On the 13th of January, 2014 an unexpected visit was paid to Olga Karatch’s flat by Vitebsk social services and a policeman who came to check the living conditions of her son Svyatoslav and to compose a report.

The examination took place right upon the family’s arrival home before they had any time to register the new-born, who was born outside the country a month ago. This fact as well as the way the whole procedure took place and the phrasing of the report made Olga think that it was not an ordinary check but a state’s demonstration of power aimed to threaten the politician herself and her politically active family.

Olga Karatch comments on this:

I was sure nothing can catch by surprise in Belarus, now, however, I’m shocked. It seems that for Alexander Lukashenko even a one-month old baby holds the responsibility for his mother’s political views. What on earth a juvenile police department has to do with my family? Has my son broken the law already being born just 41 days ago? What social services have to do with my a baby who has loving parents, two pairs of caring grandparents and other relatives happy to welcome him in this world? Alexander Lukashenko is ready to oppress even an infant just because they were born in a family with different political views. No words, I just have no words.

This state and social services have done nothing positive for my son, even less than nothing. They only came to bring us stress and suffering. They haven’t done my maternity leave paperwork yet, but already here to check whether my son has a baby carriage and a baby bath. Of course, he has! I pray to God other children could have what my son has and were taken care of as I and my family is taking care of Svyatoslav. I was waiting for my son for 14 years – 14 of long and difficult years of hope, disappointment and pain. I’m sure other mothers can understand and relate to that.

And I can’t stress more, my son has everything he needs, and it’s a shame that this state not only can’t bother to support us in any way but in the contrary does everything to orphan my baby and deprive them based on political reasons. 


Olga Karatch has send an official enquiry to the City Office of Public Prosecutor demanding to check propriety of these visits and explain the reason behind these examinations aimed at her and her son.



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