began to develop most rapidly after my arrest. On September 30, my apartment was searched, gadgets were confiscated, and later I was tried under two administrative articles, I received 15 days in a temporary detention center.

During these 15 days, staff and students supported me. My colleagues decided to write me a card of support, optionally signing under this card. Which, as my colleagues later told me, was extremely negatively received by the head of the department. It would seem that a simple postcard caused indignation.

This illustrates the real fear of representatives of administrative positions, for any manifestation of the positions of teachers or their employees.

After entering the temporary detention center, I was given the main condition "no more politics." Immediately after leaving, the next day, when I returned to conduct seminars, an "unscheduled check" by the head of the department was carried out in my classes, with a subsequent report.

It is important to understand that while being detained, I received packages and postcards from students in support. And at the university itself, students also supported me. I was extremely grateful and glad for such activity of the university.

And what really touched me was that the first classes with my groups after leaving the temporary detention center, I was greeted with applause. It gave me indescribable joy, not even the fact of my support, but the reasonableness, responsibility, involvement in important events of our students. Their solidarity.

There was also the occasion when I approached the students during the sit-in and thanked them for their efforts, for their support. Such a simple gratitude of mine became published on democratic telegram channels, and also caused another fury from the university administration and from my immediate leadership. They tried to tell me not to even approach the "protesting students", not to speak out, and so on. To which, of course, I refused.

Repressions, penalties, strike

2 weeks after leaving the detention center, I was formally declared a penalty in the university in the form of a reprimand, as well as the deprivation of bonuses, which is an essential part of the salary. The formal reason is the absence from the workplace for 15 days, an absence. Which is contrary to the formal rules, because during my absence, teachers replaced me, and in the pass column there is a formal reason that the employee cannot appear in connection with being detained.

By the end of October, during the announcement of the general strike by Sviatlana Tsikhanouskaya, I immediately signed up that I was taking part and was on the list of teachers who were on strike. I wrote a formal notice about this and sent it to the university administration. And also recorded, together with other teachers, a video message against the ongoing policy of the university.

The conversation with me was carried out in raised tones and without an attempt to diplomatically warn about participation in political events. I was directly told not to dare to express my position and participate in the strike. Because it's illegal. Naturally, I referred to the constitution of the Republic of Belarus on the right to strike. And that a strike cannot be illegal both legally and inherently.

On the same day, I was asked to write an appeal to quit voluntarily. "So as not to betray colleagues in the department." I refused and said that I had no such desire and let them fire me under the article. Under the article, they did not dare to fire me. What surprised me.

Instead, a report was submitted to the university administration that I was conducting classes according to the plan and there was no strike from me. Which of course was not true.

Literally a week later, there was a mass arrest of students, as well as Olga Filatchenkova, a teacher from our faculty. Which I knew and recorded a video message. A capture group in bulletproof vests came to her apartment, preparing to break the door. (This she told us just before her arrest). My colleagues and I, with whom we participated in all the events, were already ready for arrest. I remember the messages in our teacher's chat "I have to take a quick shower, because I don't want to meet they naked when they come to arrest."

Conversations with the university administration after the strike

A week later, we held a "round table" with the administration of our university, where there was the rector and vice-rector, where we discussed the topic of the strike and, in general, the protest activity of students.

I made a text recording of this meeting and published in the public domain. This made the university administration very angry.

Unfortunately, the protests sopped due to increasing repressions, arrests, and pressure from the authorities. The administration also joined in the repression. Teachers started getting fired.

Many universities in Minsk created new positions of "vice rector for security", to which people loyal to the regime, former security officials, were appointed. Such an employee was also appointed to our university, a former KGB officer.


After the end of the first semester, I had 6 months left before the end of the contract. I understood that at best they would not prolonge my contract. At worst, there will be an arrest for the second time under a criminal case.

As it turned out later, the worst prediction was true. And of course, I understood that the academic road in Belarus under the current illegitimate government is closed to me.

I decided to go to Poland. Immediately after leaving the temporary detention center in October, I received a humanitarian visa.

At the end of January I left for Poland. When I was already in Poland, I informed the management that I was abroad and that my application to resign would be brought the next day. As a result, I was fired of my own free will.

Some time after leaving, employees of the authorities came to my house, asked where I was, when I would return, and so on. Gathered information. Therefore, now I understand that I will not be able to return soon.

What I am doin now, how I am trying to help

In Poland, I decided to continue my academic path and decided to enroll in a master's program. I applied for the Kalinouski program, before enrolling in Polish universities in September, I learned Polish and passed exams at various universities in Poland. I entered the Jagiellonian, Silesian, Zelenogursky universities, but chose Zelenogursky for a couple of reasons.

At the moment I am studying for a master's degree in philosophy at Zelenogursky University, I receive a scholarship, I write articles. Studying here is extremely interesting, and I can also compare many aspects with different universities in Belarus. I plan to enter a Polish doctoral program after graduation.

It is also important for me to at least somehow help Belarusians, already from a safe place, there are not many opportunities, so I decided to teach Belarusians the Polish language for free, which I am doing now, combining it with my studies. Small, but at least some help.