Opposition radicals who plan killings and kidnappings will be neutralized under the anti-terrorism laws. This was stated by Deputy Minister of Internal Affairs of Belarus and Commander of the Internal Troops Nikolai Karpenkov in an interview with journalist Grigory Azarenko on the STV TV channel.
Nikolai Karpenkov said that he was impressed by the ONT TV film, which told about the plans of people accused of preparing a coup d’etat. He also noted the tendency towards radicalization of the opposition in recent years, comparing its representatives to rabid dogs. The official stated that by having “bloody plans” – preparation of murders, abductions and torture – they put themselves outside the law and crossed the red line.
“We do not take revenge on anyone, we do not threaten anyone, we do not settle scores. But at the same time, we warn them: they crossed the line. And they are now on a par with international terrorists in their designs and actions. For the fight against international terrorists, we have special forces, anti-terror fighters, and I will say that we are ready to carry out the task of suppressing this group, groups, their followers who have remained at large,” said Karpenkov.
The Deputy Minister of Internal Affairs noted that “the radicals hope that they will be fought within the framework of the criminal and criminal procedure codes,” but such people, in his opinion, are “on a par with international terrorists.”
“In such cases, when a terrorist war is declared, counter-terrorist operations come into effect, and the fight against them proceeds according to the laws of counter-terrorism operations and according to the laws of professionals. This means that the fight against them will be carried out as is carried out by Israeli units in relation to their terrorists.
The fight against them will be carried out in the same way as the fight was carried out by the “most humane state” in relation to Osama bin Laden and his followers. And we are ready to act, and as soon as an order comes, wherever they are, without a statute of limitations, we will find them and we will destroy. We will make the world freer and the Republic of Belarus more protected.”
Also, the Deputy Minister of Internal Affairs warned opposition representatives that law enforcement agencies have extensive information about them and in the event of violent actions on their part, including in relation to the relatives of the law enforcers, they are ready to take harsh measures.
“We remind our presumptuous bloodthirsty opposition that we know them all. We know where they are, with whom they communicate, what kind of property they have, where their families are. They love to remind us of our families and build all their threats against us through our wives and children.
I’m not implying anything, but if an order comes or any of them does something in relation to the head of state, his family members, law enforcement officers, to the wives and children of our employees, our reaction will be lightning-fast and the blow will be crushing. And it will be symmetrical in absolutely all plans and designs that the opposition had. We’ll find them and destroy them. And let them know that retribution is inevitable.”
Karpenkov also believes that he “did everything right”, considers himself a “real patriot”, since he was on the list of those whom the coup d’etat participants allegedly planned to neutralize, and is proud to be “among the heroes” and in “very good company.” He praised the operation of the Belarusian and Russian special services to detain the alleged conspirators, saying that it “will take its rightful place in the museum of the State Security Committee.”
“Our people trust their president. They made their choice in the twentieth year, in the month of August. We know that under the leadership of the head of state, we will achieve all our goals. Internal troops are the same people. The army supports the head of state. We will protect both our people and the head of state,” said Karpenkov.
Nikolai Karpenkov previously headed the GUBOPiK and took an active personal part in suppressing protest activity last year. On 19 November 2020, he was appointed Deputy Minister of Internal Affairs and replaced Yuri Nazarenko as commander of the internal troops.