Colonel Yury Zakharanka (Belarusian: Юрый Захаранка, Russian: Юрий Захаренко, Yuri Zakharenko; January 1, 1952 – May 7, 1999) was the Belarusian Minister of Internal Affairs and opposition politician abducted and likely killed in 1999.
Юрый Мікалаевіч Захаранка
|Minister of Internal Affairs|
July 28, 1994 – October 16, 1995
|Prime Minister||Mikhail Chyhir|
|Preceded by||Uladzimir Danko|
|Succeeded by||Valiantsin Ahalets|
|Born||January 1, 1952|
Vasilyevichy, Soviet Union
|Political party||United Civic Party of Belarus|
|Allegiance||Soviet Union |
|Rank||Major general (1994) |
|Commands||Inter-regional Directorate for Combating Organized Crime|
|Disappeared||May 7, 1999 (aged 47)|
|Status||Missing for 21 years, 4 months and 29 days|
At the moment when Belarus gained independence Zakharanka was deputy chief of the USSR MVD Inter-regional Directorate for Combating Organized Crime. In 1994 he was appointed Minister of Internal Affairs of Belarus. On October 16, 1995 he was dismissed from this position by president Alexander Lukashenko. Zakharanka joined the opposition to the president and was elected member of the governing board of the United Civic Party of Belarus. Having strong support among top officers in the army and the State Security Committee (KGB), Zakharanka was a dangerous enemy for Lukashenko.[opinion]
The ex-minister disappeared on the evening of May 7, 1999. The state did not make serious attempts to search for the politician. Several years later the former MVD official Aleh Alkaeu fled to Germany and stated that he was witness to Zakharanka and several other abducted opposition leaders being murdered on the orders of top government officials. In commemoration of the abducted politicians and political prisoners of Belarus, the Belarusian opposition and its supporters have The Day of Solidarity with Belarus on the 16th of every month.
In September 2004, the European Union and the United States issued travel bans for five Belarusian officials suspected of being involved in the kidnapping of Zakharanka: Interior Affairs Minister Vladimir Naumov, Prosecutor General Viktor Sheiman, Minister for Sports and Tourism Yuri Sivakov, and Colonel Dmitry Pavlichenko from the Belarus Interior Ministry.
In December 2019, Deutsche Welle published a documentary film in which Yury Harauski, a former member of a special unit of the Belarusian Ministry of Internal Affairs, confirmed that it was his unit that had arrested, taken away and murdered Zakharanka, and that they later did the same with Viktar Hanchar and Anatol Krasouski.
- Biography at slounik.org
- Oleg Alkaev: Video Records of Zacharanka, Hančar and Krasoŭski’s Murders Exist Indeed
- Orders to Annihilate Zakharenko, Gonchar and Krasovsky Emanated from Sheiman and Sivakov
- Solidarity with Belarus
- "USA, EU declare Belarus officials personas non grata". Pravda. 28 September 2008. Retrieved 3 March 2015.
- "Belarus: How death squads targeted opposition politicians". Deutche Welle. 16 December 2019. Retrieved 25 November 2020.