When Ivan Kolos posted a video denouncing Belarus's veteran leader days after the country’s disputed election, he thought he was just making a plea to fellow police officers to stop using violence against demonstrators and to side with the people.
Hours later, Kolos fled Belarus under cover of night for fear of arrest.
He says that within 20 minutes of the video being live, officers arrived at his door demanding his police badge.
“I said that I wouldn't open the door, I knew what it would lead to. Then they made up the excuse that they needed to collect my badge, I threw it in a bag to them over the balcony and then they left."
The police station in the city of Gomel confirmed to Reuters that officers had gone to Kolos's home, but said they had not sought to arrest him.
That night, he and his wife slipped out of their apartment block and sped by car to Russia.
Over the next week, they took drastic measures to avoid detection as they moved on to Ukraine and then to Poland.
"I was moved by a sense of justice. I saw how police officers, my colleagues, were carrying out crimes against their own people."
Allegations have been made against police for the torture of people detained during mass protests against Lukashenko, which the government denies.
The loyalty of the police, security forces and army is vital to Lukashenko's hopes of clinging to power as mass protests continue over the August election, which opponents say was rigged.
The EU and the United States are among those leading calls for a new election.