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"Our Job Is To Give Power and Control Back To the People." New Interview With CyberPartisan's Member

Meet RearDen 🤵‍ — helps us sneak into enemy networks. We talked about volunteering, personal life, problems in politics, the cyberattack on BelTA and motivation to fight for a free Belarus.



Grandfather a Partisan. Volunteering. Family and Work


Tell us about what you do to help us.


Since joining the Cyber Partisans, I've been busy:

  • analysing the network device configurations we receive to understand where key or simply important network elements are, what nodes can be reached through, and how to put those nodes down when the time comes;

  • developing ideas and tools on how to do the above tasks more efficiently;

  • testing the developed ideas on my hardware before implementing the solutions in production.


Why did you decide to volunteer and devote a lot of personal time to the fight against dictatorship in Belarus?


Before 2020, I was building my career, family, and plans. But August 2020 and even more so on 24 February 2022 changed everything, destroyed all plans, and killed any hopes for a better future for me and my children. I could not accept this situation, to allow the guilty to go unpunished and continue to fill their pockets.


My grandfather was a partisan during the Great Patriotic War. I remember his stories and thought a lot about what is happening and will continue to happen when there are no laws in the country. The law enforcers and propagandists are now dealing with dissenters in a way that reminds me too much of how the Nazis and the police did to people during the Second World War. That's why I decided to become a partisan myself.


Why did you join our group?


Until August 2020 and afterwards, I observed what was happening, who was taking what actions, and who was saying what.


For quite a long time I was also watching the Cyber Partisans.


After the events in Kazakhstan, I realised that nothing can be changed peacefully. Then I decided for myself that I had enough of watching. I realised that I didn't hear any clear plan from actors on how to restore justice and overthrow the dictatorship.


Then I realised that Cyber Partisans and Supratsiv in general are the only ones who do something clear and real, not just talk. This is also now confirmed by the guys who joined The Kalinoŭski Regiment.


Then I decided to join the Cyber Partisans.


"August 2020 and even more so on 24 February 2022 changed everything, destroyed all plans, and killed any hopes for a better future for me and my children. I could not accept this situation, to allow the guilty to go unpunished and continue to fill their pockets."
"August 2020 and even more so on 24 February 2022 changed everything, destroyed all plans, and killed any hopes for a better future for me and my children. I could not accept this situation, to allow the guilty to go unpunished and continue to fill their pockets."

Do you combine volunteering for Cyber Partisan with your regular work?


Of course, I must combine it. Work in the morning, and cyberpartisanship in evening, at night or other free time. The salary [at my main job] is enough for me. So, I think all the donations that Cyber partisans get are better used for the fight, not me. 😄


Is it hard to combine it with your personal life and holidays?


It's very difficult. After all, every minute I spend fighting is a minute I haven't spent with my family.


Besides, it's hard to be positive and enjoy playing with your child, when you're constantly thinking about everything that's going on in your head.

It would be much easier to not think about what's going on at all, or to be able to switch my thoughts off for a while, but I don't know how to do that.


Have you thought about "turning the page" and going back to your normal life, spending more time with your family instead of volunteering?


I've thought about it, of course. But I can't. It would be wrong. What kind of world, what kind of future awaits my children? What will I be if I don't try to change that?


These feelings and thoughts intensified many times after the war began. After seeing children who fled the war, reading their stories....


I can't imagine what would happen to me if my children were forced to run away like that.


After all, now it is not only about the fight against the regime in Belarus. Our battle has taken on a much larger scale.


"My grandfather was a partisan during the Great Patriotic War. I remember his stories and thought a lot about what is happening and will continue to happen when there are no laws in the country. The law enforcers and propagandists are now dealing with dissenters in a way that reminds me too much of how the Nazis and the police did to people during the Second World War. That's why I decided to become a partisan myself.”
"My grandfather was a partisan during the Great Patriotic War. I remember his stories and thought a lot about what is happening and will continue to happen when there are no laws in the country. The law enforcers and propagandists are now dealing with dissenters in a way that reminds me too much of how the Nazis and the police did to people during the Second World War. That's why I decided to become a partisan myself.”

And how much time do you usually spend volunteering for the Cyber Partisans?


Sometimes only a couple of hours a week when there is a lull in our projects.


And sometimes from morning till night all weekend, when we do something important [in the cyber partisan group].


Plus, we have a lot of discussions on various issues, and it takes a lot of time too.


But if you look at the last year, you can say [that I've been spending] an average of 10-20 hours a week.


Have you acquired any skills since joining the Cyber Partisans? And if so, which ones?


Our activities in the Cyber Partisan group are much broader than what I do at work.


So, of course, I've acquired some. I don't want to describe the details here, so as not to indirectly point to our projects or my skills. Maybe someday I'll be able to share that, but not now.



Crisis In Politics. Hacking Of BelTA. Fighting Against Negativity


Have you been interested in the domestic politics of Belarus before 2020?


Yes. Since the early 2000s. Already then, I was not satisfied with what I saw around me, how admission to universities looked like, how issues were "solved" at work for parents, and how those who had any power behaved with disregard for others.


In the early 2010s [my] focus of attention and priorities shifted to building a career and domestic issues of family life. It began to seem like it didn't concern me anymore like life was good.


But 2020 changed everything.


Recently, I realised what I had been feeling since the early 2000s, and what it turns out has been written in the US Constitution for a long time:


"Whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness."


I hope the Belarusians will also come to realise the importance of this, and that future generations will have this tenet as an unshakeable value in their beliefs.


"It's hard to be positive and happy playing with your child when your head is constantly spinning with thoughts of everything that's going on."
"It's hard to be positive and happy playing with your child when your head is constantly spinning with thoughts of everything that's going on."

And how would you characterise what is going on in Belarusian politics inside the country now?


"A day to stand and a night to hold out".


A sinking ship, which is not sailing anywhere, and the crew is trying to fix the holes. And so as not to become a scapegoat for the fact that the ship is still sinking.


How can we characterise what is still described by the words "not up to the laws"? This is what happens inside the country.


And among Belarusian politicians abroad?


There is a lack of centralised aspiration to fight the regime. There is a feeling that the goals are like those of Strugatsky's heroes in "Inhabited Island":


"The main goal of some of the underground leaders is proclaimed to be the destruction of the system of rebroadcast towers to rid the population of deception, and especially the destruction of the Centre - the places from where emitters are controlled throughout the country. Other underground leaders want to seize control of the towers for their purposes. That is why the purpose of the towers is being concealed not only by the authorities but also by the underground leadership."


Who is who - let the readers decide for themselves, and time will then tell.


If you compare with 2020-2022, do you still actively follow the news now or less?


It's impossible to keep track of all the news - there are too many bloggers, opinion broadcasters, etc.


I only watch a couple of selected channels on Telegram and YouTube, [and read] what is discussed in our chats.


So, you could say that [following the news has become] less, more selective.


"Now it's not just about the fight against the regime in Belarus. Our battle has taken on a much larger scale."
"Now it's not just about the fight against the regime in Belarus. Our battle has taken on a much larger scale."

What from the recent news impressed you the most?


I think what's happening in Israel and how it affects events in Ukraine and how it might affect Belarus. That's from the global [news].


And from the local ones - our strike on BelTA on New Year's Eve. 😄


This is being hushed up, [so it's obvious] how much they were affected by our attack.


Although their reaction was not so much impressed as disappointed. We need to show the non-IT people more of the real consequences of this attack. 😎


Are you generally an optimist or a pessimist in life?


Neither. I have good days and not so good days. Depending on my mood, I can look at the same event through rose-coloured glasses of positivity, or I can look through grey glasses of negativity. In general, I try to control my mood and thoughts, and if I can't be positive, at least I try to get into a neutral state, because negative thoughts are unproductive and eat up energy and strength.


But in the modern world, the waves of negativity come more and more often, there is no way out of it, c'est la vie ["this is life" - interpreter's note].



An Important Period In the History of Belarus. The Task Of the CyberPartisans


Do you miss the Belarus that was before 2020?


Now I realise more and more that I don't miss it. We should have changed everything a long time ago. We just got used to it somehow, it was convenient. We didn't look at what we didn't want to see, we accepted it.


And 2020 showed that there were a lot of people [like me], a lot more than those who were happy with everything. Thanks to 2020, there was a confidence that I was not alone, that together we could change it. So here we are changing it. Unfortunately, it's a long process, not a matter of a couple of days, as it seemed at first.


Plus, the war has made everything much more complicated and worse.


How do you see this period in the history of Belarus in general?


If from August 2020, it is negative, but necessary. If there had been no [events] in 2020, what would have awaited us? The tsar passes power by inheritance. The entourage muddles its own issues. People make ends meet or settle for what they are allowed for now.


It's a return to the Middle Ages, a road backwards in the development of freedom.


I would prefer things to develop in a different way - freedom and democracy.


But we have what we have - by any means, at any price, by force, they seek to retain their power and control.


And our task is to return power and control to the people: a system where people will win in fair elections and decisions will not depend on one person; a system where laws will be upheld.


"Thanks to 2020, there was a confidence that I was not alone, that together we could change it. So here we are changing it. Unfortunately, it's a long process, not a matter of a couple of days, as it seemed at first."
"Thanks to 2020, there was a confidence that I was not alone, that together we could change it. So here we are changing it. Unfortunately, it's a long process, not a matter of a couple of days, as it seemed at first."

When do you think this period will end?


I don't want to guess. But I think that with Lukashenko's departure (no matter by what means) the problems will not be solved automatically. I think Belarus will face hard years of power struggle, and corruption and fight against it, the rivalry between groups of former law enforcers, etc. He [Lukashenko] had an opportunity to solve this issue peacefully, but he chose another way.


It is important not to give up until we create together a country in which we and our children will want to live and develop, improving it every day.

Our task [cyber partisans] is to help achieve these goals using the capabilities of modern technology. To remove the human factor from the processes, which can be the cause of the same corruption. Ensure transparency wherever possible.


I think this is a process without an endpoint in time. It is important for me that this process does not go down a path that will lead us to the wrong place. And if it does, to fight on.


And now, do you think things are going the right way?


I don't get that impression. Democratic forces are divided, and there is no desire to unite. There is no agreement in plans, even the goals are declared differently. As in the Strugatsky quote I wrote above: some want to change the system, and some want to use it further, but in their interests.


[But at the same time] the system of dictatorship in Belarus is collapsing. Few people like to live in such a system, where no one can be sure of tomorrow; they are afraid that tomorrow they will be arrested. It may not collapse as quickly as one would like it to. Some might say that the USSR existed in such a state for a long time. But back then, there was no such technology, when the news of many arrests was almost instantaneous. When information can reach a huge number of people quickly. When a group of computer specialists can crash any system or extract any secret information.


A lot of people say that as long as the Russian Federation hasn't lost the war with Ukraine, it will be able to have control over Belarus. That may be true. But that doesn't mean that we shouldn't prepare our plans and try to counter them [the Russian invaders] on a daily basis and try to steer the process of change in the right direction.



Addressing the Punishers. What It Is Like To Be a "Terrorist". The Future Of the Lukashenko Supporters


Which of the Lukashenko regime's collaborators do you dislike the most and why?


The law enforcement. The whole top brass. Judges and prosecutors. People who should serve the people, but instead they terrorise, beat, torture, imprison and even kill.


Separately, I can also point to the military. For them it should certainly not be acceptable to smear their honour. And as a result, some of them simply kept silent in 2020, while others supported the regime. As in Obi-Wan's iconic phrase to Anakin: "You were supposed to fight evil, not join it."


It makes me angry just thinking about it.


Instead of them, we are now doing “their work.”


"It is important not to give up until we create together a country in which we and our children will want to live and develop, improving it every day."
"It is important not to give up until we create together a country in which we and our children will want to live and develop, improving it every day."

Through our website, you can reach out to them. Is there anything you'd like to pass on to them? 😉


Some of you may think you're already in over your head. But it's never too late to start doing the right thing. Forgiveness can always be earned, and mistakes can always be corrected.


Some of you may think you are already doing the right thing [by engaging in repression]. Think about it, would you want someone else to do the same to your loved ones?


I would like to ask those who have children: do you really want your children to grow up in a country where hatred, intolerance and repression are preached?


I have already answered this question for myself. It's time for you to think about it and make the right decision about which side you are on.


Do you think we should be afraid of some of the Interior Ministry, special services, and military officers who will persecute us in Belarus after our victory?


Personally, I don't rule out such a possibility. I am seriously considering the scenario in which I will remain anonymous forever. Maybe only in my memoirs in my old age, I'll be able to talk about everything we've done all these years. 🙂


We are, after all, talking about the people who are doing so much evil now. Why do they do it: are they forced to do it, or do they do it of their own free will...? And if so, what will change them? What's going to stop them from retaliating for whatever it is they've come up with and decided to blame us for?


This is a very difficult question, to which I personally don't have an answer right now.


The Lukashenko regime has declared the Cyber Partisans to be terrorists. Does this affect your life in any way?


This is also a difficult question. I've already left the Republic of Belarus. And abroad... I don't feel any more in danger than any other Belarusian forced to flee the country.


"Few people like to live in such a system, where no one can be sure of tomorrow; they are afraid that tomorrow they will be arrested."
"Few people like to live in such a system, where no one can be sure of tomorrow; they are afraid that tomorrow they will be arrested."

Do you know any Yabatcas?


There are a couple of those who stayed in RB. But we have not been in touch with them since 2020. In general, few of my acquaintances are still in RB.


In your opinion, what should be done in the new Belarus so that people who were previously supporters of Lukashenko do not come to power?


I believe that in a fair election, such people will not make up more than 50%. This was clearly visible in the 2020 elections. In a democracy, everyone has the right to vote. I don't think it's necessary to restrict their rights in any way. In a normal country, a healthy society, they would be considered freaks. The way they look at those who come out with flags of the USSR and posters of Lenin right now.


But that's when you talk about those who were only supporting. Another thing is those who committed crimes and continue to commit crimes. Such people should be tried and punished. They should not be allowed to hold public office or work in education. Let them work in the private sector or as labourers.


It also seems to me that in the new Belarus, people will be more responsible and involved in political and public life, which will create a kind of protective barrier against the ideas of Lukashism.



Future In Belarus. Valuable Experience. Wishes For 2024


Have you thought about your life after the victory at all, how do you see it?


Of course, I have thought about it. So far, I am considering two options:

  1. To remain anonymous and continue to work, build a career, and live my life. At the same time, maybe I'll still [be] part of a cyber partisan group or a new structure based on the CP.

  2. To deanonise and continue building the world as I would like it to be, but as part of an open political group.


I'm leaning towards the first [option] for now. When the time comes, everything will become clearer. It still depends on when this victory will come and what it will be.


"I am quite seriously considering the scenario in which I will remain anonymous forever. Maybe only in my memoirs in my old age, I'll be able to talk about everything we've done all these years."
"I am quite seriously considering the scenario in which I will remain anonymous forever. Maybe only in my memoirs in my old age, I'll be able to talk about everything we've done all these years."

Is this your future in Belarus?


There are too many unknowns. I only know that Belarus will always be a part of me, no matter where I am. And I want it to be no less a part of my children.


It is possible to work for the benefit of Belarus remotely, as we do now.


Over the past three years, have you got an understanding of what experience Belarusians should learn from the people of the neighbouring countries?


From the Ukrainians - to defend their own.


Poles have shown by recent elections that it is never too late to overthrow autocracy.


The Hungarians have shown that the EU is not a panacea, not a solution to problems.


Scandinavia inspires me the most. It shows that it is possible to build a modern society without looking back to the past, only to learn from it.

Over the years, I have learnt that one should not strive to do [exactly] like someone [else]. One should strive to do it right by studying all available examples and options.


If Belarusians put democracy, separation of powers, law, freedom of speech, and responsibility for words and actions into the foundation of the state, and never allow this foundation to be changed - New Belarus will become the country to which one will want to return.


"Belarus will always be a part of me, no matter where I am. And I want it to be no less a part of my children."
"Belarus will always be a part of me, no matter where I am. And I want it to be no less a part of my children."

What do you think the year 2024 will be for Belarusians?


I don't dare to predict. It used to seem like a year was a long time. Now it seems that it is not so much. 2020 was as if yesterday, and we are already in 2024. All I know is that the Cyber Partisans will be watching what's going on and will be able to prove themselves if they need to.


What would you like to wish Belarusians in 2024?


Work, do, create, change, fight. Don't expect someone else to do all the work and improve your life for you.


Take responsibility for your future and the future of your children.

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