Stanislau (Stas) Hancharou, a 20-year-old resident of the Belarusian city of Vitsebsk, has been officially charged with malicious hooliganism. The Belarusian citizen who goes by the nickname ‘Terror Machine’ was a fighter of the Ukrainian battalion ‘Azov’.
According to the Belarusian Investigative Committee, in October 2013 Mr Hancharou forced two 13-year-olds to renounce anti-fascist movement and demonstrate the Nazi salute, which was filmed and posted on the Internet.
The preliminary investigation into the case ‘will not last long’, Ivan Naskevich, the head of the Investigative Committee, told journalists on Thursday.
“He is charged under Article 339 of the Belarusian Criminal Code (malicious hooliganism), he may face up to six years in jail,” Naskevich stressed.
The Belarusian authorities detained Stanislau Hancharou in April, 2016. The arrest made headlines because, judging by his photos on social media, ‘Terror Machine’ holds neo-Nazi views. At the same time, a number of the arrestee’s web friends believe that the current situation is sort of provocation.
Earlier, the Belarusian Interior Ministry stated they were aware of Hancharou’s participation in the fighting in the east of Ukraine.
The Belarusian law enforcement agencies opened 135 criminal cases against citizens of Belarus who fought or are fighting in Donbas. President Lukashenka repeatedly said that Belarus had no place for ‘militants’ who are participating in the conflict in Ukraine.