DISINFO: Western secret services killed Belarusian dissident in Kyiv
  • Outlet: Украина • РУ [from 00:07:10 to 00:09:20], [from 00:10:40 to 00:11:20] (archived)*
  • Date of publication: August 03, 2021
  • Reported in: Issue 254
  • Countries / regions discussed: Belarus, Ukraine
Alexander Lukashenko Human rights State oppression West Secret services

DISINFO: Western secret services killed Belarusian dissident in Kyiv


The murder of Belarusian dissident Vitaly Shyshov was a provocation by Western secret services. They killed him because he could not account for the money they had given to him. Traitors have a wretched fate.


This is an unsubstantiated claim aimed at smearing the West in general.

There is no evidence that Western secret services were involved in the murder of Belarusian dissident Vitaly Shyshov in Kyiv. Shyshov, who was head of the Kyiv-based Belarusian House in Ukraine (BDU) organisation, was found hanged in a park near his Kyiv home on 3 August 2021. There were bruises on his face. He went for a run at 9 a.m. on 2 August and was meant to be back at 10 a.m. Several hours later, his girlfriend, Bazhena Zholudz, reported him missing. After finding his dead body, police launched an investigation into all possible versions, including suicide or a murder disguised as a suicide. However, Zholudz said she did not believe it was a suicide.

Many Belarusians fled abroad after last year's brutal crackdown on the opposition. The BDU was set up in December 2020 to help Belarusians living in Ukraine find accommodation and jobs and provide them with legal assistance. Although there is no proof, there are strong suspicions that Shyshov might be murdered on orders from Belarus’ unrecognised dictator Alyaksandr Lukashenka. The BDU said in a statement that Shyshov had been under surveillance and that there had been warnings about possible provocations, abduction or even murder. The statement added that Shyshov’s murder was an operation planned by Belarusian secret services “to liquidate a Belarusian who was posing a real threat to the regime.”

Mass repressions started in Belarus in August 2020 after the rigged presidential elections. As many as 35 thousand people are believed to have been arbitrarily detained since that time in a country of 9.3 million inhabitants. Many of them were beaten up and tortured for taking part in peaceful protests against electoral fraud. According to the Viasna human rights centre, there are more than 500 political prisoners in Belarus now. Many of them are not politicians or opposition journalists, they are just ordinary Belarusians who were arrested for taking part in peaceful protests.

Before the 2020 protests, riots had been at their highest in 2010 when it was evident that the presidential election had been rigged. Police used excessive force against the protesters back then, but the 2020 events have been the bloodiest in Belarus’ history since the country gained independence in 1991.

Pavlo Sheremet, a Belarusian-born Russian and Ukrainian journalist, was probably the first high-profile victim of Belarusian security services in Kyiv. Evidence has appeared that they were involved in killing him in a car bomb explosion in 2016. Sheremet was imprisoned in Belarus in 1997 for his reports about political abuses in the country.

Read more disinformation narratives claiming that the Belarusian opposition is financed from abroad to stage subversive activities in the country.


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Cases in the EUvsDisinfo database focus on messages in the international information space that are identified as providing a partial, distorted, or false depiction of reality and spread key pro-Kremlin messages. This does not necessarily imply, however, that a given outlet is linked to the Kremlin or editorially pro-Kremlin, or that it has intentionally sought to disinform. EUvsDisinfo publications do not represent an official EU position, as the information and opinions expressed are based on media reporting and analysis of the East Stratcom Task Force.

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