The security forces’ measures to address the coronavirus outbreak lack consistency
By Andrei Parotnikau
The second wave of the coronavirus outbreak continues to affect the security sector, which shows no consistency in addressing the challenge.
On December 1, 2020, the academic year commenced in the army, which was marked by the following events:
- a meeting of intelligence officers and commanders of the Western operational command, held online;
- a meeting of operation and management officers of the Western operational command HQs and operational departments of the brigade headquarters, held offline, reportedly, in compliance with the epidemic requirements.
The coronavirus outbreak has affected the Interior Ministry’s operations: the police started an online training on crime prevention. Earlier, a similar format was tested by the Belarusian prosecutors.
However, along with the reasonable epidemiological measures, the security forces hold large-scale events, where coronavirus safety measures for participants are insufficient. For example, the largest defence exercises in the history of Belarus are taking place in the Mahileu region with the participation of military reservists. This region is among those most seriously affected by the coronavirus and was the first to introduce an obligation to wear masks in public spaces.
On December 12, 2020, a military oath ceremony was held for newly drafted conscripts and members of their families (the previous ceremony was held without relatives).
Coronavirus undoubtedly remains a significant factor influencing the activities of security forces, but their response to the epidemiological challenge is inconsistent. The authorities aim to protect the professional part of the security apparatus from infection but do not extend this concern to other citizens, including those temporarily drafted for service.