Nearly nine years ago, Belarus’ former leader Alyaksandr Lukashenka authorised political murders in Germany, EUobserver reports with reference to emigre activist Ihar Makar who used to serve in Belarusian spetsnaz forces.
The above-mentioned attacks might never have taken place, but Makar has provided the Brussels-based media outlet with an audio file of the meeting which presumably happened in the KGB office in Minsk on 11 April 2012. Reportedly, it was secretly recorded on a hidden device. A transcript of the conversation is available in English.
At that moment, Vadzim Zaitsau, the then chairman of the State Security Committee, was briefing officers from the KGB’s Alpha group. Euobserver’s Andrew Rettman calls it ‘clandestine task-force, which Zaitsau had created to target the regime’s political enemies’. Zaitsau was talking about killing three of them who lived in exile in Germany – Aleh Alkayeu (a former head of the Minsk detention facility No 1 who states that Lukashenka’s rivals were killed from a special execution pistol that was given out at an order of Belarus’ Interior Minister), Uladzimir Baradach (a KGB ex-colonel and long-time critic of the regime), and Vyachaslau Dudkin (a former anti-corruption chief). He demanded that ‘no trace of KGB suspicion’ be left in Germany.
“It’s clear how we could drown or shoot someone. It’s clear. But how to initiate a chance explosion, how to start arson and not leave traces, murder, and stuff like that – this is unclear,” EUobserver quotes the man they tag as ‘Lukashenka’s spy chief’.
According to Zaitsau, Alyaksandr Lukashenka was ‘waiting for [the completion of] these operations’.
The chekists were also discussing the options of assassinating Pavel Sheremet, a prominent Belarusian-born journalist, who was living in Russia at the time. They allegedly planned it to become a kind of warning, or a ‘message to the public’.
“We should be working Sheremet, who is a massive pain in the arse <…> We’ll plant [a bomb] and so on and this fucking rat will be taken down in fucking pieces – legs in one direction, arms in the other direction. If everything [looks like] natural causes, it won’t get into people’s minds the same way,” Zaitsau said, in accordance to the 2012 recording.
It should be recalled that Sheremet was later killed by a car bomb while he was in Kyiv on 20 July 2016. Four years later, Ukraine has still not caught the people who did it, EUobserver stresses.
Click here to read the full text of the journalistic investigation.
belsat.eu, via EUobserver