On the evening of 11 November, masked people arrived at the “changes courtyard” on Chervyakova Street in Minsk. They cut off white-red-white ribbons and painted over a mural on a transformer box. Later the Ministry of Internal Affairs described them as “concerned citizens”. Local residents were outraged by the actions of the intruders.
Among them was 31-year-old Roman Bondarenko, who sent a message “I’m going out” in a chat room of the neighbourhood before going outside. In the yard, he said something to unknown people, they tied him up and dragged into a car. The same night the man was brought to hospital with a severe head injury. He died on 12 November.
Then, in a group of “concerned citizens” cutting the ribbons, people identified several men who looked like “ribbon cutters” spotted at the Megapolis residential complex on 18 October. That day, among them, eyewitnesses saw a man resembling the current head of the Ice Hockey Federation of Belarus Dmitry Baskov.
Residents of the “changes courtyard” said that they also saw a man who looked like the man on the left of the photo below taken at Megapolis. Next to him, both then and on 11 November, was a “concerned citizen” in a gray suit and a quilted vest with a dark mask. The athlete, whom this person is very similar to, is close to Baskov in sports and daily life.
The man in a gray suit, judging by the video from the “courtyard of changes”, was the one who participated in the attack on Roman Bondarenko. For instance, in the video, one can hear: “On the ground, f**!”, and a person behind the scene starts screaming. A guy is lying at a horizontal bar, all in black, his hood is of the same colour – probably Roman Bondarenko – above him is a man in a gray suit and quilted sleeveless jacket.
This person in a gray tracksuit and sleeveless jacket bears a close resemblance to the world champion in Muay Thai and kickboxing Dmitry Shakuta. People familiar with him say that the voice in the footage, the eyes above the mask and the part of the face that it does not hide are very similar to Shakuta’s.
Why can one assume this?
Dmitry Shakuta has the same sweatpants and a hoodie with the same logo on a sleeve.Footwear
During a fight with Roman Bondarenko, a man in gray sportswear was wearing black leather sneakers with white soles. Dmitry Shakuta has similar ones [he wears them with gray trousers that look kust like those described above – Ed.].
What do we know about Dmitry Shakuta?
- He runs his own fight club Shock Team.
- He works as an instructor for special forces training in military unit 3214. Roman Bondarenko also served there. According to Roman’s colleagues, they never crossed paths with Shakuta either at work or in training.
- He is in close contact with Dmitry Baskov, plays hockey under his leadership in the Bastion team [Viktor Lukashenko, head of the traffic police of Belarus Dmitry Korzyuk, Serbian businessman Zeljko Shinikovich, associated with Dana Holdings, and others] play there; he takes part in the pro-government rallies.
- Member of the Iron Birds Chapter biker club – an international organization of Harley-Davidson motorcycle enthusiasts from the former CIS countries, which includes, for example, Alexander Lukashenko’s eldest son Viktor, ex-Minister of Internal Affairs Igor Shunevich, head of the traffic police of Belarus Dmitry Korzyuk, son of the former Russian Prosecutor General Artem Chaika and others.
- Before the elections, he challenged famous restaurateur Vadim Prokopyev, who had previously challenged Alexander Lukashenko into the ring. “Vadim Prokofiev [he meant Prokopyev – Ed.] you challenged the president. First face me,” Shakuta said then on his Instagram page.
What does Shakuta say?
TUT.BY failed to get Dmitry Shakuta’s comment: the athlete does not answer calls. Tribuna.com managed to call Dmitry, but the conversation was very short. Journalists asked if he and Dmitry Baskov visited Changes Square on the evening of 11 November.
“What? You need comments? Will you write an article?” he asked and then hung up.
Journalists tried to contact Shakuta in a messenger, but did not receive a response either.
Dmitry Shakuta was born in Minsk in 1980. The fighter performed as an amateur and professional in Thai boxing and kickboxing. He became the world champion in different weight classes – IKF, WAKO, WAKO-Pro, ISS-Brute Force, WKN, WPKL, W5, IAMTF and IFMA.
Shakuta ended his professional career in 2013, having a win / loss ratio of 78:13 in kickboxing.