Aleksandr Lukashenko presents new KGB chief Valery Vakulchik to top KGB personnel

    The State Security Committee, the country’s number one special service, should meet modern requirements, President of the Republic of Belarus Aleksandr Lukashenko said as he presented new KGB chief Valery Vakulchik to top KGB personnel on 19 November.

    The President noted that Valery Vakulchik worked for the state security agencies and was one of the originators of the Operational and Analytical Center under the Aegis of the President of Belarus. Valery Vakulchik has been actively involved in the formation of a new government agency – the Investigation Committee. “The both agencies are operating efficiently today. The partial credit for that goes to Valery Vakulchik, of course. He demonstrated his managerial skills and aptness as a statement in practice. The major principles of his work are impartiality, competence and loyalty to our state. I know that he rejects inaction and verbiage. It was the major reason why he was appointed chief of the major special service of the country,” Aleksandr Lukashenko said.

    “I would really like to think that this new person in cooperation with you will turn it into the special service that will be able to meet modern requirements,” the President said.

    According to the President, the dismissal of the previous KGB chief was prompted primarily by shortcomings in personnel work as was determined by the government session held by the head of state on 9 November. “The unfit moral and psychological situation in individual KGB units was the primary reason. It had been caused by shortcomings in the organization of personnel work and ideology work as well as the skewed organization of the personal security,” said Aleksandr Lukashenko.

    The head of state remarked that the decisions that had been made had been primarily determined by the mood and opinions of the medium tier and the lower tier of KGB officers. “I’ve heard their voice. I can say that your voice has been heard. But I would like to warn you that your new chief is ‘squared Zaitsev’. It is not some good-hearted fellow that someone here may have been expecting,” stressed the President. “It is ‘squared Zaitsev’ but without excessiveness, without sloppy workmanship, a man dedicated to his profession, one of those few, who know really well what the President wants from the KGB”.

    In his view, there are some people in the KGB, just like in other organizations, who “would like to indulge in complacency and miss work forgetting that they wear shoulder straps”. “They need to look for another job. Do not be afraid that some people will leave you for some other place. Let them leave. We are ready for that and we are doing a lot to create the most comfortable conditions for the KGB servicemen,” Aleksandr Lukashenko said.

    “Being the President I see what is going on around our country and inside and I make great efforts to keep the country together, to prevent it from being cut into pieces and pulled apart. You see that, too. However, it is not enough just to see it; we need to do our utmost to maintain the integrity, immunity and security of our country. We are ready to offer any conditions for those who will do it. Even if their number reduces to 12,000, or 10,000, or even 6,000, even if only 3,000 servicemen are left, but these will be the most loyal people. The rest can go wherever they want,” the President said.

    Aleksandr Lukashenko reminded that a KGB board session discussed the existing problems in the government agency in early 2012. “Back then I gave instructions to revise approaches to the work with the personnel. Unfortunately, to my regret proper conclusions were not made. Moreover, some problems became even more pronounced and started acquiring a negative public response,” said the head of state. He mentioned the demise of Lieutenant Colonel Kazak. “Naturally I had to pay attention to the situation and had to take serious measures. First, the chief of the KGB internal security office was fired and then the chairman was fired,” said the President.

    “Nevertheless, if someone thinks that Zaitsev is a bad person and unfit for the KGB, I would like to underline once again that he may be unfit but not because he didn’t do his duties well. He understood his tasks in his own way. Moreover, he handled these tasks together with you and did it very effectively in certain areas,” said Aleksandr Lukashenko.

    In particular, according to the head of state the operation of state security bodies is now more systemic and goal-oriented. The level of information and analysis efforts has been increased as well as the level of counterintelligence services for government agencies. Measures have been taken to step up information confrontation with ill-wishers and destructive forces, to increase the performance discipline and military discipline among the KGB personnel. “But there were many shortcomings, which are unacceptable for the KGB,” said the President. The head of state also added: “Mr Zaitsev will not stay out of a job. Nobody is going to evict him from the country”.

    “However, like I said at the government session and I told Zaitsev about it, our key value is people. In the KGB the key value is soldiers, officers, and generals. They are military people but they are people, too. And they should be treated like people,” said Aleksandr Lukashenko. “Moreover, they are people with special qualities, gifted people, people with brains. One has to treat brainy people right. Executives have to as well. This is why the ability to forge a team, to create an environment of intensive and creative work is the main criterion to judge the performance of an executive”.

    “Bear in mind that we have many opponents and enemies. We have to fight them without mercy. But we have to trust the people, who fight them. We cannot see a bad person in everyone a priori. It is not acceptable for the KGB,” concluded the President.