On March 12, Belarusian journalist Dzyanis Ivashyn was detained in his flat in Hrodna at about 6 pm. According to eyewitnesses, he was put into a blue minibus and driven away.
It is the KGB officers who took Dzyanis away, his mother Lyudmila says. The journalist’s flat was searched; his wife Volha is not answering the phone.
Dzyanis Ivashyn is a reputed investigative journalist; he contributes to Informnapalm OSINT community and the Novy Chas newspaper. InformNapalm emerged as a response to the Russian aggression in Ukraine in March 2014. It aims at informing foreign readers about the developments in Ukraine and Syria. Its investigations are available in more than 20 languages, including Belarusian. Dzyanis Ivashyn is an editor and translator of the Belarusian version of the project.
In April 2019, a number of Russia’s media outlets launched a propagandist campaign to discredit his name. According to the journalist, it is the Russian special services that might have orchestrated the smear campaign. Seeking to cut the likelihood of being abducted or murdered, Ivashyn then declared he had no plans to visit Russia until the Putin regime collapsed.
On the back of post-election protests in Belarus, Novy Chas published the investigative report by Ivashyn in which he said that a number of former soldiers of the Ukrainian special forces unit Berkut were taking part in the brutal crackdown on Belarusian protesters. In 2014, pro-Yanukovych Berkut riot police were tainted by killings and torture of Euromaidan defenders. When the unit was disbanded, many Berkutters fled to Russia and Belarus, where some of them were spotted in dispersing peaceful rallies, Ivashyn states.