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"The only path to freedom is resistance." Interview with a Cyber Partisans who helps in attacks

Meet JtR, a Cyber Partisans who makes "tools" that help us in hacks and attacks. We talked about how difficult it was for him to get into Cyber Partisans, how he feels about the group now, and how he sees the future for Belarus.



Difficulties In Getting To the CyberPartisans, Doubts And Volunteering


Tell us, what do you do for us?


I do mostly minor things: making tools that help others [in hacks and attacks], cracking passwords, and other minor tasks.

How long have you been among the CyberPartisans?

I wrote to the bot in the summer of 2021, when Operation Heat broke out and it became clear that things were serious. But something didn't work out then, and the next time I wrote to the bot was when the channel called for IT guys to join the ranks [of the Cyber Partisans]. I told them what I could do, and did a couple of test tasks where I had to make specialised software for the needs of the cyber partisans. Some of that software is still in use even now 🙂

What didn't work out the first time writing to our bot?


It's hard to say. I got a response, but then communication broke down. Maybe something happened with the bot or there was no time for me.


Why didn't you give up and write again?


I will not hide it, at first I was disappointed that my help turned out to be unclaimed, and I wanted to give up on everything. The events of 2021 did not add optimism either: the incipient "great potato shitstorm", the unclear position of the "opposition" on the issue of Russia, the defeat of the OGSB, and so on. There was a strong feeling that the regime had adapted, launched a counterattack and everything would end in defeat, just like all previous attempts.


The second time I decided to write when I saw on the channel a call to IT specialists to join the ranks of the Cyber partisans. War was approaching, and it was clear that victory would require the united efforts of all people who cared. The public statements of Supratsiv's representatives and the attack on Belarusian Railways finally convinced me that I should join.


How do you feel working in our group now, what are your impressions?


I would say that our group is a model of building a democratic society. We don't always have the same opinions about events or methods of work, sometimes it comes to heated debates, but despite this, we keep unity and persistently move towards our goal.


I would be happy if this model was adopted by the Belarusian society and became dominant in a free Belarus.


"We don't always have the same opinions about events or methods of work, sometimes it comes to heated debates, but despite this, we keep unity and persistently move towards our goal".
"We don't always have the same opinions about events or methods of work, sometimes it comes to heated debates, but despite this, we keep unity and persistently move towards our goal".

How much time do you devote to the cyberpartisanship?


It varies. A full-time job leaves little free time, but I try to check in more often to get involved if there's something urgent. Mostly I work on finishing the necessary functions on weekends, when I can concentrate on the task at hand.


What motivates you now to spend so much of your free time on volunteering rather than on yourself and your personal life?


I think first and foremost I owe it to those who have been imprisoned or repressed by the regime, and to those who are still waiting for action from us abroad.


The realization that we have to help Ukraine stop the Russians at all costs is also motivating in a significant way. Once and for all. Otherwise they will continue to seize territories, kill and destroy everything in their path, and Belarus will lose even a chance for liberation.



About Work, Stress And Personal Motivation


Do your colleagues at your main job know about us, do they discuss cyber partisan actions in front of you?


To be honest, they don't say much good. They expect a lot more from us.


How does it feel for you to listen to such conversations? 🙂 .


Earlier there was a desire to argue, now it's just indifferent. And we talk to each other less and less.


Why do you talk to each other less and less?


I think it's emotional burnout. People have turned the page or accepted the fact that emigration is probably for a very long time and are just living their lives.


Do you think the cyberpartisanship helps keep you from emotional burnout?


Probably helps someone, but I'm motivated by obligation (as I wrote above), so I'm probably not in danger of emotional burnout.


Well, and when I feel stressed, I just break something or learn something new. It helps keep me on track.


"When I feel stressed, I just break something or learn something new. It helps keep me on track".
"When I feel stressed, I just break something or learn something new. It helps keep me on track".

Pros And Cons Of Being a Cyberpartisan


What do you like most about being a Cyberpartisan?


Probably the opportunity to put my knowledge and experience where it will make the most difference in the moment.


What's the most challenging part?


I think the hardest part is waiting for Moment X, when it will be "all or nothing" and we will finally put an end to the regime's story. That time will come and I'll be ready for it, but the waiting is hard.


How do you think you can speed up the Moment X?


It requires that as many people as possible join the volunteers in Ukraine and the Cyber Partisans, join the [Kalinowski Regiment] reserve and the Movement of Belarusian Nationalists, and by any other real (this is important) actions help Belarusians realize that the only way to freedom is resistance.


Is it hard for you to have to act anonymously without being able to openly tell your friends/acquaintances about your contribution to the struggle?


It doesn't bother me too much. Of course, sometimes I'd like to discuss my achievements or tell my loved ones what I'm doing. But I realise that anonymity is a sacrifice necessary so that the regime can't manipulate us.


What about deanon after we win?


When it's over, I'd love to meet the rest of our 'anti-regime group', sit in a bar somewhere and remember everything we did to win.


"The hardest part is waiting for Moment X, when it will be "all or nothing" and we will finally put an end to the regime's story. That time will come and I'll be ready for it, but the waiting is hard".
"The hardest part is waiting for Moment X, when it will be "all or nothing" and we will finally put an end to the regime's story. That time will come and I'll be ready for it, but the waiting is hard".


Leaving Belarus, Pride and the Road to Victory


Was it hard for you to decide to leave Belarus?


Yes, I didn't want to leave for a long time. There was a hope that people would gather their strength and the protests would resume, but when it didn't happen and the regime went from "crackdown" to outright terror, it became clear that I would be less useful in prison than in freedom, and there were no other options left.


Do you miss your native country now?


Very much. Most of all I miss the nature, which is very different from what surrounds me now. Sometimes, when I read the news, my eye catches familiar places in the photo and the memories associated with them come flooding back. I don't miss the regime, of course.


What do you like most of all in Belarus? What are you proud of?


I like its history most of all. The GDL, the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth and modern Belarus have directly or indirectly influenced the fate of half of the world and left their mark not only all over the planet, but also beyond its borders. Talented scientists, public figures and politicians, brilliant military leaders and revolutionaries hail from here.


We have something to be proud of, and it is very sad that now many Belarusians have forgotten about the glorious past of their ancestors and have chosen for themselves the fate of "tuteishykh" - people without the past and the future, and some of them are ready to grovel for the sake of scraps from the table of the new master.


As for what I am proud of, it is an interesting question ... I am proud of the fact that I have not become a "tuteishym", but have honour and dignity.


And what future would you like for Belarusians?


Absolutely definitely - a happy one. By this I mean independence and membership in the European Union or in the Baltic-Black Sea Union, as well as the border with China to the east of Smolensk.


Do you think now the primary targets for our attacks should be in the Russia or the Belarus?


I think it depends on the circumstances, but attacks on regime resources in RB are necessary so that people can see that we have not given up and continue to beat the regime in every possible way.


"Sometimes, when I read the news, my eye catches familiar places in the photo and the memories associated with them come flooding back".
"Sometimes, when I read the news, my eye catches familiar places in the photo and the memories associated with them come flooding back".

Were you interested in Belarusian politics till 2020?


In general, I was interested. I've been following the events since about the end of the 2000s. I knew the parties and movements that existed in Belarus, but preferred to stay away from them because of their flirtations with Russia, generally inarticulate actions and complete lack of work with people.


What political views did you hold?


It would be correct to say that I shared and share nationalist views.


Do you have any ideological supporters of the regime among your acquaintances?


There are none, or they have been hiding very well all this time, but the "indifferent" are like fleas on a dog.


What do you think can be done to make those who position themselves as "out of politics" and turn a blind eye to the terror in Belarus interested in what is going on in the country?


I think it's an incredibly difficult task, given the level of repression, thirty years of brainwashing, orientation to Russia (even of a significant part of the opposition) and the complete absence of independent media.


I think that the very development of events will inevitably push the "indifferent" and those for whom "there is no war" to finally decide who they want to be: real sons and daughters of their nation, ready to sacrifice something in order to gain independence, or nameless corpses being eaten by foxes and stray dogs.


It's quite simple, isn't it? Even if the war in Ukraine will be frozen now, the regime will neither disappear nor weaken repressions, and the "brothers from the East" will finally entrench themselves in Belarus and will go about their favourite business - robbery, murder and rape. With the full support of the occupation authorities. Ten years later, having licked their wounds and accumulated strength, these "brothers" will want revenge and will bring those "indifferent" and their offspring ahead of them.


"We have something to be proud of, and it's very sad that now many Belarusians have forgotten about the glorious past of their ancestors and have chosen for themselves the fate of "tuteishykh" - people without past and future."
"We have something to be proud of, and it's very sad that now many Belarusians have forgotten about the glorious past of their ancestors and have chosen for themselves the fate of "tuteishykh" - people without past and future."

Tell us, how would you like to see New Belarus after our victory?


Free. Without state interference where it is not asked for. With local associations solving the problems of local residents instead of "tzars" in their offices. With our national symbols instead of surrogate ones imposed on us by the occupants. With the Belarusian language* sounding everywhere where foreign languages do not sound. And most importantly - with people ready to defend their right to freedom instead of the grey masses floating along the stream.


How long do you think we have to fight against the dictatorship? Is this a fight for the coming months, a couple of years, many years?


I think we need to prepare for a long and exhausting marathon, and most likely the victory of Ukraine will not give the result that most people hope for. Like it or not, each of us will have to take responsibility for our own fate and the fate of our descendants.

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