What we know about the death of Taraykovskiy.

An event of remembrance near the national memorial to Taraykovskiy / Reuters

Alexander Taraykovskiy is officially the first who died during the August protests in Belarus. It happened on the night of August 10–11 near the subway station “Pushkinskaya”, on the second day of an active confrontation between law enforcement and protesters. We collected everything that was known about Alexander Taraykovskiy and his death.

Who is Alexander Taraykovskiy

Alexander Taraykovskiy was 34 years old. He was an entrepreneur, who produced car curtains. He made a website hober.by. According to his friends, “he didn’t want to work for the government for it to rob him”. He lived with his wife as unmarried partners, and raised a three-year-old daughter.

Events Preceded His Death

“He came back from a walk with our daughter at about 8 pm on August 10. He was very indignant that people were detained, shot.” tells in the interview to “Radio SvobodaAlyona, Alexander Taraykovskiy’s wife. “He found out that people were gathering there and said that he was going to his parents’ apartment where they were doing remodeling. It is located in that area. He had nothing with him: shorts, white t-shirt and a phone. I have his passport.

At about 10:30 pm, Alexander called and said that he was coming back home. Since that moment we hadn’t got any information. We were looking for him in hospitals and in a database of the detained”.

Farewell to Alexander Taraykovskiy / Reuters

An Official Version of the Ministry of Internal Affairs

On August 10, at 11:43 pm on the official Telegram channel of the Press Service of the Ministry of Internal Affairs it was added that “at about 11 pm during the riots on Pritytskogo street in Minsk […] one of the protesters tried to throw an unidentified explosive device toward the law enforcement. It exploded in his hand, the man got fatal traumas”.

Identification

Alyona found out about her husband’s death from journalists in the evening of August 12. The next day she called the Investigating Committee where Alexander’s body was considered as unidentified till that moment.

By that moment, several videos from “Pushkinskaya” had been posted, on which Alyona was able to identify her husband.

During the identification the woman paid attention that Alexander Taraykovskiy’s arms and legs were whole:

“The Investigating Committee and I went to the morgue for identification. I realized there that it was Alexander. There were no damages on his body; there was only a bright bruise on his chest. We were told that he had “an open wound of the chest”, he died of the blood loss.” tells Alyona in the interview to Onliner.

Memorial

A national memorial happened near the subway station “Pushkinskaya”. Every day people bring flowers and posters to honor the memory of the deceased. On August 15, during the farewell and funeral of Alexander Taraykovskiy, a mass event of memory was held on the intersection of Pritytskogo street and Pushkina avenue. The memorial has already been marked on “Yandex.Maps”.

A national memorial in remembrance of Alexander Taraykovskiy / Reuters

Time of Death

According to one of the videos we received, Euroradio was able to indicate an exact time of shot of Alexander Taraykovskiy. It was at 10:35 pm on August 10.

Before that time, the law enforcement had already been controlling the intersection of Pritytskogo and Pushkina avenue.

Explosive Device

According to the Ministry of Internal Affairs, the unidentified explosive device exploded in the man’s hand. But no evidence was provided till this moment. All videos made by eyewitnesses show that Alexander had nothing in his hands, nothing exploded, he didn’t move in a way that could be interpreted as a throw of something toward the law enforcement.

The First Shot

The first video where you can see the shot from the line of law enforcement toward Taraykovskiy, was posted at night of August 10. It appeared at 11:23 pm on the Telegram channel Nexta Live, but was unnoticed in the flow of the information about the protests.

The video was made from the window of an apartment building and was posted on August 11. You can see there how an unarmed man stands in front of the line of the law enforcement on Pritytskogo street. Then follows a flash of a shot.

The eyewitnesses of the incident who were not far from the place of death sent to the editors office of Euroradio another video on August 15.

On the video, Taraykovskiy moves toward the law enforcement with his arms up. He has nothing in his hands. He doesn’t throw anything toward them. Then it’s a flash of a shot. Taraykovskiy stops and lowers his hands. In several seconds he will fall down. Nothing explodes.

Associated Press publishes one more video on August 15. The moment of shot wasn’t on it. It was made from the side of the law enforcement; you can see their backs only. But you also can see a man in a white t-shirt with a bloody spot on his chest who falls on the ground. Surrounding details and the landscape prove that it all happens on the intersection of Pushkina and Pritytskogo streets.

The Second Shot

One more video was sent to the editors office of Euroradio on September 3. It was made from the side of the cinema “Aurora”, and it is closer than others. As on other videos that had been posted before, you can see that Taraykovskiy had nothing in his hands.

There was the second shot on the video. It is difficult to say, was it made toward Alexander Taraykovskiy or toward protesters who were located further on Pritytskogo street. The law enforcement officer, who stands on the man’s left, shots. After that shot, Taraykovskiy, who had a big bloody spot on his t-shirt, falls.

The moment repeats twice in our video. The first one is how it was made. The second one is with zoom and slow motion.

Criminal Record

The next day, on August 11, after Alexander Taraykovskiy’s death, the governmental mass media released the information that “the deceased during illegal actions on Pritytskogo street in Minsk on August 10 man, had served a sentence for the homicide before.” News agency BELTA, ONT and ATN (Agency of TV News — a branch of Belarussian TV and Radio Company. — Euroradio) wrote about that.

Let us remind you that before that moment Taraykovskiy’s body wasn’t identified by his relatives. His wife contacted the Investigating Committee on August 13. She was told there that the body hadn’t been identified till that moment. But when on August 11 the law enforcement gave to the journalists of the governmental mass media the information about his criminal record. It means that his identity was established by that time. Why then didn’t they contact his relatives?

“He has a father, a sister. Why didn’t they inform them? He had a phone, they could search for any phone number in his phone and call anyone.” wonders Alyona.

What about the criminal record, Alexander Taraykovskiy was sentenced for seven years for causing serious bodily harm that led to death. According to his wife’s words, he protected his mother. “Her boyfriend was beating her, and Alexander defended her. He served the entire sentence, and soon they should have removed his criminal record”.

Explanation of the Minister of Internal Affairs

On August 16, answering the questions of journalists about the death of the protester, the minister of the Internal Affairs Yuriy Karaev announced that the police hadn’t used deadly weapons against protesters,

“Yes, he [the protester] died,” said Karaev. “How many people died during the unrest in America? But we didn’t use the firearm, only the one which is not deadly.”

Special Forces Soldiers and the Weapons

The Ministry of Internal Affairs in its report mentions “special forces”. Conflict Intelligence Team, a team which investigates military conflicts, was able to identify among the law enforcement who participated in the crackdown of protesters in “Pushkinskaya” the special forces of KGB “Alfa” and the special forces of the Ministry of Internal Affairs “Almaz”.

Their uniform differs from the uniform of other law enforcement. Also they are differently equipped and armed: with shotguns Benelli M4, grenade launchers GM-94, different modifications of Kalashnikov.

The German representative of the international organization Greenpeace announced on August 28 that special units, that participate in cruel crackdowns of the protests in Belarus, use the weapon made in Germany. They talk about submachine guns MP5 of the manufacturer Heckler & Koch, and also guns P226 from Sig Sauer.

The Law Enforcement Uniform

The uniform of the law enforcement, who participated in crackdowns in “Pushkinskaya” subway station, looks like the uniform of the special forces “Alfa” who were detaining the mercenaries of “PMC Vagner” near Minsk. The video of detention was posted 12 days before Alexander Taraykovskiy’s death.

There might be “Almaz” special forces working together with “Alfa” special forces on the intersection. You can see a title “МВД” (a Russian abbreviation for the Ministry of Internal Affairs) on the backs of some officers who were near “Pushkinskaya” subway station at night of August 10–11.

Investigation and a Criminal Case

The Investigating Committee said to Euroradio that since August 11 the fact of death has been checking. It can last for three months. As of September 11, the investigation is still carrying on.

To determine the cause of the man’s death, the forensics is appointed, it will be held by specialists of the State Committee of Court Examinations.

The conclusion of the investigation can be either the establishment of the criminal case or the refusal to open one.

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Voices from Belarus

Voices from Belarus

Stories of people hoping for a democratic Belarus. Created, translated and moderated by a collective of independent authors.