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Ex-security official from Belarus claims Lukashenka's involvement in the murder of a Ukrainian journalist

On January 4, EUObserver published audio recordings, from which it follows that the Belarusian special services could have discussed the possibility of the murder of journalist Pavel Sheremet back in 2012, writes Air force.

Photo: Shutterstock

Sheremet, a native of Belarus who worked in Ukraine for a long time, died in the summer of 2016 - the car he was driving, exploded in the center of Kiev.

The audio recordings provided by EUObserver, the authenticity of which, however, is not confirmed, allegedly featured the former head of the Belarusian KGB Vadim Zaitsev.

It is noted that the recording was allegedly made on April 11, 2012 during the briefing of the soldiers of the special forces "Alpha".

“We need to work on Sheremet… We'll make a bookmark and so on, so that this rat… won't collect either arms or legs. Everything should be like a natural way, but it does not affect people's consciousness so much, ”says a voice on the recording.

The unknown interlocutor replies that “there will be no problems with the bookmark”. After that, the participants in the conversation also discuss the poison from the “interesting professor” from Vitebsk.

The record also says that “the president is waiting for these operations,” funds have already been allocated for their implementation.

In addition to Sheremet, the participants in the conversation are also discussing the political murders of Oleg Alkaev (this is the ex-head of the Minsk detention center), Vladimir Borodach (retired special forces colonel) and Vyacheslav Dudkin (ex-employee of the “anti-corruption” department of the Ministry of Internal Affairs of Belarus) - they all now live in Europe , as well as at different periods of time, made statements about the oppression of the opposition in Belarus, or criticized the current government and support for the opposition.

EUObserver notes that the audio quality is too low to confirm the authenticity of the recording, but the interlocutors confirmed that the voice on the recording is indeed very similar to that of Zaitsev.

Who submitted the records

The audio recording was given to the Internet publication by the Belarusian opposition activist and former employee of the anti-terrorist special unit “Almaz” Igor Makar, who emphasizes that he is ready to confirm all the information in court. DW talked with Igor Makar about the sensational audio recording and the possible planning of political assassinations by the top officials of Belarus.

DW: How did you get this tape and why was it published just now?

Igor Makar: This record came to me in 2012 from my anonymous sources from the State Security Committee of Belarus. When I heard the name of my close friend, Oleg Alkaev, on the recording, I tried to save his life and turned to the American special services for help, which prevented it.

As I understand it, the American services immediately reported this at the place of residence of Oleg Alkaev, Vyacheslav Dudkin and Vladimir Borodach. Alkaev himself personally told me that the criminal police contacted him about the fact that his life was in danger, that he needed to be given personal protection and that he should not travel outside Germany. Also, the Belarusian Foreign Ministry announced the impending crime and, as far as I know, because of this, Alexander Lukashenko removed the then KGB chairman Vadim Zaitsev.

Then I did not publish this entry, because at that time it was not possible, I could not fight the regime alone. Now, when the whole of Belarus has rebelled against the regime, when I see the solidarity of the people, I understand that Belarus needs my support and help, and I decided to take this step. I am ready to sacrifice my life for Belarus to become free and for the Belarusian people to be free and live in an independent sovereign country.

- EUobserver notes that there are no obvious traces of editing in the audio recording, but experts have not yet been able to finally confirm its authenticity. What reasons do you have to say that this recording is genuine?

- There is reason to believe that this recording is genuine, because my KGB source communicated directly with one of those present on the recording.

- Do you know the alleged names of two other men who allegedly talk with the ex-head of the KGB Vadim Zaitsev?

- Unfortunately, having only a record, we can say that they are employees of the anti-terrorist unit “Alpha” of the KGB of Belarus. Also on the recording you can hear that one is called Yuri. Now I do not know who they are, but I think over time these names will be known to me.

- Why, in your opinion, is it about these people - Oleg Alkaev, Vladimir Borodach, Vyacheslav Dudkin and Pavel Sheremet?

- I think these people possessed information that greatly interfered with the current regime. If it were published, it would have a very important relation to the regime and would have a strong influence on the world community. That is why the regime was ready to do this - to eliminate people and make sure that there was no information leakage.

- To what extent do you think the situation described in the recording is real: the discussion in the KGB of Belarus of a plan to eliminate dissidents abroad on behalf of Lukashenka? Do you think the Belarusian special services would have enough strength and resources to carry out such an operation on the territory of another state?

“This is not surprising to me. All 26 years of Lukashenka’s rule, the special services have committed various crimes. One can recall, for example, the disappearances of opposition politicians in the late 90s. For a person who is related to the authorities and law enforcement agencies, this information is not new.

On the record, when the talk about the physical elimination of Pavel Sheremet is being discussed, it is said that this was planned in order to do something resonant, to start using the money that was in the special account of the KGB - $ 1,5 million was allocated by order of Lukashenka. But one must understand that the physical elimination on the territory of Germany could have been done for absolutely different money, the executors could have done it for nothing, because the main thing is to execute the order.

On the subject: 'Goodbye to life, you will be killed': how detained protesters are bullied in Belarus

- Are you now claiming that along with political assassinations, corruption schemes took place?

- Yes, that's exactly what I wanted to say. Of all the money that was put into the special account of the KGB, a much smaller amount would be involved, and the rest of the money would go to the KGB, deputies and those involved.

And about this money, I am sure that it came from businessmen, who were either squeezed out of business, or taken away some amount. To prevent businessmen from being imprisoned, their money is simply taken away for such dirty purposes.

- Why do you think the Belarusian special services failed to carry out their plans?

- As I repeat, in 2012, in order to save my friend, I turned to the American special services - they all prevented it. If I had not done this, I am 99% sure that these people would have been killed.

- The audio recording also refers to the journalist Pavel Sheremet, who died in Kiev in 2016 due to a car explosion. In the course of the published conversation, the ex-head of the KGB Vadim Zaitsev with two employees of "Alpha" allegedly discuss exactly this method of killing Sheremet. Do you think Pavel Sheremet was killed by the Belarusian special services?

- I spoke about this with informants who communicated with other people from the KGB and other structures, and I was specifically told that the work on Pavel Sheremet by the Belarusian special services did not stop. In my opinion, it was the Belarusian special services that did it. Even this entry shows how emotional Zaitsev becomes when it comes to Sheremet. I am sure that Lukashenka instructed the KGB to eliminate Sheremet.

Photo: Shutterstock

- What do you want to achieve by publishing this audio recording?

- I want to once again convey to the world community and citizens of Belarus that the officials who were surrounded by the highest KGB officials in 2011-2012 were directly related to these crimes. I can name the names: in addition to Alexander Lukashenko and Vadim Zaitsev, Ivan Tertel (at that time the deputy chairman of the KGB, now the chairman of the KGB of Belarus), Viktor Veger (at that time, the first deputy chairman of the KGB) and Oleg Chernyshev (then the commander group "Alpha", now the deputy chairman of the KGB).

I really hope that the EU will introduce another round of sanctions against the Lukashenka regime. I also have information that Oleg Alkaev will file a complaint about his planned murder, and Germany will initiate a criminal case. I also really hope that this situation will be taken into consideration by the United States, and, of course, I would like Russia to react to this. Lukashenka’s regime has crossed all borders, and this must end.

- Maybe you have information that the Belarusian leadership is planning political assassinations of its opponents?

- Unfortunately, I cannot answer this question, because I am doing serious work in this direction. When I have information that will concern someone's life, and I am sure that my informant is safe, I will definitely publish it. Because, in publishing this entry, I was guided by the fact that this former KGB officer is already in the EU, his life is not in danger.

- Aren't you afraid for your life after the post is published?

- Of course, I worry about my life, I understand that I risk a lot. But I repeat: for the freedom of my native country, I am ready to sacrifice my life.

On the subject: 'I called my killer. He confessed ': Navalny announced a conversation with one of the poisoners

National Police Statement

Soon after the publication of the audio recordings, the Ukrainian National Police circulated a message in which they stated that they had received new information about possible customers for the murder of Pavel Sheremet.

They say that they recently received documents and audio recordings from the Foreign Intelligence Service, the last of which is dated 2012 - apparently, it is, including the EUObserver recording.

“Fragments of information at the disposal of the National Police investigation have been published on the Internet. Unidentified persons discuss the issue of the murder of journalist Pavel Sheremet in the released recordings. In particular, they discussed the option of poisoning with the use of toxic substances, as well as undermining, ”the National Police said.

Law enforcement officers added that they have already received permission to conduct investigative actions in one of the European countries.

You may be interested in: top New York news, stories of our immigrants and helpful tips about life in the Big Apple - read it all on ForumDaily New York.

Sheremet Case

Pavel Sheremet died on July 20, 2016 - explosives installed on his car went off... An explosive device detonated in the center of Kiev when Sheremet was driving to work.

For more than four years after the murder, the case was not solved.

Law enforcers first considered the version of the involvement of the Russian special services, but in December 2019 they unexpectedly accused a group of ATO veterans and volunteers - rock musician and military man Andrei Antonenko (also known as Riffmaster), children's surgeon and volunteer Yulia Kuzmenko (pseudonym "Lisa") of Sheremet's murder. ) and military nurse Jan Dugar.

At first, the investigation insisted that Antonenko, “carried away by ultra-nationalist ideas” and “cultivating the greatness of the Aryan race,” was the organizer of the murder - it was he who allegedly attracted Kuzmenko and Dugar to the crime - the first allegedly laid explosives under the car, the second conducted reconnaissance the day before.

However, in the spring of 2020, suspicions were changed for all three persons involved. All references to "ultranationalist ideas" and "the greatness of the Aryan race" disappeared from them, and law enforcement officials named unidentified persons as organizers.

Now the purpose of the crime was defined as "the creation of an extremely resonant event in society with the aim of further provoking numerous protests."

Kuzmenko and Dugar eventually softened the measure of restraint, only Antonenko remains in custody.

The version of the investigation caused a controversial reaction in the society - critics believe that the evidence of the suspects' guilt is insufficient.

Read also on ForumDaily:

Boris Nemtsov posthumously won a case against Russia in the European Court

'Unidentified substance': high-profile stories of oppositionists' poisoning in Russia

In Russia, tens of thousands of people marched in memory of Boris Nemtsov

10 years after Magnitsky’s death, Russia was found guilty of violating his rights

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