On 19 October it became known that well-known political consultant Vitaly Shklyarov, who was arrested in Belarus in July on charges of inciting riots under Article 342 of the Belarusian Criminal Code [the Tikhanovsky case], was released. Shklyarov, being at large, repeatedly stated that he was not a consultant to Sergei Tikhanovsky and never worked for him.
Recall that the political strategist was among the participants in the meeting with Alexander Lukashenka in the KGB pre-trial detention center.
Vitaly Shklyarov, a native of Gomel, lived in the U.S. He describes himself as “an American, German and Russian political consultant, political strategist, election campaign adviser to Barack Obama, Bernie Sanders, Angela Merkel, Ksenia Sobchak, Dmitry Gudkov.”
Shklyarov’s wife is a U.S. citizen, she works at the embassy in Kyiv, Ukraine. This allows the political consultant to have an American diplomatic passport. Lawyer Anton Gashinsky told TUT.BY that Vitaly Shklyarov is under house arrest. Shklyarov’s father learned about his son’s release from journalists.
After meeting with Lukashenko in the KGB pre-trial detention center, the following persons were also released:
- Yuri Voskresensky, member of the initiative group of Viktor Babariko;
- PandaDoc employees: chief accountant Yulia Shardiko, HR Vladislav Mikholap, Minsk office director Dmitry Rabtsevich (product manager Viktor Kuvshinov remains in custody);
- Maria Kolesnikova’s lawyer Ilya Salei;
- lawyer, legal mediator and a member the Presidium of the Coordination Council of the Belarusian opposition Lilia Vlasova. She is curently under house arrest. She had been in custody since 31 August after being charged for alleged tax evasion.