During today’s presidential address Alyaksandr Lukashenka said that in the mid-1990s he sent his “people with machine guns” to liquidate certain individuals.
“Do you want it to be like it was at the beginning of my presidential career, when I sent a bunch of people with machine guns to shoot all the bandits on the Berlin-Moscow route?” he said.
We turned for comment to the former investigator, lawyer and human rights activist Aleh Volchak:
“Lukashenka assumed the right to perform extrajudicial killings. As president, he was not in the position to give such orders to “shoot” someone. This is a violation of all court procedures, pure banditry — to crack down on people, like in South America. For the civilized world, this looks abnormal and criminal. Perhaps, they are the same people involved in the abduction of Zakharanka, Hanchar and others, the same people who beat up presidential candidate Alyaksandr Kazulin in 2006. So, “people with machine guns” were used not only to deal with bandits. “
In the early 2000s, after the disappearance of ex-Interior Minister Yury Zakharanka, ex-chairman of the CEC Viktar Hanchar, businessman Anatol Krasousky and cameraman Dzmitry Zavadsky, the public became aware of the so-called “death squads” — a group of individuals who eliminated Lukashenka’s opponents . Among other things, former Spetsnaz commander Dzmitry Paulichenka, as well as the current head of the President’s Affairs Department, Viktar Sheiman, are suspected of involvement in “squadrons” — they are still under Western sanctions and are banned from entering the European Union.
At the same time, the independent press also received information that “squadrons” could also eliminate known criminals. For example, a criminal authority named Shchaulik.
More information about the “death squads” can be found in the documentary “The Gang”: