Soldier Escapes From Test Site With Assault Rifle, Pensioner Turns Him Over To Police

On Sunday evening, the press service of the Ministry of Internal Affairs reported: serviceman Alexander Karatkevich, who escaped with a truck from one of the training grounds in the Brest region, was found. The man, locals say, was detained in the Lobani village of the Ushachi region. “It was I who called the police,” a pensioner Olga Ivanovna [a patronymic name – Ed.] cries on the phone. “I really wanted to help him. I feel so sorry for him.”

Alexander Karatkevich is 19 years old, he is from Rosson. On Saturday morning, the Ministry of Defense reported that a conscript had left the test site in a truck. Presumably, the agency said, the young man was heading to his girlfriend living in the Polotsk region. A manhunt was promptly launched. According to the Ministry of Internal Affairs, the car was found on the side of the road in the Ushachi region.

The soldier disappeared into the woods near the village of Sorochino, Ushachsky district.  The villages of Sorochino and Lobani are close to each other. Locals believe that Alexander was driving along the highway not far from them. Apparently, noticing that the police were in Sorochino, he returned and went along the forest road towards Lobani.

“He went along this road, and the police followed,” says one of the local residents. “On Friday evening, the police came to us, they said that the soldier left a car near the village and ran away. And then riot police arrived immediately, they went from house to house, to sheds, looking for him.”

Lobani is a small village, there’s nothing but forest and swamps out there.

“Nobody saw where this kid hid. For several days we had both police and soldiers here. They walked, searched for him with flashlights, launched the drone,” the interlocutor describes the situation. “He was hiding for three days, hungry boy. You see, he’s not a thug, I felt sorry for the kid.”

On Sunday evening, the interlocutor continues, Alexander came to one of the local women, asked for food. That very local resident’s name is Olga Ivanovna, she is 74 years old.

Photo from the telegram channel of the Ministry of Internal Affairs

“It was I who called the police, told about the soldier,” the woman cannot hold back her tears. “Somewhere at ten to seven, I went to check on the chickens, a cat walked with me. I am disabled, I walk with canes. I put on my galoshes and told it: ‘Murka, why aren’t you going.’ And then I opened the curtain in order to go further, and saw a soldier with an assault rifle. I was so scared, it’s good I have a strong heart.”

The draftee, the woman said, went into the house through the back door.

“From the kitchen, we have a small corridor, I leaned on the table there. He quietly, calmly put the rifle on the sofa, bent over, hugged me and said: ‘Give me something to eat.’ And I answered: my dear, go away from us. He came outside, I put bread, which laid on the table, sausages in a bag and brought it into the yard.

He thanked me and apparently wanted to drink. In the kitchen, I had a tank of clean water. He may not have seen it, already in the yard he noticed a cistern with rainwater, which was standing under the roof, he squatted and began to drink. I can’t … I’m so sorry for this boy, so handsome, so tall,” recalls Olga Ivanovna.

The woman told Sasha that she would not tell anyone about him, but then she nevertheless decided to call the police.

“I feel so sorry for him, maybe he would sit hungry again, who will feed him?” the pensioner cries, explaining her actions. “It’s cold outside, and he wore very light clothes.” According to the woman, the soldier entered one of the abandoned houses. “I did not speak with him, but he was scared, such a nice little boy. When I think of him, I start crying. I did not sleep tonight, the pressure got up, they called an ambulance. I can’t, I feel sorry for him.”

The Ministry of Defense previously reported: Alexander Karatkevich has no comments on service, he is characterized positively.