“Tanks are rumbling past the houses at any time, including at night!”, outraged residents of Zaslonovo village in Vitebsk region told TUT.BY news portal. People are complaining about the inconveniences created by the heavy vehicles from the military base stationed in the locality.
Zaslonovo is home to the 19th Guards Mechanised Brigade of the Belarusian Army.
Locals said that tanks drive through the village to cut short from one tank park to another. The vehicles damage roads and grassy areas on their way.
The biggest concern for the villagers is that there’s a school located just 150m from the track where tanks pass.
“No one cares about the safety of the children. Instead of doing something for the village, or at least not doing any harm, the military are doing what they want”, Vasily, a local pensioner, told journalists.
The man said that once, outraged by how the military seem to “show off” their driving skills, he stepped in front of a column to block its way, only to be told “If you don’t clear off, I’ll run you over!”
The local council said they are aware of the situation but can not do anything about it. “We have no influence over the military. There’s a half kilometre stretch of road in the village that both civilians and the army are allowed to use,” a spokesperson told the news portal.
This isn’t the first time the Guards Brigade from Zaslonovo has been in the news. In February 2016, a shell exploded near the village during an exercise, in April an armoured troop carrier badly damaged the car of people visiting their son, who’s serving in the brigade. The worst incident occurred last week, when a soldier was accidentally crushed to death between two troop carriers at the base.