“Alexander Lukashenko authorised political murders in Germany in 2012”, according to a bugged recording of his former KGB-chief Vadim Zaitsev obtained and published by independent online newspaper EUobserver.
EUobserver claims that it received a recording of a conversation between the former chairman of the KGB of Belarus, in which the physical elimination of some Belarusian political emigrants – Pavel Sheremet, former head of a detention centre № 1 in Minsk Oleg Alkaev, former commander of the OMON Vladimir Borodach and former anti-corruption chief Vyacheslav Dudkin – is discussed.
According to the newspaper, it has at his disposal an audio recording dated 11 April 2012 of a conversation between the then head of the KGB of Belarus Vadim Zaitsev with the officers of the Alpha special unit. It is alleged that the recording itself, part of which is included in the article, was recorded in the KGB building. EUobserver suggests comparing the voice on it with the voice of Zaitsev from various television interviews. However, TUT.BY cannot confirm the authenticity of the audio recording provided in the article.
EUobserver is a not-for-profit, independent online newspaper established in Brussels in 2000. The newspaper provides both daily reports and in-depth coverage on international affairs related to the European Union.
What is on the recording?
The interlocutors, apparently, are discussing the possible introduction of their employee into the environment of Belarusian political emigrants, as well as the physical elimination of some Belarusian citizens who lived in exile at that time. The bugged KGB recording from Zaitsev’s office, as well as the leaked Sheremet surveillance report, were reportedly obtained by Igor Makar, a Belarusian opposition activist, who sent them to EUobserver.
“We should be working Sheremet, who is a massive pain in the a**e. We’ll plant [a bomb] and so on and this f**ing rat will be taken down in f**ing pieces – legs in one direction, arms in the other direction. If everything [looks like] natural causes, it won’t get into people’s minds the same way,” said Zaitsev, according to the 2012 recording.
Recall that a Belarusian-born journalist, Pavel Sheremet, was killed by a car bomb in Kyiv on 20 July 2016. Four years later, Ukraine has still not caught the people who did it.
“Some of the homicidal ideas discussed in the 2012 KGB meeting showed that EU citizens, as well as Belarusian refugees, were in danger,” reads the report. It also says that one of Zaitsev’s ideas was to get “a professional or a car mechanic who will do it in such a way that no f**ng expert [in Germany] will figure out that the car was intentionally broken in advance.”
Besides, the use of explosives could have harmed bystanders. “We might need TNT, plastic explosives, detonators,” says the voice of the alleged KGB officer in the meeting. When it comes to the financing of off-the-books operation, the president’s “dedicated account” with “over $1.5m [€1.2m]” is mentioned.
A transcript of a 24-minute bugged conversation recorded on Wednesday 11 April 2012 can also be read in Russian or in English. Meanwhile, the European Commission has declined to comment on revelations made by EUobserver of a plot by the Minsk authorities to assassinate Belarus dissidents in Germany. More details on where the recording comes from, who and why leaked it can be found in the original article.