Minsk police spokesman Alexandr Lastovski provoked a heated discussion among Belarusians with one photo.
The photo, posted on Facebook, shows a young girl pictured in front of a war monument in the centre of Minsk. The girl is wearing a hat, and, for some reason, only underwear that barely covers her bottom.
“This picture was sent to me as a complaint. What do you think we should do with her: a) understand and forgive, b) find and punish?” Lastovski asked his friends and followers.
The post received over 450 comments and mixed reaction. Many people saw no harm in what the girl did.
“We should understand, forgive, find and ask her for more pics”, one person wrote. “I don’t understand what’s bad about it. How is this place different from other places? Unless she’s written something offensive in the caption…”, another user said. “What’s the violation? Why then you don’t punish men who go topless in summer?”, came in one more opinion.
However, there was a big number of people who condemned the girl. “She deserves punishment, it’s total disrespect of the falled in the war!”, many users said.
Other people suggested that police should probably deal with real offenders rather than such cases.
A brilliant solution was proposed by a famous photographer Siarhei Hudzilin, who “dressed” the girl. “Guys, problem solved!”, he wrote.
The model in the picture is 21-year-old Violetta Atayeva. The girl has participated in many photo shoots, including rather bold ones. She also starred in a video for a song “Warriors of Light” by the Belarusian rock band Lyapis Trubetskoy.
The photographer who made the pictures said they were taken in summer. He believes their duo should be “uderstood and forgiven”.
“No one has done anything wrong, and there’s is nothing offensive in this picture. This is confirmed by positive responses and comments to the picture in social networks”, he said.
The young man added that the photo shoot took place early in the morning and no one “saw us”.
On Monday morning the official thanked FB users for feedback and closed the post.
Public sex or nudity displays can have rather serious consequences in Belarus.
For example, in summer a young couple from Minsk was sentenced to one year of suspended imprisonment and 100 hours of public works after someone took a picture of them having sex early in the morning in the middle of the street in one of the residential districts of the capital.
The picture quickly went viral, and police was forced to react. The author of the shot remained unknown.
And what do YOU think?