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Belarusian journalist and activist Denis Stagi tortured and beaten for several days in Kyiv

04.05.2022, 10:19
Photo credit: Denis Stagi's Facebook
Photo credit: Denis Stagi's Facebook

In Kyiv, unknown individuals attempted to assassinate Denis Stagi, Belarusian journalist, activist, and contributor to the Ukrainian media outlets Dilova Stolytsia and EnergoBusiness, who moved to Ukraine several years ago.

This was announced by the journalist's wife Victoria Lavnikevich on his Facebook page.

According to her, she could not disclose the details of the attack on her husband for several weeks, so as not to harm the investigation.

According to his wife, Denis had been severely beaten and tortured in his apartment for several days. She found him unconscious in the apartment, having had to return from western Ukraine (where she had taken their child after the russian invasion began) when her husband had stopped answering his phone.

According to her, the man was lying unconscious on the floor near the central heating radiator.

"He was all wrapped in garbage bags, a blanket over his head, mouth full of dirt, clear handcuff marks on his wrists. There was no intact part in his body from the beatings. He had been especially severely beaten on the head, ribs, kidneys, arms, legs, toes. There were knife cuts: on the ribs, the back, the buttocks. Denis was forcibly given a mixture of alcohol with barboval and septyl (about 10 packages, exactly what had been sent to us to provide volunteer assistance to people). He apparently had also been injected with methadone or scopolamine. In any case, a needle from a syringe with the remains of an unknown liquid was found in the garbage can, and there was used cotton wool in the room," she wrote.

The doctor stated that the journalist had been poisoned by an unknown substance (after two days, the composition of the substance could not be determined), which caused severe damage to the nervous system and half of the lungs.

She also wrote that everything in the apartment was turned upside down, broken and ruined.

"Denis was kept in our child's room, which is an additional traumatic factor for me personally," said Victoria.

At the same time, the wife stressed that neither money nor valuables had disappeared from the apartment. Lavnikevich believes that robbery was not the reason for the attack.

"Some information is missing. There is reason to believe that one of the objectives of the attack was to take control of our channels and group chats for Belarusians in Ukraine, which we had stopped moderating last fall due to threats and which we were had to start moderating again due to the war in Ukraine. The second objective was to physically eliminate Denis after receiving the necessary information," she said.

Denis's wife has no doubt that her husband was going to be killed.

"In recent years, two activists have been eliminated in Belarus in completely identical ways: a man and a woman. The attempt to remove Denis is directly related to the murder of Vitaliy Shyshov in the summer of 2021," she wrote.


Photos by Victoria Lavinkevich

As IMI reported, on August 3, 2021, Vitaliy Shyshov, the head of the Belarusian House in Ukraine, was found hanged in a park in Kyiv.

The Belarusian House in Ukraine, a non-governmental organization, said that Vitaliy Shyshov had been watched and the police had known about it. The organization is convinced that "this is an operation planned by the Chekists to eliminate the Belarusian who was really dangerous to the regime."

The head of the National Police, Ihor Klymenko, said that the police had two main theories about Vitaliy Shyshov's death: suicide or premeditated murder with the imitation of suicide.

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