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02 July 2021, 19:42

Lukashenko talks about attempt on life of Belarusian TV reporter Grigory Azaryonok

MINSK, 2 July (BelTA) – There was an attempt to kill Grigory Azaryonok, a reporter with the Belarusian TV channel STV. Belarus President Aleksandr Lukashenko made the statement at a solemn assembly held on 2 July in anticipation of Independence Day, BelTA has learned.

Aleksandr Lukashenko said: “There was another attempt to commit a crime that may strike terror into you (at least people in this chamber): an attempt to kill our reporter Grigory Azaryonok. It happened last night, on 1 July. They intended to immobilize him, capture him, and throw him into the car trunk. They wanted to take him deep into the woods and cut off his tongue. They wanted him to do it himself with scissors. If he didn't do it, there was someone, who had been hired to do it in exchange for 10,000 U.S. dollars (the money had been transferred). That person had to film it on camera and upload it to the Internet.”

According to Aleksandr Lukashenko, this crime was contemplated as a warning: look, we will cut up all of you, we will at least cut off your tongues to silence you. “If that failed, they intended to kill the reporter. A pistol had been brought from Ukraine and stashed in Gomel Oblast just like other devices (thermal cameras and the rest), which were used in an attempt to blow up the Vileika station that is used by Russia to communicate with the fleet in the Atlantic,” the head of state noted. “All the perpetrators have been detected, the stashes have been found. The operation continued for a long time. Do you want names? Sosnovsky. He was arrested and is now testifying.”

Aleksandr Lukashenko mentioned Grigory Azaryonok's courage. “They've tried to capture him or kill him three times. The goal was to enter the apartment and [do it] in the apartment,” he said.

The security agencies decided to involve Grigory Azaryonok in the operation in order to catch the criminals in the act. “It was dangerous. But as a true man he agreed to it. And it was surprising that he was the first one to attack and start fighting with a bandit, who was approaching him. The reporter knew the bandit was armed. These scoundrels were caught virtually within seconds. I'd like to thank parents of this guy,” it was hard for the president to restrain his emotions.

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