Battery plant now co-owned by coach of Lukashenka’s hockey team

The battery factory, that Brest residents have been protesting against for over two years, has changed its owner. Belinvesttorg-Slav, controlled by Viktar Lemyasheuski, has been taken over by businessmen linked to the hockey team of Alyalksandr Lukashenka, writes.

In 2016, the battery factory construction was started by the iPower company owned by Belinvesttorg-Slav. Both structures are part of 1AK-GROUP, co-owned by a businessman Viktar Lemyasheuski.

According to TUT.BY with reference to Lemyasheuski’s group of companies, this year on May 22nd the battery plant was taken out of the control of 1AK-GROUP group of companies, all 100% shares in the authorized capital of iPower LLC were sold.

According to the Union State Register of Legal Entities, the authorized capital of the new owner of the plant, Accumulator Alliance LLC, is 6.7 million rubles. Syarhei Kahanovich owns 85% of the company’s shares, while Dzmitry Baskau owns 15%.

Kahanovich is the deputy director of the Sem Holmov Bel company. He has been fond of ice hockey for a long time, participated in competitions with the participation of Lukashenka’s team.

Dzmitry Baskau is general director of the Dinamo-Minsk hockey club and coach of Alyaksandr Lukashenka’s team. Previously, he coached the youth and junior national teams of Belarus, as well as the amateur team, which is supported by Mikalai Lukashenka.

  • People in Brest and its suburbs are sure that emissions from the plant will harm their health and the environment. Since February 2018, they have regularly gone on protests called “feeding the pigeons” every Sunday.
  • On June 14th, 2019 Brest Regional Executive Committee suspended the construction of the battery plant “until the identified violations are eliminated”. On July 2nd, 2019 it was reported that the General Prosecutor’s Office on behalf of Lukashenka had begun an inspection of the situation with the construction of the plant. Criminal cases were open under Article 430 (bribery) and 431 (giving a bribe) against Viktar Lemyasheuski and a number of employees of Belinvesttorg-Slav. At the end of 2019 it was reported that Lemyasheuski and other defendants in the case had been released from the pre-trial detention center under a pledge not to leave.
  • On April 9th, 2020 iPower received a positive decision of the state environmental agency on the project of construction of a battery plant, and six days later — a permission to emit pollutants into the air.