A Belarusian activist living in Ukraine who helped his fellow countrymen flee the dictatorship of Alexander Lukashenko has been found dead.
This morning Vitaly Shishov who ran the Belarusian House group in Kiev, was found hanged in a park close to his house after going missing while out for a jog yesterday (Monday).
After reporting that he was being followed by ‘strangers’ on his runs Police have immediately opened a murder investigation on the 26-year old – and say they are looking at the possibility that Shishov was murdered and his death made to look like suicide.
Shishov ran Belarusian House – an organisation that helped his fellow countrymen escape Lukashenko’s increasingly brutal regime.
His death comes following a vicious crackdown on dissidents by the dictator which saw Olympic officials try to kidnap sprinter Krystsina Tsimanouskaya from the Tokyo Games at the weekend after she criticised her trainers online. There are fears that the 24-year-old’s family could now be targeted after she made her way to the Polish embassy in Tokyo, where she has been granted asylum. It’s emerged officials have already contacted Tsimanouskaya’s mother in Belarus and told her that her daughter has been recruited by foreign spies and must be brought home.
Meanwhile husband Arseni Zhdanevich has fled to Kiev, the same city where Shishov was found dead, in the hopes of finding temporary safety there before joining his wife in Poland. She is due to fly from Japan to Warsaw later today.