President Volodymyr Zelenskyy of Ukraine has instructed the Security Service and the Interior Ministry to investigate possible threats to the life of Belorussians who left their country where opposition to the government is stifled and moved to Ukraine during this year and ensure their reliable protection in order to prevent criminal attempts on their lives connected with their political and social activities.

The head of state said, “Every Belorussian who may become a potential target for criminals because of his or her political and public stance must be provided with special protection measures. The Security Service and the Interior Ministry should see to it that the precise mechanisms of possible risks assessment are developed as soon as possible along with effective measures to eliminate any threat to these people.”

The Ukrainian law enforcement agencies have compiled a list of those Belorussians who may be in danger of being killed or harassed in one way or the other and therefore need additional protection. Special precautions are being taken to ensure their best possible protection during their stay in the territory of Ukraine.

The decision to launch the protection program was made after security officers and police had started to get information about threats to Belarussian activists and following the tragic death of Vitaliy Shishov, a political activist from Belarus.

Shishov led the Belarussian House in Ukraine (BHU), a group helping people who fled Belarus. In the morning of August 3, Vitaliy’s body was found hanged in a park in Kyiv, a day after he failed to return from a jog.

The Belorussian House in Ukraine is a non-commercial public organization that has been found to provide help to those people who fled the regime of Lukashenko.

Police have opened a murder inquiry in accordance with the Criminal Code of Ukraine. They say that currently two versions of Shishov’s death are under consideration: the first one suggests that he has committed suicide and according to the second version, he has been killed and his death has been made to look like suicide.

In the meantime, the European Parliament regards the death of the Belarussian opposition member as the doing of the Lukashenko regime. The European Union and the United States call the Ukrainian authorities to investigate thoroughly the death of the activist.

The newspaper Voice of Ukraine