Report by Belarusian Interior Minister Igor Shunevich

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Belarus President Aleksandr Lukashenko heard out a report from Interior Minister Igor Shunevich on 23 November.

During the meeting the head of state noted that police are responsible for many matters but he was primarily interested in the public security situation. “I am primarily interested in your analytical work and the relevant trends in the sphere of public security. What concerns you?” asked Aleksandr Lukashenko. “I would like to understand what I should pay attention to.”

The head of state asked detailed questions about results of police work and measures taken to ensure public order. The president spoke at length about giving jobs to inmates in correctional facilities. “You must remember that when you became the minister, we had problems with giving them jobs. What is the state of affairs now?” wondered Aleksandr Lukashenko.

The head of state paid attention to the recent accident in Mogilev. Aleksandr Lukashenko said: “I’d like to thank you and guys from Mogilev Oblast for professionalism in capturing a particularly dangerous criminal, who seized a bank office and tried to take people hostage. Particularly the guy, who wanted to neutralize the criminal by driving the car, and the guys, who apprehended him.”

It was one of the best operations staged by Belarusian police, stressed Aleksandr Lukashenko. “I kept an eye on the events from the very start. It is only right that the guys acted roughly,” he noted.

Aleksandr Lukashenko described such crimes as tantamount to acts of terrorism since innocent people are put at risk in such cases. “This is why we need tough actions in response to such events. SWAT units and regular police units acted nearly like that. Well done! Nobody shifted responsibility onto someone else, but got on with the task at hand. They did a brilliant job,” noted the head of state.

The President went on saying he would like to award the law enforcement officers, who had been part of the lightning-speed operation. He instructed the interior minister to make sure that those, who had risked their lives, were rewarded.

The interior minister said the crime rate in Belarus continues falling. “Our people have fewer reasons to contact the police these days for the sake of assistance and protection of their rights and legal interests. It is certainly the result of the complex of actions taken by the government,” stressed Igor Shunevich.

According to the Interior Ministry, the crime control situation is stable, with positive trends in the structure and dynamics of crimes prevailing. In January-October 2017 Belarusian police received over 184,000 reports about crimes, 11.3% down from January-October 2016.

During the meeting the head of state asked about the operation and prospects of the ice hockey club Dinamo Minsk. “What can we expect? It is too early to speak about stability for the time being. Will we meet the targets set by the coaches and heads of the club?” Aleksandr Lukashenko asked.

The interior minister stressed that the club makes every effort to show proper results at the end of the season and advance to the play-offs. “We have a certain potential and ambitions. So, we will work harder,” he summarized.

Igor Shunevich also showed Belarus-made hockey sticks to Aleksandr Lukashenko. The sticks had been made in Belarusian correctional institutions and are being tested in practical games now.

The head of state closely examined the hockey sticks and gave instructions to improve them. In particular, Aleksandr Lukashenko believes it is necessary to reduce the width of the toe of the wooden stick. On the whole, it was noted that the hockey sticks were of good quality and are fit for training young athletes.