‘He was drunk’: Lukashenka comments on Bandarenka’s death

On November 13, Alyaksandr Lukashenka expressed condolences to the family of the deceased Raman Bandarenka.

According to him, a day before, Raman was in a state of alcoholic intoxication and ‘had a fight with public order volunteers’.

On November 11, plainclothes people arrived at the popular offstreet yard known as ‘Square of Change’ and started to remove white and red ribbons fastened on the fences. Raman Bandarenka, who resided in a block of flats not far from it, went out and asked what was going on. Bandarenka was put into a van and driven in an unknown direction.

‘Raman Was Killed’. Poster in Square of Change. Minsk, 13 November 2020. Photo: TK / Belsat

Lukashenka stated that the authorities had established about 500 ‘public order squads’. Such ‘volunteers’ cut off white-red-white ribbons which Lukashenka called ‘pro-Nazi symbols’. Locals took to the yards to pick a fight, Lukashenka claimed.

“A reinforced police squad arrived. When they were driving up, they [protesters] scattered, as it usually happens. But that man [Bandarenka] was either injured or intoxicated. It [fact of intoxication] has been confirmed. The corresponding кузўке has been presented today by the Investigative Committee. They gave a full picture. He was drunk. Of course, he was taken to the [police] department. On their way, he got sick; they [policemen] called an ambulance and sent him to hospital,” Lukashenka said.

‘This state kills people’. People gathering in Square of Change to honour memory of Raman Bandarenka. 12 November 2020. Photo: Belsat

In his opinion, Belarusian opposition politician have caught at the tragedy, using the dead as a ‘sacred sacrifice’ and inciting Belarusians to protesting.

“One must not make politics on deaths. As they [protesters] are trying to lay the blame on law enforcers, I asked the Interior Ministry to contact the parents of the deceased and talk to them, no matter how difficult it will be,” he stressed.

As reported earlier, Raman Bandarenka was taken to the neurosurgery unit from Tsentralny district police department where he spent about two hours on Wednesday evening. According to the doctors, Bandarenka was in ‘extremely critical condition’. He was diagnosed with closed craniocerebral injury, acute subdural head hematomas, brain haemorrhage; the man slipped into a coma. Some doctors speaking on condition of anonymity confirmed that the patient was beaten by pro-government forces. In turn, the Belarusian Interior Ministry says that the policemen found ‘a citizen who got injuries in a fight’ and law enforcement officers called an ambulance.

ФPhoto: TG @belxalat

Notably, the medical papers anonimously published by health workers on Telegram say that there was 0% of ethanol in Bandarenka’s blood. Moreover, TG channel Motolkohelp posted a video that shows unindentified persons who dragged resisting Raman Bandarenka.

Since the death was confirmed on Thursday evening, Belarusians keep coming to the Square of Change to honour his memory. Memorial events are taking place across Belarus and abroad.

Beaten and abducted by masked men: Minsker Raman Bandarenka dies in hospital