The Belarusian authorities have announced another crackdown on corrupt practices.
On Wednesday evening, KGB Chairman Valery Vakulchyk said that former Energy Minister Uladzimir Patupchyk had repeatedly fixed up his family business with fat contracts. At the moment, the Ministry of Energy is being cleaned up. Earlier, Mr Voranau, Chairman of state concern Belenergo, was removed from his post.
At the same time, a case against the President’s Inspectorate for Environmental Protection is gaining momentum. The agency turned out to have covered up for poachers in return for wild fowl. Three criminal cases have been open against 22 poachers and 14 officials. According to the KGB chairman, the number of the defendants in the case will increase.
When Alyaksandr Lukashenka was participating in the presidential race for the first time, he vowed to root out corruption in Belarus. Unfortunately, the problem is yet to be solved. Belsat TV asked residents of Minsk why the president failed to do it over 24 years of his rule.
“Everything is fine, everything is good, I have only one request – please, do not offend pensioners!”
“Corruption is unbeatable throughout the world.”
“We have the law of a ‘telephone call’… It is impossible to fight corruption practices here.”
In his recent interview with state-run TV channel Belarus 1, the KGB Head stated that high-profile corruption cases covered in the press indicated that the fight was carried out without compromise, but there was no systematic corruption in the country. Former businessman and MP Syarhei Skrabets has a different opinion.
“In our country, corruption is everywhere. When someone’s father is a minister, the son competes in a tender and wins. This is a component of the totalitarian system, its blood vessels,” he said
Notably, it was Belsat TV journalists that raised the issues and investigated into the cases of the systemic corruption in the Energy Ministry and the President’s Inspectorate for Environmental Protection in 2017. Some top officials might have been arrested or charged, but mega-buck schemes of pumping money out the Belenergo concern budget still work.