Zmitser Bandarenka: Authorities use neo-fascists but get rid of them later
16:12, — Politics
The KGB uses neo-fascists to harass the opposition.
Former prosecution officer Dzmitry Petrushkevich said about the possible harassment, beating and even killing of Belarusian democratic activists. The statements were made after the release of Russian neo-Nazy Maksim Martsinkevich, aka Tesak. Former leader of a neo-Nazi group Syarhei Karotkikh, aka Malyuta, is said to be far more dangerous than Martsinkevich.
The story started with a fight between antifa activists on one side and Tesak and Malyuta on the other side on February 15. They were detained for a short time, but later set free.
Zmitser Bandarenka, a coordinator of European Belarus civil campaign, said to Belsat TV that Lukashenka once noted in an interview he was impressed by Germany's governmental model of the 1930s: “These were not just words, it was implemented in practice. The system similar to Germany's one in the 1930 was established. Lukashenka mixed the communist ideology and some finds of the Hitler regime. In the late 1990s, when the youth began to express their discontent over the rising dictatorship, the authorities formed the organisation titled Direct Action that united such persons as Usevalad Yancheuski (now the head of the ideological department of Lukashenka's Administration), notorious Chudentsov-Zuyev, Andrei Pyatrou and Hleb Samoilau.”
Some Direct Action members later joined the Belarusian Patriotic Youth Union (BPSM), some joined the Russian National Unity (RNU). “Samoilau and Pyatrou became RNU leaders. Former officer of Almaz special unit, Valery Ihnatovich, who was later accused of involvement in 'death squads', was one of the RNU supervisors,” Bandarenka recalls.
The guest of Evening Comment programme says how Andrei Sannikov was attacked by RNU members in early 1999: “We were attacked but about 20 people in camouflaged clothes. It was 100 meters from Victory Square [in the city centre], when people with swastikas attacked us. There were no police. I struggled and managed to reach the carriageway. Sannikov was being murdered. He had a concussion, his nose and ribs were broken. Suddenly, our friend Aleh Byabenin (who later died) appeared from the pedestrian subway and distracted their attention. No one was brought to criminal responsibility.”
Yury Zakharanka, Viktar Hanchar and Anatoly Krasouski disappeared shortly afterwards, Henadz Karpenka died and Mikhail Chyhir was arrested. According to Bandarenka, Sannikov was not killed only because he had been warned and left Belarus.
“In August 1999, Sannikov was told he would be killed. He left Belarus and lived abroad for a year. As we now from the book by Stanislau Shushkevich, there were plans to kill him in 1999 and the US proposed him a scientific programme. He learnt about it only seven years later. It was an awful year. We cannot say that these organisations were led by 20-year-old people. They were headed by officers of the Belarusian security service. Almaz officer Ihnatovich was a deputy head in the Minsk department of the RNU. Hleb Samoilau was their formal leader. He was 20, Ihnatovich was in his early 30's. Who was the head in this situation?” the politician says.
Bandarenka thinks the authorities more fear the people who support democratic changes in Belarus than neo-fascists, because the latter have “similar ideology”:
“I spent 18 months in prison. I was accused only of participating in a protests and walking on the carriageway. I went through the KGB jail and tortures. The regime more fears us than neo-fascists, because they have similar ideology with the authorities.
Bandarenka has his own version regarding the attack on Ukrainian activists from FEMEN movement in Minsk:
“I see some nuances in FEMEN's case. These people used walkie-talkies, they had a bus, they were in the border area – they didn't need to hide themselves behind the RNU, which factually doesn't exist in Belarus and Russia today. There are other fascist organisations. They were just secret service officers.
The European Belarus coordinator advises Malyuta and Tesak to think:
“Hleb Samoilau was stabbed to death at the entrance of a residential block. Ihnatovich, who had relation to the 'death squads', serves a life sentence. I'd like to remind that notorious colonel Paulichenka was arrested on the order of former prosecutor general Bazhelka and KGB chief Matskevich because he was suspected of Hleb Samoilau's murder. They are used by the regime for a certain period, but the authorities then get rid of them.”
Paulichenka was later released on personal order of Lukashenka. Bazhelka and Matskevich were dismissed.
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