Elections in Belarus 2015

Unknown persons vandalize tombstone of Belarusian killed on Maidan


Homiel journalist Natallia Kryvashey looks after the grave of Mikhail Zhyzneuski. She was the first to see the desecration.

“I came here today and noticed the inscription: it was likely a nail-scratched word “traitor”, says Natallya Kryvashey.

She did not want to disturb Mikhail’s parents and directly turned to the local police with a written complaint. The response was quite prompt. Within hours, the Interior Ministry staff reported the incident to Zhyzneuski’s mother and came with her to the cemetery. At the site they filed a report on the damage. Mikhail’s mother said that the monument was specifically insured.

“This is not the first time, it happened last year as well. The wreaths were torn, and flags were torn and all thrown away,” said Nina Zhyzneuskaya.

Mikhail Zhyzneuski was shot in the heart and killed in January 2014 during the events on Maidan. Ukraine’s President awarded him posthumously with the Order of Hero of the Heavenly Hundred. The parents personally received the award from the hands of Petro Poroshenko.

The money for the monument to a hero was collected by everyone. Entrepreneurs, workers and pensioners donated money. Funds came from Belarus, the United States, Australia and many other countries. It was put up this year, in early July. Since then, the grave has been tended by Mikhail’s parents and local volunteers.

Nina hopes that the police will find and punish the offender.

“When I saw the inscription, I thought it was some kind of fool who watched TV, he did not like something and went out to do harm. A normal person, a Belarusian, would not be doing this,” said the mother of Mikhail Zhyzneuski.

But, obviously, there are plenty of people, deceived by propaganda, who are capable of such a shameful act.

Ian Brysker, Belsat