Former deputy head of KGB criticizes violence in Belarus and proposes to urgently convene parliament

16 August, 2020, 11:21, Interfax-West

Former deputy chairman of the KGB, retired Major-General Ivan Yurkin, condemned the violence against the participants of mass protests and suggested holding an emergency parliamentary hearing on the situation in Belarus.

“The events in the Republic of Belarus are close to their apogee. It’s possible that blood may spill again. I condemn these beatings. The beating of protesters is an unacceptable form of stopping the protest. Other forms should work, primarily the negotiation process,” Yurkin told the agency Interfax-West.

Photo: TUT.BY

“We are Belarusians – reasonable, wise, peaceful people. As a former deputy chairman of the Security Committee of the Union State (of Belarus and Russia), I propose holding a meeting of the deputy body, elected by the Belarusian people. They should bring clarity to the current situation, which would reduce tensions in society and come to an agreement. It is necessary to hold an emergency open parliamentary hearing for the people’s elected representatives to express their opinions on how they assess the situation,” said the former deputy head of the KGB.

He also noted that many of the Belarusian parliamentarians are members of the Union State Parliamentary Assembly.

Commenting on the situation with the violent dispersal of demonstrators on 9-11 August, Yurkin stressed: “I believe that this order was wrong.” At the same time, he said, “Military personnel are guided by internal military regulations, which say that the order of the chief is the law for a subordinate.”

In his opinion, the legal assessment of events “in each individual case should be dealt with professionally”. “I believe that the statement of Karayeu (Interior Minister Yuri Karayeu, who publicly apologized for violence against “random” people – IF) was correct and I support that further events should not go beyond the law,” added Yurkin.

Commenting on the results of the last presidential election, the former deputy head of the KGB noted violations during the election process and throw-in votes in favor of Aliaksandr Lukashenka. “The results of the election – in principle, I think that there were violations. I think that mistakes were made and I think that there were throw-in votes in favor of Lukashenka. Some did that to play it safe with the end result. Judging by the polls that I personally conducted, there were violations,” said Yurkin.

The presidential elections in Belarus were held on 9 August. According to the official results, the incumbent president Aliaksandr Lukashenka, who has held this office since 1994, won the elections by a wide margin. The published election results sparked mass protests which continue to this day.

About 7,000 people were detained, several hundred were injured, one person died during a protest, and one died after his arrest. According to media reports, nothing is known of the whereabouts of about 80 people detained at the rallies.

On Thursday, peaceful protests started at Belarusian industrial enterprises.

The protesters disagree with the announced results of the presidential election, according to which 80.1% of voters voted for Aliaksandr Lukashenka, and 10.12% for Sviatlana Tsikhanouskaya.