Journalist Pavel Sheremet Killed by Car Bomb in Ukraine | The New York Times
Igor Makar believes that Pavel Sheremet was the custodian of information that would have hit the dictatorial regime of Lukashenka very hard
KIEV – Former employee of the Belarusian special forces "Almaz" Igor Makar, who provided an audio recording to EUobserver with a discussion of political assassinations, including the murder of journalist Pavel Sheremet, testified in Ukraine. He confirmed in an interview with the TV channel "Present Time" that he was in Ukraine from January 12 to 16, 2021..
“The information I have provided proves the involvement of the Belarusian special services in this crime, that it is the state structures, a special unit of Belarus, that are the customer of this crime,” said Igor Makar.
He stressed that he released the recordings made in 2012, presumably in the office of the head of the KGB of Belarus, now – “because, relying on how the Belarusian people act, I saw its unity, I saw that the people are already ready to fight that dictatorial regime which currently exists in Belarus ".
“And I made such a decision – to publish all my information precisely to support the people of Belarus. And it was after all these publications and [after] the murder of Pavel Sheremet, about whom I learned in more detail – I read the information and realized that he was blown up in the car, I compared the information that was on the record – there, too, it was planned to eliminate Pavel Sheremet is the bookmark that will be put in the car, "- said Igor Makar in an interview with the TV channel" Present Time ".
Igor Makar is sure that it was Pavel Sheremet who was the custodian of the information that would have hit the dictatorial regime of Lukashenka very hard.
Pavel Sheremet died in Kiev on July 20, 2016, when an explosive device went off in his car. The case against the perpetrators of the murder of Sheremet was transferred to the court, and for the customers it was separated into a separate criminal proceeding, the investigation of which is ongoing-
History of audio tapes
The internet publication EUobserver reported on January 4, 2021 that Alexander Lukashenko could have been involved in sanctioning political assassinations in Germany. The journalists of the publication published a fragment of an audio recording, on which, as later confirmed by the data of the phonoscopic examination, the voice of Lieutenant General Vadim Zaitsev (the head of the KGB of Belarus in 2008-2012) sounds, giving an order to representatives of the special forces unit "Alpha".
EUobserver notes that a 24-minute recording with a snippet of conversation about the preparation of the assassination attempts was made in April 2012. The alleged victims of the conspirators were to have received political asylum in Germany, the former head of pretrial detention center No. 1 in Minsk Oleg Alkaev, the former commander of the special forces brigade Vladimir Borodach and the former head of the anti-corruption department of the Ministry of Internal Affairs of Belarus Vyacheslav Dudkin.
In the conversation, a printout of which is posted on the website of the publication, there is also a fragment of the conversation about the journalist Pavel Sheremet, who died in Kiev in 2016..
Alexander Lukashenko's name and surname are not mentioned in the text, but the next paragraph leaves no doubt about the ordering party of the crimes: “and the president is waiting for these clear events, and the committee has been entrusted to deal with these matters … But so, the methods that we will have to use are clear where to drown whom, where to shoot whom – it's understandable ".
“We need to work on Sheremet, which is [*****]. Let's make a bookmark of some kind, and so on, so that [*****] neither hands nor feet will be collected. Everything should be like a natural way, but this does not affect the consciousness of people so much, "the conversation says..
"Moreover, there will be no problems with the bookmark," the interlocutor replies..
Director of the Center for Foreign Policy Studies "OPAD" named after Alexander Nikonorov Sergey Parkhomenko believes that the version regarding the order for the murder of Pavel Sheremet by the Belarusian authorities has a logical basis.
“We must not forget that Sheremet was killed on June 20, 2016 – that was the day, many years ago, of the first inauguration of Alexander Lukashenko. Quite a symbolic day for Lukashenka, indeed, the murder of a journalist, on whom Lukashenka and his entourage had a big grudge, could coincide with it. Moreover, Lukashenka has always been known for his dislike of journalists, "says Sergei Parkhomenko to the correspondent of the Russian service of the Voice of America..
He also believes that in the case of the murder of Pavel Sheremet, one should not forget about the role and influence of Russia, the Russian special services, as possible perpetrators of the crime..
“For Russia it has always been important to discredit Ukraine in the eyes of the Western world – after all, they killed not just a journalist, but also a citizen of Russia, and wherever – in Kiev. The motive that the murder could have been committed by double agents of the Russian and Belarusian special services is more likely, ”says Sergei Parkhomenko.
It is quite probable, according to him, the version that the Ukrainian side, rejecting the possibility of reviewing the criminal case on the murder of Pavel Sheremet, is acting in its own selfish interests..
"In Ukraine, they can cover up the likely perpetrators, not Lukashenko, cover the Minister of Internal Affairs Avakov and someone from his entourage, who may be a more real, more likely organizer of the murder than the currently accused Antonenko, Kuzmenko and Dugar," says Serhiy Parkhomenko.
Serious version for investigation
Chairman of the Razam solidarity movement (Together) Viacheslav Siuchyk notes that twenty years ago, various information appeared that Alexander Lukashenko could have been involved in political murders. Lukashenko's opponents, former Interior Minister Yuri Zakharenko, former CEC head Viktor Gonchar, and businessman Anatoly Krasovsky, close to the opposition, disappeared in Belarus under unclear circumstances..
“The version about the involvement of Alexander Lukashenko in the murder of Pavel Sheremet should be seriously considered. We live in a world where special services are playing an increasing role. The KGB of Belarus, whose leaders, according to these tapes, can be considered involved in the murder of Pavel Sheremet, can also be called a department of the FSB of Russia, they could do whatever they wanted in conjunction or under the control of Moscow, ”says Vyacheslav Siuchik to the correspondent of the Russian service“ Voice America ".
Lukashenka could have plotted the murder, since the journalistic investigations of Pavel Sheremet revealed the ins and outs of the regime. Moreover, the journalist who left Belarus for Russia was associated with Moscow politicians, who were always wary of Lukashenka..
“Unfortunately, speculative money for Russian oil and gas is a“ heavy ”argument for the West to reject the Declaration of Human Rights and, as it were, not to notice the political killings of Belarusian oppositionists,” says Vyacheslav Siuchyk.
Belarus and new Western sanctions
The investigation into the persons involved in the audio recordings, about their involvement in the organization of political assassinations, is unlikely to become a reason for the introduction of new sanctions from the West, notes Iryna Khalip, a Novaya Gazeta correspondent for Belarus..
"Why? If only because not so long ago the media space and European society were shocked by the confessions of the former SOBR fighter Yuri Garavsky, who would not just be taped anonymously, but made a confession that he participated in the murders, was in the “death squad”. This caused a wave of publications all over the world, but in no way caused any real steps, "- says Irina Khalip to the correspondent of the Russian service of the Voice of America..
“There are enough murders for the whole world to start fighting against this tyrant. So far, only Belarusians bravely marches and are subjected to repressions. And talks about sanctions are still going on and may be going on for a long time. So far, only – separate visa sanctions against some officials, ”Iryna Khalip emphasizes..
She notes that earlier in the sanctions lists there was former KGB chairman Vadim Zaitsev, who, on the audio tape of Igor Makar, gives the order to kill Pavel Sheremet.
“Why was he eventually excluded from it? On a formal basis, since he has ceased to be the chairman of the KGB, ”recalls Iryna Khalip.