Son still alive, abducted politician’s mother hopes (video)

Ulliana Zakharanka has marked her 90th anniversary. For the last 15 years she has not received any information about her son Yury, a former Interior Minister, who was allegedly abducted by Lukashenka’s death squads. A group of civil activists and associates of the disappeared politician have visited his mother.

Her wooden house in the village of Vasilevichi (Homel region) is full of guests today. The hostess is welcoming them with a smile on her face, which has been a rare occurrence for the last years.

The woman buried her husband and son; she is not aware of the other son’s fate.


{movie}Ulliana Zakharanka still hopes her abducted son is alive (ENG subs)|right|14693{/movie}


‘Everything was ok, but Valodzia died, he was a submariner. A year later they took Yura, which is my hideous pain.’

It started in 1999 when Yury Zakharanka was abducted by unknown persons. His family left Belarus and was granted political asylum in Germany. Her granddaughters have congratulated her today.

ULADZIMIR KATSORA, United Civic Party:

‘We and other people come because it’s impossible to turn backs on people’s grief. We feel deeply for Ulliana Ryhorauna and know that she is not only one who suffers.’

General Yury Zakharanka tops the list of disappeared politicians in Belarus. Human rights defenders have repeatedly accused Lukashenka’s death squads of these kidnappings. After leaving the position of Interior Minister Mr Zakharanka joined the opposition. He had authority with servicemen and initiated establishing of the independent Union of Officers.

ALIAKSANDR SASNOU, ex-Minister of Labour

‘Yury Zakharanka was a man of placid conscience, he had respect for the law, Constitution and people’.

A criminal case over Zakharanka’s abduction was initiated in 1999. As 15 years passed, the authorities has the right to archive it. Investigators failed to find either masterminds or doers while the mother keeps receiving formal replies.


‘I asked them to help, I’m alone now. ”We are looking for him,” they say. They have been looking for him but in vain’

Despite all this, the woman hopes she learns where her son is. And she keeps waiting for him.

Hanna Liubakova/MS

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