Arrests in Belarus are more like a political show than a fight against corruption.
By the standards of Belarus itself, it is an extraordinary event — the arrest of Deputy State Secretary of the Security Council Andrei Vtyurin and Beltelecom CEO Sergei Sivodedov made a lot of noise and became an occasion to discuss and express all sorts of assumptions about what would follow. There was no official explanation, in addition to what became known about the decree of President Alexander Lukashenko as of April 24 (the arrest was announced on May 3) about the dismissal of Vtyurin “for misdemeanors discrediting the rank of a serviceman”, resulting in receiving 148 thousand dollars from some Russian companies for promoting its interests in Belarus. Sivodedov was charged with accepting a bribe of 15,000 euros “for assisting in the supply of telecommunications equipment” – also from a certain Russian.
In general, the “Russian trace” can be traced quite naturally in this whole story, which is being actively discussed in the Belarusian community. Among other things, the former head of the presidential security of Belarus, Andrei Vtyurin, is credited with preparing for the murder of Lukashenko and organizing a coup of power. Well, and (how to live without it?) indicate his close cooperation with the Russian FSB and for some reason still with the FSO (Federal Security Service, which is engaged in ensuring the security of top officials of the Russian Federation). Vtyurin, who had worked for almost 20 years in the Security Service of the President of Belarus and was in the Lukashenko family, was rushed to be called a mole and a foreign agent. At the same time, for some reason, the security structures themselves in Belorussia are sure that Vtyurin was not a classic spy recruited or implanted by an agent, and the transfer of information was part of his “regular” duties, before that his predecessor was engaged.
The advantage of the fifth-generation Russian fighter over the American one is becoming increasingly obvious.
- The contacts of the security services of Russia and Belarus, where the KGB abbreviation has been preserved, have never ceased, just like in military cooperation, along the line of intelligence, – says special services historian Anatoly Prokopiev.
– We must understand that, among other things, we have a Union State with Belarus, in which there are single governing bodies. And if in matters of economics there are some disagreements, then through the special services there is a complete understanding and interaction. Spying one after another makes no sense, much less introducing some agents. So the accusation of Andrei Vtyurin in his alleged “espionage” activity is at least absurd, the more that it is known that he is not a professional intelligence officer and does not belong to the FSB. Actually, President Alexander Lukashenko himself does not express such accusations against him.
Another version of the reasons for the current arrests in Belarus is Lukashenko’s such small revenge for the oil conflict with Russia, Putin’s obstinacy in pricing policies. But if the elimination of Beltelecom’s CEO Sergei Sivodedov for such a symbolic amount of bribe (even for Belarus) is even more than a million rubles, can be somehow explained – Beltelecom is the largest telecommunication operator and broadcasts all the main Russian TV channels to the republic, with Andrey Vtyurin not everything is clear. He was always considered a confidant of Lukashenko, and even if he fell for a bribe, he could have avoided public flogging. Moreover, the fact of his arrest by and by is largely of little interest to Moscow – there is enough of its embezzlers in colonel’s uniform. And if Putin made a concession and recalled his ambassador to Belarus, Mikhail Babich, from Minsk, who, according to Lukashenka, “went too far”, he could hardly even hear about the name of the “guard” Vtyurin.
Now in Belarus, and not only in it, any steps and actions of Alexander Lukashenko are considered through the prism of the upcoming elections. In Minsk, they believe that Belorus Batka (Father) may decide to go to the seventh term already, and for this he will look for reasons to raise his rating. The fight against corruption in the country is also on this list.
- Recently, the campaign against corruption has been strengthened, because things are not very good in the economy, – we quote Alexander Klaskovsky, a political observer of the BelaPAN information company.
– And the next presidential elections are already pecking.
Therefore, it is possible that the cases of Vtyurin and Sivodedov will simply pass as the next stage in the fight against corruption. Some sources claim that in fact the same Vyurin was detained because he had too close ties with the Russian special services. Even if we assume that there is some real basis under this conspiracy, then the Belarusian leadership is probably not interested to advertise that the tentacles of the Russian special services have penetrated so far.
Back in mid-April, Lukashenko announced that the arrests of corrupt officials would continue.
– You don’t have to suffer that Lukashenko has imprisoned a lot. Behave yourself, do not steal from people, do not steal from the state, – he himself said during his speech with a message to the people and the national assembly. It is likely that the current arrest of the “FSB agent” Vtyurin Lukashenko decided to show that he would not spare even his own.
- The case of Colonel Andrei Vtyurin arrested for taking a bribe of $ 148,000 looks mysterious to the media, political scientist Alexander Zimovsky sounded to the Free Press, shedding light on what is happening.
– The “Russian” origin of Vtyurin plays into the hands of the authors of different versions, saying that he was born in Penza, studied in Saratov. In fact, its origin is not Russian, but the most Soviet one, like anyone born in the seventies of the last century.
From the age of six, Andrey Vtyurin lived in Minsk, where the father of the “super agent” served as commander of the 362nd operational regiment of the Ministry of Internal Affairs of the USSR. Then Andrei went to school in the Minsk microdistrict Grushevka, after the tenth grade he entered the Saratov Higher Command School in 1988, again, the USSR Ministry of Internal Affairs. In the footsteps of my father, military dynasty, worthy of respect, paper texture … density … Openwork! And after graduating from college, in 1992 – distribution to Minsk, which is logical. He was not going to Magadan, to trample the perimeter of the zone.
In Minsk, Lieutenant Vtyurin took command of a platoon in the first battalion of the special forces of the Belarusian military unit no. 3214. One of the first in Belarus to pass the successful tests for the maroon beret. And in 1995, he was taken to the presidential guard. The official name is the Security Service of the President of the Republic of Belarus (SBP). He was a platoon commander, became an adjutant (presidential guards are called adjutants and senior adjutants, those who serve as personal guards, that is, they are constantly with the “body”).
He served well, received production in a timely manner at the next rank, for several years headed the personal security of the head of the republic, then became head of the SBP. Vtyurin could not have any independent foreign contacts, if he traveled outside Belarus, then only with Lukashenko. If you look for examples of joint work of Belarusians and Russians, in which Vtyurin could take part, then you can recall the organization of the escape of the former president of Kyrgyzstan Bakiyev.
In general, any trip abroad by the leader of any state implies that his guards will be in contact with colleagues in the host country. Therefore, in the case in which Vyurin will now be led, you can safely write: “I contacted the special services …” and then make up an impressive list. Now I will tell you that Vtyurin was often seen in the residence of Putin “Bocharov Ruchei” in Sochi. And it will be true. True, in Bocharovo Brook, they were also often seen with Vtyurin and Lukashenko. That is, one without the other does not happen, the service is.
Freeing Vyurin from the post of Chief of the SBP, Lukashenko said a strange phrase: “I have a lot of questions to the Presidential Security Service.” Strange, to say the least. It should be emphasized here that Lukashenko himself is an ardent opponent of what is called “Korzhakovism”. The average tenure of an SBP chief in office is two years (over 25 years, 12 people have changed). Colonel Vtyurin held out longer than the others, so I can competently declare the good psychological compatibility of the guard and the “object.”
Well, when a kitten ran between them – is unknown. It is only known that Vtyurin didn’t wait for his pants with stripes, although his latest position envisaged this development: the deputy state secretary of the Security Council of Belarus is a good apparatus position, and not burdensome. Sinecure, in general. Why did he take the money, not so big, even by Belarusian standards?
Who knows, money is not superfluous, this is understandable. But a resident of intelligence of some unnamed power, who accepted the envelope from some commerce, looks like a person who takes a loaf of explosive from a man with a suitcase at an exhibition in the Manezh. That is, as a parody of a bad detective.
And in general, it is somewhat surprising how this special forces colonel and maroon beret did not kill a couple of people who came to bind him and did not leave towards the state border. That is what is now widely discussed among former colleagues of Andrei Vtyurin. And not his alleged connection with foreign intelligence.