Another charge has been filed against some of the defendants in the so-called White Legion case.
As reported earlier, about 30 persons – former members of the defunct sports and patriotic organization White Legion, state-authorized sports and military club Patriot, Young Front activists, historians, as well as people who are not associated with any organizations, landed up in jail soon after president Alyaksandr Lukashenka’s had spread the word about ‘armed militants’ posing a threat to Belarus.
A long-read story dedicated to the White Legion has been published in today’s newspaper Belarus Today (SB, former Soviet Byelorussia). The state-controlled paper says that 35 persons are involved in the case of the preparation of mass riots; 20 of them were charged with establishing an illegal armed group In accordance with Article 287 of the Criminal Code, they may face up to 5 years of restriction of liberty or 3 to 7 years of imprisonment.
The information above has been confirmed by KGB spokesman Dzmitry Pabyarzhyn.
“For the first time in the history of independent Belarus, a case over this article has been initiated. The investigators are determining facts on creating such a deep-cover organization having a strict structure and discipline, unified ideological foundation, arms,” the article reads.
The publication states that the White Legion announced its dissolution and termination of the activities in order to ‘outwit the security services’.
There are several references to the fact that members of the White Legion repeatedly visited Ukraine – ‘to gain experience’. According to the authors, the participation of the ‘legionaries’ in Ukrainian tragic events was more than just ‘going on excursions’:
“We were told that there was evidence pointing to the presence of some of the accused in the zone of combat operations in the south-east of Ukraine.”
Міraslau Lazouski on Belsat TV
At the same time, the paper admits the lack of the facts confirming the ‘legionaries’ involvement in the war. Some members of the White Legion remain silent, they add.
SB, president Lukashenka’s mouthpiece, also slams the arrested Belarusian-born authors of Russia’s jingoistic news portal Regnum as well as the ‘military and patriotic’ camps in which pro-Russian Cossacks train and instruct Belarusian children.
“All those who quietly and insidiously undermines our independence, cannot live in the shadow long. The first strike was staged on Regnum’s ‘literary agents’ who tried to intellectually disarm Belarusians, cause a negative attitude towards us on the part of certain Russian political circles, who covertly called for Russia’s intervention. It is to be recalled that they were arrested, we are working to expose their actions and intentions,” the article says.