Ukraine has opened criminal case against a citizen of Belarus who fought for separatists in Luhansk and later boasted of his deeds in an interview.
It is the first criminal case in Ukraine that has been initiated over the fact of a Belarusian citizen’s being a member of illegal armed groups which killed people. The investigation into his case is being carried out by Severodonetsk Prosecutor’s Office.
The Ukrainian side believes that the Belarusian could participate in the armed conflict in the ATO zone. Information about his involvement appeared in print.
“The young man said that in the period of September, 2014 – November, 2016 he was a member of an illegal armed group which was part of ‘Rus’ battalion and saw action near the town of and the village of Velika Gora,” the prosecutors state.
The investigators do not reveal the man’s name. But in all appearances, his name is Syarhei Trafimau. Svaboda.org published an interview with the 33-year-old resident of Vitsebsk and former militant of the so-called Luhansk republic on January, 4.
In the interview Trafimau tells about his fighting for LPR and his being questioned by the Belarusian KGB. The man claimed he had offered ‘cooperation’, i.e. becoming an informant, to the siloviki.
Although the Belarusian law reserves punishment for being involved in military operations abroad, Trafimau has never been prosecuted in Belarus.
Later, however, Trafimau told Belarusian investigating authorities that he had intentionally given false information on his being at war to mass media as he wanted to show and prove his own significance, svaboda.org reports.
Now the alleged separatist is to be subjected to psychiatric examination.
“I do not think that his case will catch the interest of mass media and society either in Belarusian or in Ukraine. I also doubt that the case will have any impact on Belarus-Ukraine relations. In fact, Minsk’s stance is quite clear to Kyiv that aims at minimizing Belarus’s help to Russia,” political commentator Olga Popovich told Belsat TV.