We would like to present you, first of all, a report on extraterritorial attacks against Belarusian women human rights defenders, journalists and activists in exile in Lithuania. The facts stated in this report are confirmed by documents, including documents issued by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Lithuania, the State Security Department of Lithuania, screenshots of correspondence in messengers, as well as by links to other public sources. In this report we are merely stating the facts that we have at our disposal.
We as Belarusian women human rights defenders, activists and journalists had been running away from the KGB and the Belarusian regime in a hope of international protection and desperately expecting that we would be safe on the territory of the European Union and NATO, but the KGB and other special services have come for us here too.
Unfortunately, we are well aware that there is no point in running away elsewhere – the KGB will come for us there too. So, we have to defend ourselves here in Lithuania, and we need your help while we’re still alive.
Belarusian women in exile face the widest range of threats and attacks against them:
- Harassment, insults, constant attacks, provocations, hacking, death threats and threats of physical violence, persecution committed by Lithuanian and Belarusian men who openly admit their collaboration with the KGB and other special services of Belarus and Russia
- Open and secret field surveillance, desecration of the Memorial of Belarusians killed during protests, secret recording of videos and their further transferal to the Belarusian propagandists and the KGB
- Hacker attacks on state bodies (judicial system of Lithuania), stealing documents of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and of the State Security Department of the Republic of Lithuania, transmission of the stolen documents to the KGB of Belarus, espionage, hidden video and audio recording.
- Threats to strip of Belarusian citizenship, recruitment attempts, attacks by “bot farms”, threats of kidnapping from the territory of Lithuania and forced return to Belarus “in a trunk”, online threats against Belarusian women human rights defenders, journalists and activists who are in Lithuania.
- Discrediting of Olga Karach by creating false accounts in her name to insult participants of Telegram chats impersonating her.
We are recording attacks against Belarusian women human rights defenders, journalist and activists executed by special services of Belarus and Russia, but we want to emphasize that such attacks are not limited to the territory of the Republic of Lithuania only. Similar attacks of the special services of Russia and Belarus are happening also in Poland and Ukraine, and, apparently, in Latvia. Secondly, the special services of Russia and Belarus are attacking all democratic activists, human rights defenders and journalists with no exception and no regard to their gender. However, it happened so that the Revolution 2020 in Belarus activated and mobilized a huge number of women who do not want to put up with their oppressed and humiliated position in the patriarchal system of the Belarusian regime and are fighting for their rights, therefore, it is exactly the Belarusian women who got under serious attacks of the special services. Thirdly, the gender specifics of the special services of Russia and Belarus consisting mostly of men should also be considered.
All the facts stated in this report prove once again that the main key to success in the democratic transformation of Belarus and preservation of its independence lays in the promotion of feminist agenda based on the UNSCR 1325, in strengthening the horizontal women’s networks which are defending the rights of Belarusian refugees and helping victims of repressions of the Belarusian regime, as well as in the empowerment of women leaders capable to carry out all the necessary democratic reforms inside Belarus, including economic reforms, which will ensure the sovereignty, territorial integrity of Belarus, exit of Belarus from the military blocks with Russia and out of the Union State, as well as active participation in construction of a new architecture of post-war safety and security in our region. The Belarusian regime is well aware of this, that is why women feminists who promote these agenda, values and ideas have been attacked so seriously.
The aims of this report are the following:
- To attract attention to unprecedented extraterritorial attacks against Belarusian women human rights defenders, journalists and activists in exile in Lithuania.
- To increase vigilance of international structures and of our partners as, unfortunately, we should admit that several campaigns of discrediting have been successful and have achieved their purpose, because the provided disinformation had not been double-checked, but accepted as relevant without additional verification only because it came people with the mandate of the “expert on Belarus”.
- To take most serious measures to stop the attacks against Belarusian women in exile in Lithuania and to ensure their protection, especially from attacks, threats and persecution by the KGB of Belarus and the FSB of Russia in the territory of Lithuania.
- To call on to specify and double-check the information arriving from various sources in regard of women human rights defenders, journalists and activists in exile il Lithuania, since a lot of fake and false information is being spread.
- To gain international attention to the deplorable situation of the Belarusian refugees in Lithuania which is making them easy and vulnerable victims of recruitment by special forces of Russia and Belarus for espionage and to change the situation for the best. Belarusian refugees and Belarusian groups in exile should become reliable partners of Lithuania and the European Union to combat the activities of the special services of Russia and the Belarusian regime in the territory of the European Union.
We are proud that in spite all those attacks and targeted campaigns of discrediting, and with very little support, Belarusian women in exile in Lithuania have not stopped for a minute their work of saving the victims of repressions and helping people in need and distress. We are proud that Belarusians who had escaped from repressions to Lithuania were not left alone as it, unfortunately, happened in a number of other countries, but thanks to our efforts and our support, as much as we were able to provide, people received help, and that it is our part of the Belarusian diaspora in Lithuania that has become one of the most active diasporic groups in Lithuania providing help to Ukrainian refugees, first of all, to women and children running from the war.
Contents of the report:
- Chapter 1. Specifics of the Belarusian group of women human rights defenders, journalists and activists in exile in the territory of the Republic of Lithuania. The amount of the work done, statistics, demographic, social and economic situation.
- Chapter 2. Harassment, constant attacks, provocations, hacking, death threats and threats of physical violence, persecution committed by Lithuanian citizens – men who openly admit their collaboration with the KGB and other special services of Belarus and Russia.
- Chapter 3. Threats to strip of Belarusian citizenship, recruitment attempts, provocations, field surveillance, attacks by “bot farms”, hacker attacks and stealing of sensitive documentation for further transmission to the KGB of Belarus, committed by Belarusian citizens, acting KGB agents or non-staff KGB agents.
We, as Belarusian women human rights defenders, journalists and activists in exile in Lithuania, express our deepest gratitude for attention, consideration, help and solidarity to those who support us in Lithuania:
- to Lithuanian politicians, first of all, to the PACE Special Rapporteur on Belarus, Emanuelis Zingeris, to the Permanent Rapporteur on Belarus to the European Parliament, MEP Petras Auštrevičius, to the Chair of the Delegation for relations with Belarus, MEP Juozas Olekas, to the Chairman of National Security and Defense Committee of Lithuanian Parliament, Laurynas Kasčiūnas, to the head of the Committee of the Seimas of Lithuania on Social Protection and Employment, Algirdas Sysas, to the member of National Security and Defense Committee of the Seimas of Lithuania and member of the Provisional Group “For Democratic Belarus”, Dovilė Šakalienė, to the Chair of Lithuania’s Seimas Committee on Culture, Vytautas Juozapaitis, to the member of the Lithuania’s Seimas Committee on Culture, Kestutis Vilkauskas, to the member of National Security and Defense Committee of the Seimas of Lithuania, Valdas Rakutis, to the member of the Lithuania’s Seimas Committee on Culture, Vice Minister of Culture, Vygintas Gasparavičius, to the Vice Minister Albinas Vilčinskas, as well as to the employees of the Ministry of Culture, to the member of the Provisional Group “For Democratic Belarus” and member of the Committee on Health Affairs, Jurgita Sejonienė, to the member of the Provisional Group “For Democratic Belarus” and member of the Committee on Education and Science of the Seimas of Lithuania, the chair of the Commission of the Seimas of the Republic of Lithuania and the Lithuanian World Community, Dalia Asanavičiūtė, to the member of the Provisional Group “For Democratic Belarus”, Andrius Navickas, to the Chair of the Committee on Human Rights of the Seimas of Lithuania, Tomas Raskevičius, to the member of National Security and Defense Committee of the Seimas of Lithuania and member of the Provisional Group “For Democratic Belarus”, Raimundas Lopata and many, many other politicians who support Belarusian women in exile in Lithuania;
- to the Former Chair of Lithuania’s Constitutional Court, Dainius Žalimas;
- to the Lithuanian migration service and personally to the Head of the Migration Department, Evelina Gudzinskaitė;
- to the Lithuanian border guards and personally to the Head of the State Border Guard Service, Rustam Liubaev;
- personally to the Police Commissioner General, Renatas Požėla;
- to the employees and the director of Maisto Bankas, Simonas Gurevičius for their systemic help and support of Belarusian women in need: Maisto Bankas has already transferred to Belarusian women and children in exile in Lithuania over 9 tons of free food;
- to the vigilant Tax Administration of Lithuania and its wonderful employees who prevented leakage of our data to Belarus in spite of all the provocations of the KGB.
We are grateful for your professionalism, for your careful attitude to the scared and traumatized women from Belarus, for your humanism and very attentive and individual approach to every single case of Belarusian refugees and relocants in Lithuania.
Thanks to your emotional support and attention, the Belarusian women human rights defenders, journalists and activists in exile in Lithuania were able to withstand all the attacks and provocations mentioned below, managed to collect the materials for this report and are determined to continue their fight for the freedom of Belarus and the rights of the oppressed Belarusian women.
OF THE INTERNATIONAL CENTRE FOR CIVIL INITIATIVES
15 October 2022
Specifics of the Belarusian group of women human rights defenders, journalists and activists in exile in the territory of the Republic of Lithuania. The amount of the work done, statistics, demographic, social and economic situation.
According to the official statistics, Belarusians are the third largest ethnic minority in Lithuania right after Poles and Russians. 42 866 ethnic Belarusians lived in Lithuania in 2001, constituting 1.23% of the whole population; only 0.3% of them were citizens of Belarus. According to the assessment made on the basis of the information of the Registry of Population of Lithuania as of the year 2021, the percentage of Belarusians in the total amount of the Lithuanian population increased up to 1.9% (those who ran to Lithuania following the protests started in 2020) and constituted 66,216 people. That is, in 2021 about 23,350 Belarusians arrived to Lithuania on the basis of various documents, and the majority of them were people who ran from repressions or threats of arrest.[i]
That number is confirmed by the Ministry of the Interior of the Republic of Lithuania. In the period from September 2020 to September 2021, the Ministry of the Interior of the Republic of Lithuania issued about 20000 national Lithuanian visas to Belarusians. 834 Belarusians received a special permit form the Minister to enter Lithuania for the reason of extraordinary humanitarian situation (the scheme of “humanitarian corridor”). 206 Belarusians have asked for asylum in Lithuania[ii].
According to the data provided by the Employment Service as of August 1, 2022, 7500 Belarusians working in Lithuania have arrived here since the beginning of the active phase of the war in Ukraine. 88% of them are men, their average age is 37. Their average salary is 1786 Euro “on the books”. The majority of the Belarusians are working in Vilnius – 4200, Kaunas – 600, Šiauliai – 300, and Klaipeda – 200.
About 2000, or 26% of Belarusians who arrived after the beginning of the war, work as highly-skilled employees in Lithuania. About 1700, or 87.1% of them, work in the sphere of IT or communication.
Works requiring medium qualification are performed by 5500 Belarusians arrived after the beginning of the war, or by 73% of the total number.
Only 86 Belarusians, or 1%, perform jobs requiring low or no qualification. Such low percentage is caused by the fact that those Belarusians who perform unskilled work have to do that illegally due to difficulties caused by the Lithuanian legislation.
Unfortunately, we do not have sufficient data on the employment of Belarusians arrived to Lithuania in 2020-2021 because of repressions.
Therefore, the Belarusians in exile in the territory of the Republic of Lithuania, are not a monolithic group, but can be conditionally divided into two heterogeneous parts.
- Privileged Belarusians, financially secure, from the IT sphere as a rule, and their families. Only in the first half of the 2022 representatives of that group paid at least 25 million Euro of taxes to the Lithuanian budget[iii]. They have high social guarantees, high salaried and legal jobs, and experience no difficulties with adaptation in Lithuania. That group of Belarusians includes about 7000-8000 They are young men under 37 with their families.
- Belarusian women and children (and men), who took active part in the protests in 2020 and 2021. Part of them were forced to cross the border illegally, or to resort to the humanitarian corridor to Lithuania in order to save themselves from arrests and persecution in Belarus. They are an extremely poor, marginal and vulnerable group.
Our report is dedicated to the social, economic and demographic situation with the second group of Belarusians in exile in the territory of the Republic of Lithuania, as the first group does not experience any serious difficulties and does not need any particular help or protection.
Specifics of the second group of Belarusian women and men in exile.
- Strongly-pronounced women leadership, brilliant women leaders with a strongly principled position. This part of the Belarusians in Lithuania is living here in harmony and friendship and is working together.
- The system of management is horizontal, the emphasis is made on coalition work.
- Characterized by high social and political activity of Belarusian women human rights defenders, journalists and activists in exile in the Republic of Lithuania. Over 900 protest and solidarity actions have been held by this group since August, 2020, including the everyday Memorial action to commemorate the Belarusians killed during the protests. The Memorial action triggers a particular irritation and attacks of the Belarusian and Russian special services.
The photo shows the Memorial near the Belarusian embassy in Vilnius (Lithuania), commemorating the Belarusians killed during the protests, organized by Dapamoga and other Belarusian organizations in Vilnius. The candles are renewed daily.
- Prominent pro-Western and anti-Putin/anti-Kremlin orientation.
- Provide active help and assistance to Ukrainian refugees and relocants in Lithuania since the very beginning of the active phase of war in Ukraine.
- Among the said group, there are a lot of disabled people and women with sever chronic illnesses.
- Among the said group, there are a lot of single mothers with children.
- Among the said group, there are a lot of Belarusians with higher education, which means, they had been “state slaves” in the system of Aliaksandr Lukashenka. (Information on what is the system of the “sate slavery” can be read in the reference in the footnote).
- Among that group there are a lot of cultural, medical and education workers.
- The Belarusian regime and Aliaksandr Lukashenka himself publicly call that group of Belarusians “runaways” in the meaning of “runaway slaves” because of their status of victims of modern slavery, that is, state slaves in the past.
- There are women with children and men who had to run across the border illegally to save themselves and their kids from repressions and persecution by the regime of Lukashenka.
- The Belarusian propaganda in the person of Ksenia Lebedeva is calling this group of Belarusian refugees in Lithuania “the destructive opposition”[iv]. In the slang of the propagandists and the KGB it means “the group that refuses to collaborate with the KGB”. The KGB calls recruitment of their agents and work with their agents and informants “a social partnership” (to understand the specifics of the KGB euphemisms). Therefore, if anyone in Belarus is using the terms like “constructive opposition”, “social partnership”, “constructive dialogue”, in reality it means collaboration with the KGB and accountability to the KGB and/or other special services of the Belarusian regime.
- Very difficult economic situation of the Belarusian refugees. The majority of single Belarusian mothers with children in exile in the Republic of Lithuania are surviving on less than 2-3 per person per day (after taking out the expenses on housing rent and communal services).
- Law-obedience. Strong desire to live according the Lithuanian legislation and not to violate it. Despite such a huge number of Belarusian refugees in Lithuania who are in a situation of extreme poverty, it has not affected the criminal situation in Lithuania in any way, it has not worsened it.
- In spite of their extremely hard financial situation, Belarusian women almost have not got involved into prostitution and human trafficking (except for some isolated cases) only thanks to the active work of Belarusian organizations in Lithuania, helping Belarusian women in exile and led by women.
- A huge number of social, labor, economic and other problems due to a certain invisibility of this group of Belarusians for the Lithuanian public opinion and for the Lithuanian politicians.
Harassment, constant attacks, provocations, hacking, death threats and threats of physical violence, persecution and stalking committed by Lithuanian citizens – men who publicly admit their collaboration with the KGB and other special services of Belarus and Russia.
- Specifics of the group of Lithuanian male citizens who persecute and harass Belarusian women human rights defenders, journalists and activists in exile in Lithuania, and who publicly admit their collaboration / who are collaborating with special services of Belarus and Russia.
On March 8, 2022, the State Security Department of Lithuania acknowledged that “Belarusian intelligence is persecuting the activists of the opposition acting in Lithuania: they spy on them, wiretap their conversations, organize provocations… Special services of Belarus are involved in organizing the political crisis, they identify and single out the opposition and their supporters, try to intimidate them and use the intelligence information collected by them, the neighboring countries and their special services in discrediting and propagandist campaigns. Belarusian special services do not limit themselves to collecting intelligence information only, they are turning more and more aggressive against the opponents of the Belarusian regime inside Belarus and abroad”.
The State Security Department of Lithuania states that “the Committee of State Security of Belarus (KGB) is using citizens of Lithuania to distribute the narrative in favor of the Belarusian regime and to discredit the Belarusian diaspora and the Belarusian political opposition inside Belarus and abroad. Besides that, the Belarusian special services collaborate with Russian special services against the political opposition[v]”.
On March 9, 2022, the Minister of Defense of Lithuania, Arvydas Anušauskas, informed that in Lithuania several people were detained for photographing strategical objects, including military ones.
The named above group of men in Lithuania is small, but very active in terms of harassment, attacking and persecution of Belarusian women human rights defenders. Cases of three men are described here as an example. However, we should take into consideration that their number might be or become larger, and that not only men but also women might be involvement in the process of harassment.
The question about the sources of income of such people arises, since considering the amount of time they spend for persecution and harassment of Belarusian women human rights defenders, journalists and activists in exile in Lithuania, they literally have no time for a steady job to earn their living.
We would also like to give some specific signs of their destructive activity: attacks, provocations, hacking and discrediting attempts against Belarusian women human rights defenders, journalists and activists in Lithuania.
- All the said men have a clearly pro-Putin and pro-Kremlin position, openly appear in public places wearing a brown-and-black St. George’s ribbon as a sign of their support of Vladimir Putin and the Kremlin (in spite the fact that they can be fined in Lithuania for wearing a brown-and-black St. George’s ribbon). They openly support Vladimir Putin.
- They often openly insult state bodies of Lithuania and consider Lithuania to be an “inferior state”, often make statements that power in Lithuania “has been seized by the Nazis”. They have distinct racist views. Also, they often make statements that power in Lithuania “has been seized by the Jews” and are constantly making antisemitic remarks.
- They believe there is a “fascist regime” in Ukraine and have repeatedly spoken against the “Ukrainian Nazis” and in support of the “denazification” of Ukraine. One of them (Lithuanian Mantas Danielius) attacks, persecutes and harasses Belarusian women refugees in Lithuania, and there are also victims among Ukrainian women. Also, there are constant attempts to discredit Ukrainian women in the eyes of the Lithuanian community.
- They harass and attack Belarusian women leaders, human rights defenders, journalists and activists in exile, arrange surveillance, collect information, also by illegal means. For example, any public appearance of Olga Karach is filmed or secretly recorded, also it is accompanied by insults, or inaccurate or false information is spread. Moreover, those men allow themselves to express threats of murder and physical altercation against Belarusian women human rights defenders in exile.
- All the information which is filmed openly or secretly is later transferred to the KGB and is shown in the Belarusian regime’s TV programs. They are actively collaborating with various Belarusian propagandists. They voluntarily appear on propaganda shows of the Belarusian regime like Lithuanians who allegedly “speak the truth about Lithuania”.
- They admit they cooperate with the KGB, FSB and other special services of Belarus and Russia, perfectly realizing that those special services act against national and public interests of Lithuania and that the Belarusian regime is hostile to Lithuania.
- They are actively hosting their YouTube channels and platforms on social media, used for discrediting and spreading false information about Lithuania and about Belarusian and Ukrainian refugees in Lithuania.
- They are confident of their total impunity due to vulnerability of the Belarusian women in Lithuania as a social group.
- Description of individual cases of Lithuanian male citizens who persecute and harass Belarusian women human rights defenders, journalists and activists in exile in Lithuania, and who openly admit their collaboration / who are collaborating with special services of Belarus and Russia.
- Laurynas Ragelskis.
- Description of individual cases of Lithuanian male citizens who persecute and harass Belarusian women human rights defenders, journalists and activists in exile in Lithuania, and who openly admit their collaboration / who are collaborating with special services of Belarus and Russia.
A citizen of Lithuania. Calls himself a “Belarusian” by nationality. Active supporter of the politician Algirdas Paleckis, convicted of espionage in favor of Russia in Lithuania to 6 years of imprisonment, and the Ukrainian blogger Anatoly Shariy, who got a political asylum in Lithuania and is accused of high treason by the Ukrainian authorities[vi].
A pro-Russian activist, hosting his own YouTube channel “A Lithuanian Shooting Square”, which was multiple times blocked by YouTube for incitement of hatred and enmity. The link to the last version of that YouTube channel is here:[vii]
Laurynas Ragelskis was mentioned in the State Security Department of Lithuania as a “person supervising anti-Western and pro-Russian articles on the platform in the Lithuanian language“[viii].
On August 10, 2021, he actively participated in riots near the Seimas of the Republic of Lithuanian and was detained for that. Admitted to the propagandist of “Belarus Today” that the riots and protests had been organized by several leaders, that even bigger riots had been planned for September 10, 2021. [ix] Calls the Lithuanian government a “junta” and says that “open terror” in Lithuania is going on, and that the Lithuanian government “is losing its mind”.
On August 21, 2021, Laurynas Ragelskis was on the TV show of the Belarusian propagandist Ihar Tur, in which he called the Lithuanian government a “fascist regime” for restrictions connected to COVID-19[x].[xi] (Information on Anatoly Sharyi and Ihar Tur can be read in the reference in the footnote)[xii][xiii].
On May 9, 2022, Laurynas Ragelskis was detained by the police near the Antakalnis Cemetery for a verbal argument with a Lithuanian YouTube blogger Oleg Shuraev, who came to the cemetery to protest against Russian war in Ukraine. The verbal argument heated to a conflict. According to the police officer Ramunas Matonis, the detained Ragelskis interfered with the official event at the cemetery and refused to comply with legitimate police demands.
Laurynas Ragelskis repeatedly attacked the human rights defender Olga Karach, insulted her, filming the insults and publishing the video recordings on his YouTube channel; also, he mocked other Belarusian men and women, who actively participated in the protest actions near the Belarusian embassy in Lithuania.
Upon collective complaint to the police of Belarusian women and men, human rights defenders and activists in Lithuania, a criminal case was launched against Laurynas Ragelskis for incitement of hatred and enmity against Belarusians at protest actions near the Belarusian embassy in Lithuania and for damage with attempts of destruction of the Memorial (“A Watch of Light”), arranged by the human rights organization Dapamoga and Belarusian human rights defender Natalia Kolegova, dedicated to Belarusians killed during the protests. In the complaint it was stated that Laurynas Ragelskis repeatedly attempted to trample the portraits of Belarusians killed during the protests and to desecrate the Memorial, filmed the destruction of the Memorial, and insulted and mocked the participants of the protests in his videos.
Currently, Laurynas Ragelskis is on trial for incitement of hatred and enmity against Belarusians as a social group.
Laurynas Ragelskis is fluent in Lithuanian. However, during the trial he demanded an interpreter into the Russian language. Also, he demanded all materials of his criminal case to be translated into Russian. We believe, it was made with the aim to transfer them to Belarusian propagandists, as well as to the KGB of Belarus in order to create informational materials for Belarusian/Russian regime’s propaganda against the Republic of Lithuania.
On May 24, 2022, the national commentator of LRT informed that “in Lithuania, a network of people is acting, spreading the pro-Kremlin propaganda and managing 105 groups on Facebook, YouTube channels and portals, which, besides other things, spread disinformation about the war in Ukraine”. One of the most active administrators of the network is Laurynas Regelskis[xiv].
- Mantas Danielius.
Is currently under criminal investigation for espionage against Belarusian women human rights defenders in exile. Detained by the police upon complaint of Belarusian human rights defenders, is in custody.
A Lithuanian citizen. Calls himself an ethnic Lithuanian.
A lawyer by education.
Attempted to get into the confidence of the Belarusian organizations in Lithuania helping Belarusian refugees and relocants, like Our House, Dapamoga and about 12 other Belarusian organizations in exile, actively helping political refugees in Lithuania and political prisoners in Belarus. In each organization he offered his help as a volunteer lawyer.
He tried to quarrel Belarusian and Ukrainian organizations in exile, helping Belarusian and Ukrainian refugees in Lithuania, among themselves, spreading false and discrediting information between them. It did not work, as there is a very active coalition of organizations in Lithuania, and all the information was immediately being double-checked and clarified. However, it is those attempts to quarrel Belarusians and Ukrainians between themselves that became a reason for the Belarusian diaspora in Lithuania to block Mantas Danielius.
Besides the Belarusian women, M. Danielius actively attacked Ukrainian women and the Ukrainian diaspora, the Kirghiz diaspora and others, trying to discredit them in Lithuania.
However, only the Belarusians in exile in Lithuania together with the competent Lithuanian authorities managed to get the matter as far as to the opening of a criminal case against Mantas Danielius and to taking him into custody.
On September 28, 2022, Mantas Danielius made an attempt to escape to Belarus. He was arrested while attempting to escape. Currently, he has been placed into custody for two months.
Photo of the Lithuanian layer Mantas Danielius.
Also, Mantas Danielius attacked fighters of the Kastuś Kalinoŭski Regiment (a Belarusian regiment actively fighting in Ukraine against Putin).
Case of the Kastuś Kalinoŭski Regiment fighter. Mantas Danielius impersonated an American embassy official.
A fighter of the Kastuś Kalinoŭski Regiment, Viktar Savich, with a status of a political refugee in Lithuania, came on holiday to Lithuania. He could not go on holiday to Belarus since there is a criminal case opened against him there. Mantas Danielius learned that there was a Belarusian from the Kastuś Kalinoŭski Regiment on holiday in Vilnius, and he called Viktor and claimed to be an employee of the American Embassy in Lithuania[xv]. He earned Viktar’s trust and started asking sensitive questions about the situation in the Kastuś Kalinoŭski Regiment, secretly filming the conversation. Later that video recording appeared in the TV show of the Belarusian propagandist Lebedeva “This Is Different” and was passed to the KGB.
Case of the singer Marharyta Liauchuk and YouTube blogger Andrei Pauk, creators of the satirical vocal and instrumental duo “Krasnaya Zelen” (“Red Green”).
Judicial harassment and persecution of Belarusian cultural figures under repressions in Lithuania by means of abuse of the Lithuanian law.
On September 6, 2022, Mantas Danielis turned to the Lithuanian police with the request to launch a criminal case under Article 170 for insulting the feelings of believers in Lithuania against two Belarusian cultural figures in exile, Marharyta Liauchuk and Andrei Pauk, for their satirical song “Pesnia Moshchi” (Song of Power) about Aliaksandr Lukashenka[xvi]. The police answered that the inspection of his request is carried out.
There are good reasons to believe that Mantas Danielius somehow gained access to the sensitive financial materials of the human rights organization Viasna, which then were used against the human rights defenders of Viasna in criminal proceedings in Belarus and for their arrests. We would like to remind, that two human rights defenders of Viasna were given severe sentences of 15 and 6 years of imprisonment. The rest are awaiting adjudication. Other eight defendants in the same case were sentenced to the terms from 5 to 17 years of imprisonment. Ales Bialiatski, Nobel Laureate 2022, was detained on July 14, 2021, in custody since then. Among others, accused of tax evasion under Article 243 part 2 of the Criminal Code of Belarus (tax evasion)[xvii], and we are speaking about the sum of about 90 thousand dollars[xviii].
Case of a young woman journalist in exile A.B. (name changed for security reasons). Hacking attack on the Lithuanian Court’s electronic information systems. Theft of documents of the State Security Department and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Lithuania regarding the young woman journalist A.B. and their transfer to Ksenia Lebedeva and, correspondingly, to the KGB of Belarus.
Vytis Jurkonis, the director of the Lithuanian department of Freedom House, wrote a letter to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Lithuania with a disinformation about the activity of the young woman journalist A.B., claiming that she had allegedly been a propagandist of the biggest propaganda newspaper Belarus Today, collaborating with the KGB, and that she had passed important information to the KGB, which allegedly resulted in arrests of human rights defenders and journalists.
The journalist A.B. has never worked in the biggest propaganda newspaper Belarus Today, of which Vytis Jurkonis is perfectly aware of, has never collaborated with the KGB and has never passed to propagandists nor to KGB operatives any information about the activity of the Belarusian diaspora in Lithuania or about the activity of Belarusian human rights defenders and journalists. It can be easily proved by facts and even by simple Google search. Vytis Jurkonis deliberately submitted to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Lithuania false information with the aim to deport the Belarusian journalist out of Lithuania. In the result, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Lithuania stripped her of her journalist accreditation on the basis of the letter of the director of the Lithuanian department of the human rights organization Freedom House, and, thus, created for her a threat to be deported to Belarus (she was in Lithuania on the basis of the temporary residence permit, issued on the grounds of the journalist accreditation in the MFA of Lithuania).
Our House stood up to defend the young woman from Belarus, who, besides all other problems, is suffering from a serious, potentially mortal disease (cancer), threatening her life. Deportation to Belarus for the young woman journalist meant prison, torture and early death, considering her diagnosis and because there is no access to medical treatment or medications in Belarusian prison.
Therefore, Our House filed a lawsuit and disagreement with the decision of the MFA of Lithuania to revoke the accreditation of the Belarusian journalist.
Having learned about the lawsuit of Our House to the MFA of Lithuania, Mantas Danielius somehow managed to hack the electronic system of courts in Lithuania (the police is now investigating how he did it), gained access to the investigation file of the civil action of Our House to the MFI of Lithuania (Our House and the journalist in question have never granted him that access which is also easily proved) and stole non-public correspondence – documents of the State Security Department and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Lithuania regarding the accreditation of the young woman journalist A.B. from Belarus, which he later transferred to the Belarusian propagandist Ksenia Lebedeva and, correspondingly, to the KGB of Belarus.
Case “Our House” and case “Dapamoga”, the two most active human rights organizations helping Belarusian refugees in Lithuania.
Mantas Danielius tried to gain access to the sensitive financial information (he failed to get it). He tried to get access to the databases on Belarusian refugees and on victims of repressions inside Belarus (he failed to get it). He wrote complaints to a number of state bodies hoping thus to get the access to the sensitive information (he failed to get it).
He secretly filmed conversations, tried to identify the role and significance of very socially and politically active volunteer in the organizations. Then, he passed the illegally obtained materials of those video recordings to the propagandist Ksenia Lebedeva, a non-staff employee of the KGB of Belarus.
The situation reached absurd lengths: the propagandist and KGB operative Ksenia Lebedeva attempted to pass the proposal to Olga Karach through the Lithuanian lawyer Mantas Danielius (and he through another third party) to become a KGB agent in return for the opportunity to “die in Belarus, in the motherland”, in prison (we have a screenshot of that amazing “proposal”).
Attempts to discredit socially and politically active Belarusians in exile in Lithuania.
Mantas Danielius spoke to the hybrid, Sviatlana Tsikhanouskaya’s affiliated mass media Nasha Niva with the aim to provide disinformation about and to discredit the two most active Belarusian human rights organizations in Lithuania – Our House and Dapamoga. He said that Olga Karach and Nataliya Kolegova allegedly knew that he was collaborating with Ksenia Lebedeva and passing the materials to them, but told nobody about that.
That fake is refuted by several facts, one of which is that Mantas Danielius was detained due to the police report filed exactly by Olga Karach and Natalia Kolegova and the materials they submitted.
When Nasha Niva learned that the Belarusian women human rights defenders filed a police report, it did not publish any retractions of Mantas’s fake information, but kept silent, which proves once again that Nasha Niva is deliberately spreading fake news about the Belarusian human rights defenders, journalists and activists in Lithuania.
- Ihar Makar
A citizen of Lithuania, a former citizen of Belarus.
A criminal case has been launched against Ihar Makar in the Republic of Lithuania for threats of murder and physical violence against the human rights defender Olga Karach (art. 145, part 2 of the Criminal Code of Lithuania), as well as for slander against the human rights defender Olga Karach in the form of accusing her of committing an exceptionally aggravated criminal offense (art. 154 of the Criminal Code of Lithuania). Both the articles have been united into one case, and currently the police are investigating not only Ihar Makar, but also Sviatlana Tsikhanouskaya’s affiliated media Nasha Niva.
Former operative of the Almaz Special Anti-Terrorism Unit of Belarus. (Information on what Almaz Special Anti-Terrorism Unit is can be ready in the reference in the footnote).
Ihar Makar admitted that he personally trained Mikalai Karpiankou[xix], the current vice minister of the internal affairs of Belarus[xx], who on October 2, 2022, in the propagandists TV show told Hryhory Azaronak[xxi] that the “opposition abroad consists of rabid dogs which deserve to die because the devil has possessed them”[xxii] Considering that his interlocutor, the propagandist Hryhory Azaronak, publicly called Olga Karach a “devil” and himself an “angel”, and that two days before that the Lithuanian police and special services detained the Lithuanian lawyer Mantas Danielius on suspicion of espionage for the KGB and the attempt to infiltrate to Our House and other Belarusian organizations in Lithuania, we can make quite the correct assumption who those murder threats of the Belarusian enforcer were directed against.
Ihar Makar was granted a political asylum in Lithuania in 2006 or in 2007 under the pretext that he was a security guard of a candidate for presidency 2006, the former rector of the Belarusian State University, Aliaksandr Kazulin. Kazulin himself was later put to prison for participation in the protest action on March 25, 2006. Before that action started, Ihar Makar had escaped to Moscow.
On January 19, 2021, the Embassy of Belarus in Lithuania published a recording of a conversation with Ihar Makar, on which he is offering the Belarusian Embassy in Lithuania to “leak” (provide) them information for a large sum of money. The recording can be listened to here[xxv]. Ihar Makar has never rebutted the authenticity of that recording and that conversation.
Not only Ihar Makar does not conceal his connections and contacts not just with the KGB and other special services of Belarus[xxvi], he also publicly admitted to have connections with the FSB and Russian special services to the Ukrainian YouTube blogger Balaganov. Ihar Makar’s literal quotation: “I call to my person in Moscow”[xxvii]…
Active supporter of Vladimir Putin. His appeal in defense of Vladimir Putin and the brown-and-black St. George’s ribbon with English subtitles can be seen here[xxviii].
Publicly admitted to have tortured and beaten people in prisons as “just carrying out an order”, and said that the beaten person became “just a pulp”[xxix].
He was personally invited by Sviatlana Tsikhanouskaya to the conference “New Belarus” dedicated to the second anniversary of the beginning of the protests in Belarus, which was held on August 8-9, 2022.
Before that, he participated twice in the Forum of Democratic Forces of Belarus, but on August 3, 2022, the Temporary Council of the Forum of Democratic Forces gave him a vote of no confidence for “systematic violation of the Code of Ethics of the Forum of Democratic Forces of Belarus”, and in the result Ihar Makar was excluded from the members of the Forum of Democratic Forces of Belarus. The decision about his expulsion can be read here[xxx].
Case of V.V., a doctor and mother of four children, a resident of Minsk (name changed for security reasons).
Ihar Makar collaborated and had close connections with the KGB of Belarus.
Through Ihar Makar, the KGB of Belarus prepared and held a special operation, about which he informed later in the film “Mankurts”[xxxi].
The KGB of Belarus gave Ihar Makar a bait which he took: an allegedly unmasked KGB operative who was allegedly leaking secret information to Telegram channels. The KGB operative, as assigned, got in touch with Makar and offered him a whole archive of “secret KGB documents” in exchange to a large sum of money and his relocation from Belarus.
The KGB prepared and passed to Ihar Makar forged documents. Ihar Makar asked his former classmate, a doctor and a mother of 4 underage children, to transport the documents out of the country. Thus, the KGB, through Ihar Makar, was attempting to disclose and block the channels and opportunities for Belarusian protesters to leave the country illegally. Makar turned to different structures, including Our House, with the request to smuggle the KGB operative out of the country. After carrying out a number of checks, all refused to do that.
In Minsk, after she transferred the documents on the request of Ihar Makar, the woman-physician was detained by the KGB and placed to the KGB pre-trial detention facility. There she was tortured; later she said that in the KGB pre-trial detention facility “they create such conditions that, trust me, any person can be broken and sign everything they tell you, especially when they have leverage on the person, especially, when the person is not alone” (meaning “has children”). When she was released, she left the country immediately with the kids. However, her husband, a doctor, was detained and 4 criminal cases have been launched against him at once. Her husband was detained for a negative comment on Facebook about his wife’s detention by the special services of Belarus, and also for his appeal to the enforcers of Belarus to “stop persecute and harass people, stop ratting out on people, informing on them, supporting repressions.” The doctor was sentenced to 6 years of imprisonment in a medium-security prison.
Currently, the woman applied for political asylum in one of the European countries.
At the end of the year 2020, Ihar Makar published an audio recording of the KGB chairman Vadzim Zaitsau, in which the assassination of the Belarusian journalist Pavel Sheremet was discussed. Pavel Sheremet was killed in Kyiv (Ukraine) on June 20, 2016, in a car bomb explosion. The vehicle belonged to the head of the Ukrainian Pravda, Olena Prytula (she was not in the car at the moment of the explosion)[xxxii]. The publication of the audio recording caused a huge resonance.
On May 9, 2021, with a brown-and-black St. George’s ribbon on his chest (that ribbon is a symbol of those who support the policy of Vladimir Putin and the Kremlin, it is banned from wearing in Lithuania) he laid flowers in Vilnius, at the Antakalnis Military Cemetery where a monument to Soviet soldiers is situated.
Photo of Ihar Makar at the Antakalnis Soviet Military Cemetery. May 9, 2021.
Case of the human rights defender Olga Karach, the head of the human rights organization Our House.
For the first time, Ihar Makar made an attempt to infiltrate the organization Our House in 2012, using the recommendations of the Colonel of Internal Service, Oleg Alkaev, who always tried to support former Belarusian enforcers abroad and who was also helping the campaign “Beware, the Police!” held by Our House to defend women activists and human rights defenders from sexual violence committed against them by police officers[xxxiii]. Then, Olga Karach did not take Ihar Makar seriously, therefore, the contact was not maintained.
In January 2021, Ihar Makar got in touch with Olga Karach again to discuss help for a Belarusian from Gomel region, who was on the run.
He tried to infiltrate Our House for the second time, but aroused suspicion with his actions and words. Till now, he does not know a single human rights defender or activist of Our House personally, except for Olga Karach. There has never been any common and joint activity with Ihar Makar except for congratulations with the International Women’s Day on March 8, 2021, together with strike committees and a number of Belarusian politicians on the YouTube of Olga Karach[xxxiv], and several personal meetings in the presence of third parties.
However, Ihar Makar tried to organize a number of provocations directed at discrediting Olga Karach, which were not successful. First of all, Ihar Makar was interested in the channels of secret transporting (smuggling) of people out of Belarus – in the same information the KGB had been interested in in the case with Makar’s classmate. He did not get any information from Olga Karach in that regard.
On April 23, 2021, Olga Karach made a public statement to explain why she had blocked all communication with Ihar Makar since March 24, 2021. The reason was that on March 24, 2021, Ihar Makar admitted to have anonymously corresponding with a “high-ranking FSB official” via a Telegram channel. Olga Karach saw a huge threat for herself in cooperating with a person who communicated directly with the FSB of Russia, and stopped all the contacts immediately[xxxv].
However, since that moment, Ihar Makar started stalking and persecuting Olga Karach everywhere, spreading disinformation and fakes about her, mostly via Sviatlana Tsikhanouskaya’s affiliated media, first of all, Nasha Niva, registered in Lithuania in the form of a charity foundation Nasha Niva under the directorship of Anastasiya Rouda (Nastassia Rouda).
Here are some examples of providing deliberate disinformation and fakes against Olga Karach by Ihar Makar through Sviatlana Tsikhanouskaya’s affiliated medium Nasha Niva with the purpose to discredit her.
- On April 20, 2021, on Sviatlana Tsikhanouskaya’s affiliated mass media Nasha Niva a huge article was published under the name “Makar quarreled with Karach saying that Ziankovich flew to Moscow under the security guarantees given by her” with the reference to Ihar Makar’s words and accusing the human rights defender Olga Karach of alleged participation in the special operation of Russian special services to lure the political scientist Aliaksandr Fiaduta and the lawyer Youras Ziankovich “under her guarantees to Moscow” where they were detained by special services. That fake that Olga Karach allegedly helped to arrest Fiaduta and Ziankovich was later actively broadcasted also through other Sviatlana Tsikhanouskaya’s affiliated mass media structures, including the blogger, Anton Matolka. (Read the reference on the “Conspiracy of Winnie-the-Poohs” in the framework of which Fiaduta and Ziankovich were arrested in the footnote).
On April, 17, 2021, the political scientists Aliaksandr Fiaduta and the lawyer Youras Ziankovich were detained in Moscow (Russia) by special services of Russia and Belarus on the accusation of coup d’état attempt and conspiracy to assassinate Aliaksandr Lukashenka.
On April 7, 2021, simultaneously with Aliaksandr Fiaduta and Youras Ziankovich, special services of Russian and Belarus tried to lure also the human rights defender Olga Karach to Moscow under the pretext of inviting her to make a speech on Russian federal TV channels. She was contacted by a person with the anonymous nick “enforcer” (the screenshot of that messaging is available). Now it is clear that if Olga Karach had come to Moscow, she would have immediately been arrested as an accomplice in the case of “conspirators”. Olga Karach categorically refused to go to Moscow.
On September 1, 2022, in his last statement in court, Aliaksandr Fiaduta said what had really happened and why he and Youras Ziankovich had been in Moscow. Radio Svoboda published practically the full speech of Aliaksandr Fiaduta, in which he said that he had become a victim of provocation of a special services operative, Ivan Zhuravsky[xxxvi]. The same information about the enforcer Ivan Zhuravsky was confirmed at the court also by Youras Ziankovich.
Aliaksandr Fiaduta did not mention Olga Karach even once. She was not in the so-called “Club of Conspirators”, she had not participated in any their Zoom or other meetings and had never expressed any desire to participate in them. She knew nothing about the plans of the conspirators and was not interested in them as she considered them unrealistic. Moreover, she avoided Youras Ziankovich’s attempts to talk to her via Zoom, for what the annoyed Youras Ziankovich called her “unobliging” in court. During the trial, Youras Ziankovich admitted that Olga Karach was not in the club of “conspirators”, i.e., she had known nothing about the plans of Ziankovich and Fiaduta to go to Moscow. The versions of Ihar Makar about “guarantees” turned out to be a fake disinformation.
The Belarusian special services were so annoyed that they had failed to connect (more precisely, managed to connect only partially, through Nasha Niva) Olga Karach with the “conspirators” and had failed to lure her to Moscow or to Belarus, that on August 2, 2022, the main propaganda mouthpiece Belarus Today[xxxvii], after the unfair trials of the “conspirators”, published an emotional article with reference ot Fiaduta’s words: “the defendant Fiaduta was questioned in court: the accused does not admit to foul motives” with the following wording: “the candidature of Karach, according to Fiaduta’s words, was not approved for the position of conspiracy participant. Even here the extremist was not lucky” (“was not lucky” in the meaning Olga Karach was not accepted to join the club)[xxxviii].
On September 5, 2022, Minsk Regional Court issued a verdict on the criminal case of “coup d’état”: Youras Ziankovich was senteced to 11 years of imprisonment, Aliaksandr Fiaduta and Ryhor Kastusiou – to 10 years of imprisonment each, Dzianis Krauchuk and Volha Halubovich – to 2.5 years of imprisonment each[xxxix].
On May 29, 2022, on Sviatlana Tsikhanouskaya’s affiliated mass media Nasha Niva, registered in Lithuania in the form of a charity foundation Nasha Niva, Ihar Makar publicly accused Olga Karach of having ordered the murder of the founder of Sviatlana Tsikhanouskaya’s affiliated foundation BYSOL, Andrej Stryzhak, which allegedly should have been committed by the fighter of the Kastuś Kalinoŭski Regiment, Pavel Kulazhanka, who, in his turn, was allegedly provoking Ihar Makar to become his accomplice. Ihar Makar presented an audio recording of his conversation with Pavel Kulazhanka and said that the recording had been made on December 28, 2020[xl]. However, in the period when that recording was allegedly made, Olga Karach and Pavel Kulazhanka did not know each other, therefore, she would not have hired Pavel to assassinate Stryzhak, even if we suppose that that murder attempt had indeed been planned.
Olga Karach filed a demand with the police of Lithuania to open a criminal case over slander against her, since there were also other facts proving innocence of Olga Karach in that matter.
Ihar Makar said publicly that it is his “matter of honor” as an enforcer, to destroy the human rights defender, Olga Karach.
Currently, in the Republic of Lithuania, a criminal case is opened against Ihar Makar for public threats of murder and physical altercation against the human rights defender Olga Karach (art. 145, part 2 of the Criminal Code of Lithuania), as well as for slander against the human rights defender Olga Karach in the form of accusing her of committing an exceptionally aggravated criminal offense (art. 154 of the Criminal Code of Lithuania). Both the articles have been united into one case, and currently the police are investigating not only Ihar Makar, but also Sviatlana Tsikhanouskaya’s affiliated media Nasha Niva on both the charges.
Threats to strip of Belarusian citizenship, attempts of recruitment by special services, provocations, hacker attacks and stealing of sensitive documentation for further transmission to the KGB of Belarus, committed by Belarusian citizens, acting KGB agents or non-staff KGB agents.
3.1. Threats of kidnapping from the territory of Lithuania and forced return to Belarus “in a trunk”, threats of physical violence, other types of threats and online threats.
On May 9, 2021, the Russian propagandist Olga Skabeyeva on her TV show compared the human rights defender Olga Karach to a Nazi death camps guard Irma Grese and used photoshop to disfigure the appearance of Olga Karach and make her look like the concentration camp guard. There is a direct hint that Olga Karach must be hanged as the Nazi Irma Grese.
Here’s what’s written in the publication:
By right of blood?
- On the left photo is Irma Grese, a Nazi military criminal, a death camp guard, nicknamed as “Blond Devil”. She was hanged on December 13, 1945 according to the verdict of the Belsen trial.
- Her epigone, Olga Karach, is on the right, a red-white-red chauvinist.
She threatened Putin with sanctions, by power given to her “by right of blood”.
- Pay attention to the authentic contemptuous fanatic glance, hairstyle and style of cloths of both the Nazis.
Historical parallels always intersect!
On May 23, 2021, Aleh Haidukevich, the Deputy Chairman of the Committee on International Affairs in the so-called National Assembly of the Belarusian regime, publicly announced that a number of special operations are being planned to be carried out in the territories of Lithuania and Poland against well-known opposition members, including their kidnapping and returning to Belarus in a trunk[xli]. (Read the information on who Aleh Haidukevich is in the footnote).
Since June, 2021 in the territory of Lithuania, at least five Belarusian women human rights defenders of Our House and partner organizations, helping Belarusian refugees and relocants, have complained about surveillance by unknown men.
On June 22, 2021 Our House made an official appeal to the Seimas of Lithuania on the issue of surveillance of human rights defenders. Members of the Lithuanian parliament offered informally to provide security bodyguards and other measures; however, those measures would paralyze and block the work of Belarusian women helping refugees and relocants, so they refused additional bodyguards. It is impossible, for example, to go to the border at night to pick up the refugees that escaped from Belarus, help other people that need immediate help, if you a have bodyguards and their working day is over[xlii].
On August 2, 2021, on ONT, a propaganda channel of the Belarusian regime, the propagandist Ksenia Lebedeva (see Chapter 2, case of Mantas Danielius) broadcasted her show named “This Is Different” about Our House, in which human rights defenders of Our House were indicated[xliii] by their names, including Olga Karach as the leader of the organization.
On September 5, 2021, the under-secretary of state of the Security Council, Uladzimir Archakau, admitted that a number of special operations aimed at physical liquidation of opposition leaders abroad, also by means of imitation of car accidents, were being prepared.
Archakou announced that first of all it concerned those leaders who were working on sanctions imposed on the Belarusian regime. Taking into consideration that Our House has been actively working on the sanctions issue, and the fact that our active core is traveling mostly by cars, we take that threat personally as well.
The quote of Archakau from the article: “That is why those “runaways” (in the meaning of “runaway slaves”), begging for sanctions, they do not understand what irretrievable hole they are trying to put Belarus in. It is clear that the West will let them go down the drain sooner or later, it is already letting them go down the drain, and they will perish in the car accidents, but those cold cases will remain on Belarus.”[xliv]
On November 6, 2021, one more main propagandist of Lukashenka, Hryhory Azaronak, on his page in VKontakte announced in a form of a poem that Olga Karach was a “devil” in comparison with the “angel” Azaronak[xlv].
Also, a poem, allegedly written by a Belarusian woman voter, was published in which the propagandist Hryhory Azaronak (angel) was compared to the human rights defender Olga Karach (devil). The poem is in the footnote:
On November 6, 2021, Ilya Begun, a person on the list of people unwanted on the territory of Lithuania, attacked defender Olga Karach on his Telegram channel the human rights for her support of Berlin’s LGBT and feminist march with the words:
“Has anyone noticed that Karach was present at the Berlin march of gays and lesbians?”[xlvi]
On December 3, 2021, access to the resources of the organization Our House was limited by the decision of the Prosecutor General of Belarus for “incitement of national hatred or discord against the citizens and the leadership of Russia”.
From the materials of the decision of the Prosecutor General of Belarus: “The Prosecutor General’s Office found out the said Internet resource during a monitoring. According to the materials of the state bodies, “the social and political situation in Belarus and its leadership has been aggressively and groundlessly criticized on it.
Inaccurate or deliberately distorted information has systematically been published on the organization’s web site. In addition, the conclusions of the author in the majority of the publications were worded so as to purposefully increase the tension and confrontation in the society, to create an atmosphere of non-acceptance of any actions of the law enforcement officers, and to incite hatred in relation to that social group.
Also, there was published the material, directed at incitement of national hatred or discord against the citizens and the leadership of Russia. In separate articles the mutual relations of Belarus and Russia were discredited.” [xlvii]
On October 3, 2022, several days after the arrest of the Lithuanian lawyer Mantas Danielius on the basis of the police report filed by the Belarusian women human rights defenders and activists in Lithuania (see Chapter 2. Case of Mantas Danielius), Hryhory Azaronak asked Karpiankou a question which also made it clear that they were making a hint to the detention of Mantas Danielius by special services of Lithuania: “Were they, our opponents, like that from the beginning, or have they just degraded abroad under the command of the Western special services to open Nazis and mad people?”[xlviii] Explicit murder threats against the Belarusian women human rights defenders were pronounced on that TV program.
On October 3, 2022, one of the biggest Telegram channels of the Belarusian regime’s propaganda “Zheltye Slivy” accused Olga Karach of being an agent of Polish intelligence only on the basis of the fact, that Olga Karach, as the head of the human rights organization Our House, together with the German organization IGFM, brought a truck of humanitarian aid to Kraków (Poland) for Belarusian and Ukrainian refugees[xlix].
For already almost two years, various bot farms have been attacking the Belarusian women human rights defenders in Lithuania, writing them nasty things with the aim to take them out from the state of mental equilibrium and block their communication with the residents of Belarus by mass-scale spam.
Here’s a typical example of insults that we have to constantly clear our social media from.
Screenshot of the messages received by Belarusian women human rights defenders; this is what is said in them:
You, bitch, are leaking us to Lukavyj (the evil one)?
(a word play, since the word “lukavyj” sounds close to the surname Lukashenka and means “crafty” or “the evil one”, “the devil”).
As for the trial – spit the dick from behind your cheek first.
Otherwise, it’s all garbled.
Also, false accounts are being created on the social media, looking like the accounts of the human rights defender Olga Karach, with the purpose to discredit her.
For example, the fake account was spreading antisemitic slogans impersonating Olga Karach in the chats of “Belarusians of Lithuania”.
Here are examples of how the real account and a fake account look like.
For example, a fake account created allegedly on behalf of Olga Karach, differs from the original in just one letter. In this case it is “L” and “I”. People do not watch that attentively, and the fake account is writing in chats and in personal chats, insulting people and turning them against Olga Karach.
Here is another example of a fake account of Olga Karach, which was insulting the Belarusians of Lithuania in chats with spreading antisemitic slogans.
We identified the fake account of “Olga Karach” and the Telegram channel ID of the prson who did it (it cannot be changed, as the username).
3.2. “Amnesty” from the Belarusian regime and permit to return home for Belarusian refugees in return for their espionage in the territory of Lithuania.
3.2.1. The KGB offers the Belarusian refugees in Lithuania a “safe return” and “closure of criminal cases” in exchange to collaboration and espionage.
Approximately from the autumn of 2021, when the Belarusian KGB realized that social, legal, labor and other problems of the Belarusian refugees in Lithuania were accumulating and poorly resolved, that people were tired and in depression because of that, that it was the weak point of the Belarusian diaspora in Lithuania, it started its attacks by widely sending private messages to Belarusian refugees in Lithuania offering them to “safely return to Belarus” and discuss the conditions of such return. If a person responded, he or she was offered to engage in espionage for the KGB in Lithuania for some time in exchange for the “safe return” (we have screenshots confirming that fact). The Belarusian ONT propagandist Ksenia Lebedeva was one of those who offered Belarusian refugees to collaborate in order to “safely return to Belarus” after that through the Lithuanian lawyer Mantas Danielius.
In our opinion, poverty, marginality and vulnerability of the Belarusian refugees in Lithuania leads to the situation when, regrettably, some Belarusians accept such offers, which increase the risks and threats for the Belarusian women human rights defenders, journalists and activists in Lithuania. We cannot say precisely how many Belarusian refugees today have consented to collaborate with the KGB in the territory of Lithuania in exchange for their “safe return”, but obviously that number can be sharply and significantly reduced by helping Belarusians solve their social, financial, labor, employment and other problems in Lithuania.
On March 4, 2022, the human rights defender Olga Karach discussed that problem and ways of its solution at a personal meeting with an employee of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Lithuania, especially regarding the issue of organizing (supporting) a shelter for Belarusian refugees in Lithuania. There has been no reaction from the MFA of Lithuania.
3.2.2. “Amnesty” of Lukashenka used as an official way to recruit Belarusian refugees to spy in the territory of the European Union, as well as a threat to strip of the Belarusian citizenship those human rights defenders who continue to fight for human rights in exile.
On September 6, 2022, Aliaksandr Lukashenka held a meeting with officials of uniformed agencies on “improvement of legislation on citizenship and amnesty” regarding those whose “crimes” are connected to the 2020 events. Aliaksandr Lukashenka suggested to carry out that amnesty on the day of the 17th of September, which he announced as the “Day of National Unity” to “honor” the entry of the Red Army into the territory of Western Belarus and Western Ukraine with consequent accession of the Western Belarus to the BSSR on September 17, 1939. Lukashenka promised to release about 8000 prisoners. The “amnesty” also talked about those who fled Belarus after the 2020 events, but would like to go back.
What that draft law means for the Belarusian refugees in Lithuania:
- Lukashenka will strip all Belarusian women human rights defenders, activists and journalists in exile in Lithuania, helping Belarusian refugees, of their citizenship. That is, the risks, threats and repressions for the Belarusian women human rights defenders are growing[l].
- Recruitment of the Belarusian citizens, political refugees in Lithuania, for conducting espionage is being intensified.
- Thus, those Belarusian refugees who have not managed to survive and adapt in Lithuania, whose problems have not been solved, who are tired of the deadlock, will be returning to Belarus on the terms of the Belarusian regime and helping the propaganda against Lithuania.
There is only one correct decision: to start systematically dealing with problems of Belarusian refugees in Lithuania, so that the Belarusian diaspora could become a full-fledged and reliable partner of Lithuania and the European Union against the attacks of the Belarusian regime in general and the KGB in particular.
3.3. Case of Ilya Begun, a person declared undesirable in Lithuania by the State Security Department of Lithuania.
In September, 2020, one of those who asked to use the humanitarian corridor, was Ilya Begun, a young programmer from Minsk, who had been one of Valery Tsepkala’s headquarters’ manager during the presidential campaign. The headquarters later became a part of the “triumvirate”, a union of three headquarters, working for one candidate for presidency, Sviatlana Tsikhanouskaya. Ilya Begun asked for political asylum in Lithuania, but sometime later he refused it and changed his status of a political refugee to a humanitarian visa, which he obtained in November, 2020.
In that moment, he started actively cooperating with Sviatlana Tsikhanouskaya’s affiliated foundation BYSOL on helping repressed citizens, and Sviatlana Tsikhanouskaya’s affiliated foundation Country for Life (CFL) on helping repressed citizens, and was a volunteer there. He also tried to infiltrate a number of other Belarus organizations in Lithuania. For example, he offered his programming services for the campaign “Children-328” of the Human rights organization Our House (the campaign held with the aim to defend and release children sentenced in Belarus to long-term imprisonment for minor, non-violent, drug-related offenses), he offered his help to the organization Dapamoga, which is working with problems of Belarusian refugees in Lithuania, and so on.
At a certain moment, he started dating and then had a relationship with the press secretary of one of Sviatlana Tsikhanouskaya’s affiliated foundations, a young journalist B.B. from Belarus (name encoded for security reasons). Having earned her trust, he hacked her computer and passwords, stole all the information from her computer and ran to Belarus. The stolen data was passed to the KGB of Belarus, and later used by the propagandist Ihar Tur (see case of Chapter 2. Laurynas Regelskis) in his series of programs “Lies of Runaways”. Totally, in 2021, Ilya Begun participated in 18 propagandist programs of ONT (the Belarusian regime’s propagandist TV channel, where such propagandists as Ksenia Lebedeva, Ihar Tur, Hryhory Azaronak and others work).
Subsequently, Ilya Begun become a participant of the so-called “Round Table” of Yury Voskresensky. (The reference on the “Round Table of Voskresensky, as well as on the most popular candidate for presidency, Viktar Babaryka, can be found in the footnote).
Although he hacked the computer of the young journalist, Ilya Begun failed to get any serious information that would lead to arrests and detention of people. However, he obtained a lot of personal audio and video recordings of the young woman. Mostly, they were just a collection of gossip and subjective evaluations of different participants of the Belarusian protest movement, including Sviatlana Tsikhanouskaya, Olga Karach, Franak Viačorka and others.
The stolen information was so insignificant, that no arrests nor detentions happened after its publication. Not a single person got arrested.
Nevertheless, the young woman journalist, who had trusted Ilya Begun enough to have a romantic relationship with him, had plans for their common future (it was understood from the materials presented by Ihar Tur that she had such plans for Ilya Begun), suffered a lot in terms of the reputational damage.
A serious victim-blaming against her started, that is, sexists from the Belarusian opposition accused the victim of crime, who had her computer hacked, of that very crime, blaming her for what had happened to her, that she was responsible for the actions of Ilya Begun because she had not guessed immediately that he was a KGB agent.
The young woman was immediately fired from Sviatlana Tsikhanouskaya’s affiliated foundation. After that, severe bullying and harassment against the young woman, a crime victim, started among the Belarusian opposition. Olga Karach tried to impede the harassment and even organized the meeting of the young woman with the chair of one of the affiliated foundations with that purpose. Unfortunately, the meeting had no positive results.
On January 17, 2021, the young woman journalist was immediately put on the list of the KGB agents in the Black Book of Belarus”, a Sviatlana Tsikhanouskaya’s affiliated structure specialized in working on Belarusian enforcers. At the same time, Ilya Begun, who was openly working with the KGB, actively and voluntarily participated in the “Round Table” of Yury Voskresensky and propagandist TV shows, was not put on the list of the Black Book of Belarus. Activists of the Belarusian diaspora raised the question why the victim of crime, but not the criminal, was put on the list of the Black Book of Belarus (confirming screenshots are available), and only because of that Ilya Begun was also included into the Black Book as a KGB agent, with a several days’ delay. The young woman journalist, the victim of the KGB special operation, is still included into the Black Book of Belarus as a KGB agent. Employees of the Black Book have never apologized to her.
Two organizations, Dapamoga and Our House, both led by women, stood up for the young woman, the crime victim.
3.3. Open field surveillance of women human rights defenders, journalists and activists in exile in Lithuania, conducted by unknown persons.
In June 2021, Belarusian women human rights defenders, journalists and activists in Lithuania started noticing open and aggressive field surveillance of them: unknown men trying to photograph them, following and watching them, sending them strange messages to their messengers, sometimes under the pretext to “get acquainted and go on a date”.
Our House has collected a number of testimonies of the Belarusian women and turned to the Seimas of Lithuania with the information and the request to react to the field surveillance. The Seimas of Lithuania did not respond officially, but several unofficial consultations have been held with the Belarusian women human rights defenders. Obviously, some measures have been taken, as such open persecution, following and surveillance have stopped.
- All the aforementioned attacks and discrediting campaigns against women’s Belarusian organizations in Lithuania have one goal – to limit, cease, block and discipline the social, humanitarian, human rights, cultural and political activities of Belarusian women human rights activists in exile in Lithuania, and also to stop any assistance to Belarusian political refugees in Lithuania for making them more vulnerable to espionage recruitment. In particular, it was publicly voiced by propagandist Ksenia Lebedeva in her Telegram channel, where she had announced the closure of Lithuanian schools in Belarus as revenge on Lithuania for supporting Belarusian political refugees.
- It is obvious that precisely the pronounced and clear pro-Western active social and political position of Belarusian women in exile, as well as active assistance to Belarusian refugees in Lithuania, serve as a certain trigger for intensifying attacks, provocations and campaigns on discrediting by the KGB and other special services of Belarus and Russia.
- When analyzing all extraterritorial attacks on Belarusian women in exile in Lithuania, it becomes obvious that the center of these attacks and provocations, as well as their management, is in Belarus, particularly in the KGB.
- The lack of access to free juridical assistance together with the lack of resources and possibilities to pay for such quality assistance, makes Belarusian women human rights defenders in exile in Lithuania vulnerable and easy victims of attack and persecution not only by the KGB and other special services of Belarus and Russia, but also by sexists, xenophobes and racists from Lithuania.
- Unfortunately, the lack of resources and full access to assistance has also led to the fact that there is no way to create our own security service in order to check and verify the possible infiltration of KGB agents and other special services. This is what must be changed immediately, and we are waiting for active and immediate assistance from both the Lithuanian state and the European Union on this urgent matter.
The recommendations what more can be done under the current circumstances:
- The Seimas of the Republic of Lithuania to hold closed hearings in the Foreign Affairs and National Security Committees of the Seimas of Lithuania on the current situation, to interview and listen to the victims of these extraterritorial attacks – Belarusian (and Ukrainian) women, to take immediate action based on the results of the hearings and the information received.
- Taking into account all mentioned above provocations, campaigns of discredit and attacks against Belarusian human rights defenders, journalists and activists in exile on the territory of Lithuania, we strongly recommend for double-checking any information and requesting documentary evidence of the facts that are reported, especially if they are negative in relation to Belarusian women. We highly advise to clarify all the facts from the Belarusian women human rights defenders, journalists and activists themselves.
- We ask for help and comprehensive support for the work of Belarusian women human rights activists in Lithuania so that we can withstand all attacks and threats.
And the most important thing!
We ask you finally to pay attention to serious social, labor and other problems of Belarusian refugees in Lithuania, so that the Belarusian regime, taking advantage of these vulnerabilities, could not realize its goals on the territory of Lithuania. Nowadays the Belarusian refugees in Lithuania have become an easy target for recruitment by KGB agents to spy on the territory of Lithuania because of unresolved social, economic, labor and other problems. All of these problems need to be solved.
The recruitment of Belarusian refugees on the territory of Lithuania by the special services of Belarus and Russia must be immediately and decisively stopped.
 Reference: A system of “state slavery” is used in Belarus, when a young woman or man, as a rule, from low-income families from the regions, gets a higher education and then, according to the Belarusian legislation, must serve for two years at a place prescribed by the state after graduation or pay a fine in the amount of 10-20-25 thousand Euro for the “money” allegedly “spent on her/him by the state”. As a rule, the jobs are usually forced, extremely low paid, low-status and in bad conditions in remote, hardly accessible locations. Refusal to take those jobs results in a debt bondage to the regime of Lukashenka and annulment of the university diploma. According to the Belarusian legislation, it is impossible to voluntarily leave such a job and resign without a debt bondage and serious economic (like inventory and seizure of all property, etc.) and political sanctions (for example, ban on travel abroad).
The Belarusian propagandists publicly call the Belarusian women human rights defenders, journalists and activists in exile “runaways”, as a “runaway slave”. The propagandist Ihar Tur dedicated a whole propaganda TV serial, made for the Belarusian regime, which he called “Lies of the Runaways” (runaway slaves), and later he dedicated a book to Our House and other human rights defenders and journalists which is also called “Lies of Runaways” (runaway slaves).
 Reference: Ihar Tur, political commentator on ONT (one of Aliaksandr Lukashenka’s regime propaganda channels), wrote a book “Lies of Runaways”, in which a lot of attention was given to the work of the Belarusian human rights defender Olga Karach, as well as to the activity of the Belarusian human rights organization Our House, registered in Lithuania. He called Olga Karach a “Czech puppet master” implying that she was a Czech intelligence agent. He actively covered the issue of “illegal migrants” from Iraq and other countries in Lithuania, arranged by the regime of Aliaksandr Lukashenka. The issue was presented by Ihar Tur as allegedly inhumane attitude of Lithuania to migrants: “Scandal around Lithuania: shock from attitude to refugees: Lithuanians made them starve, beat them and kicked them out of the country”.
 Reference: Almaz Special Anti-Terrorism Unit is a unit of the Ministry of Internal Affairs of Belarus performing a wide range of tasks of preventing terrorist attacks and of quick reaction to terrorist attacks. It’s accountable directly and personally only to the Minister of the Internal Affairs of the Republic of Belarus. According to the information in mass media, besides anti-terrorist operations, the unit also participates in repressing the political opposition and is used for dispersal of mass-scale protest rallies.
Reference: “Conspiracy of Winnie-the-Poohs” is a criminal case on the charges of “coup d’état” which got a popular name “Conspiracy of Winnie-the-Poohs” (for the reason of a certain body types of Aliaksandr Fiaduta and Youras Ziankovich and their obvious harmlessness).
A group of Belarusians, including the American lawyer Youras Ziankovich, the chairman of the Belarusian Popular Front Party, Ryhor Kastusiou, the political scientist Aliaksandr Fiaduta were accused of conspiracy aimed at seizure of state power, and the assistants of the lawyer Ziankovich, Dzianis Krauchuk and Volha Halubovich – of participation in group actions, seriously harming public order. Ziankovich was additionally accused of creation and management of an extremist formation, appeals to usurpation of power, incitement of social hatred. Also, the “Club of Conspirators” included the former law enforcer Pavel Kulazhanka, who later became a fighter and a speaker of the Kastuś Kalinoŭski Regiment, and the American psychiatrists Dzmitry Shchyhelski. Also, the former law enforcer and political refugee in Lithuania, Ihar Makar, was in the club.
 Reference: Aleh Haidukevich is an ex-head of Frunzensky District Office of Internal Affairs, on whose orders Olga Karach and other 17 human rights defenders of Our House were detained under suspicion of committing a terrorist act at Oktiabrskaya metro station in Minsk on April 19, 2011. It was exactly due to the campaign of “Our House” “Beware, The Police!” held in 2012 that he was fired from the position of the head of Frunzensky District Office of Internal Affairs of Minsk  (officially stated reason was “by mutual agreement between the parties”). Subsequently, Dinas Linkus, the policeman who on April 19, 2011, was beating the human rights defender Olga Karach and threatening her with rape, was sentenced to 4 years of imprisonment for maiming his subordinate and leaving him permanently disabled; Our House helped to bring the case to the court, accusation and verdict to Dinas Linkus.
That is why, Our House is taking the threats of Aleh Haidukevich personally, including the threat to kidnap human rights defenders of Our House in Lithuania. Currently, Aleh Haidukevich is under personal European Union sanctions, he is involved in mass-scale kidnapping and torture of independent journalists, human rights defenders and activists (not only of Our House). He personally directed the bloody dispersal of the peaceful protests during the Belarusian Twitter revolution in 2011. He is the head of the brunch of the Russian party of Vladimir Zhirinovsky, the Liberal Democratic Party (LDPR). He was a candidate for presidency in 2015 and 2020. A trusted representative of Aliaksandr Lukashenka. A deputy of the House of Representatives of the National Assembly of the Belarusian regime of the seventh convocation (2019-2023), the deputy chairman of the Committee on International Affairs of the House of Representatives. He is in charge of the working groups on cooperation with the Parliament of Lithuania and the Parliament of the Netherlands and is a member of the delegation of the National Assembly of the Belarusian regime for liaison with the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe.
☆•••••••••••• “Let’s compare Azaronak and Karach” ••••••••••☆
《Love of Azaronak in the Country has indeed become higher!!
Without the Tsikhanovskys it became more beautiful and quieter!!
Karatch wanted to create slavery in the Country…
Sell it to the West, get it converted to LGBT, cancel all the riches
Time heals, now few remember, Olga, about you!!
But we will tell the children how you wanted to ruin the country!!
Let them know how you was set on fire together with Europe!!
Azaronak helps the migrants, nourishes them with power, nourishes them with love!!
While Karatch in Lithuania is as kilo – throwing promises but with pain!!
Azaronak reached the end, the top of the planet!!
Many thanks to Him – he is a real man!!
He will not get cut by anything – not even by zmaharian “wrinkles”!! [“zmahary” – fighting against regime]
People, family, love is at the first place for him – like everything is going according to the list!!
Karatch said while reading: “- No, I will not come close to you on my nerves!!
She is bending, while the Country with Russia has become taller and stronger!!
Ola, do you want everything to end as soon as possible!? [“Ola” – diminutive for “Olga]
Then come here to us – your Siarhei misses you… [a hint that Olga Karach allegedly had a romantic relationship with Siarhei Tsikhanouski]
People are ready to hit their forehead against a wall, but we’ll stay with Her!!
It’s unbelievable how beautifully we all raised!!
Oath after oath, we did not stay alone!!
Karatch is covered with stains – nobody is saving her!!
Sorry, everybody understands, that it’s not your time coming!!》
(c) Viktoriya Vafina
 Reference: The so-called “Round Table” led by Yury Voskresensky, was created by the KGB with the aim to imitate a dialog of the Belarusian regime with the protest movement in order to calm down the West which was demanding from the Belarusian regime to have a dialog with the protest movement.
Yury Voskresensky, a former deputy of Minsk City Council, an entrepreneur, had been in charge of collecting signatures in Pervomajsky district of Minsk before he was detained on August 12, 2020.
While in custody, he gave a few interviews to the Lukashenka’s regime’s mass media, in which he called to “stand up to defend the state”, called his participation in the electoral campaign “a participation in a rebellion” and said that he regretted about it and wanted to go back home to his family and kids. Any interview from a pre-trial detention facility in Belarus is impossible without the consent of the KGB. The fact that such an interview with the regime’s mass media happened while Yury Voskresensky was detained in a pre-trial detention facility means that he had been recruited and agreed to actively collaborate with the KGB.
On October 10, 2020, he was one of the arrested oppositionists present at the meeting with Lukashenka at the KGB pre-trial detention facility, held with the aim to demonstrate that Lukashenka was allegedly ready to “hold negotiations” with the arrested and imprisoned oppositionists.
On October 11, 2020, Yury Voskresensky was transferred from detention under home arrest. After that he said: “Following the meeting with the president, I was assigned a task to prepare alternative suggestions on the modifications to the Constitution. I was also suggested to prepare my ideas regarding the next steps of the authorities related to the release of a number of persons who turned out not to be so socially dangerous for our country as they had seemed at the first stage.” That is, he started preparation of the so-called “amnesty” (see Chapter 3, case “Amnesty”), which implies recruitment of Belarusian citizens in detention or in exile in return for a relative freedom or “safe return”.
The Belarusian regime gave the “Round Table” as an office the premises taken away from the former Chairman of the Management Board of Belgazprombank (note: a subsidiary company of the Russian Gazprombank) and the candidate for presidency Viktar Babaryka, which later became a part of the “triumvirate”, a union of three headquarters of the candidate for presidency Sviatlana Tsikhanouskaya.
 Reference: Viktar Babaryka was the most popular candidate at the presidential election 2020. His initiative group counted about 10 thousand people. Over 425 thousand signatures of the Belarusian citizens were collected in his support. It has been a record number of signatures that have ever been collected in support of an opposition candidate in the last 28 years.
On June 18, 2020, Viktar Babaryka and his son, the head of his initiative group, Eduard Babaryka, were detained. Later it became known that Viktar Babaryka was arrested and sent to the KGB pre-trial detention facility. The key accusation of the Belarusian regime was that during several years over 430 million dollars had been transferred from Belgazprombank accounts to Latvia, and that Babaryka was a direct organizer and leader of the “criminal activity”. Since June 19, 2020, the criminal investigation has been led by the KGB, which announced that Viktar Babaryka and his team created a “threat to the interests of national security”. On June 20, 2020, Viktar Babaryka was brought charges against, and on June 21, 2020, charges were brought against his son, Eduard. They were both taken into custody to the KGB pre-trial detention facility.
Detention and non-admission of Viktar Babaryka to the presidential election caused resentment among people, and they started to go out to protest actions for his release.
On October 10, 2020, Aliaksandr Lukashenka came to the KGB pre-trial detention facility to have a meeting with Viktar Babaryka, Eduard Babaryka and other notorious oppositionists allegedly to “have a dialog”.
On July 6, 2021, Viktar Babaryka was sentenced to 14 years of imprisonment in a maximum-security correctional facility and a fine in the amount of 5 thousand basic units (equivalent to 50 thousand USD).
[xl] [xl] https://belsat.eu/ru/news/01-06-2022-pochemu-strizhaka-ranee-ne-predupredili-o-gotovyashhemsya-shantazhe-i-ugroze-ubijstva-sprosili-igorya-makara/