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30 April 2024, 13:56

‘Blow up people in uniform’. How Ukrainian girl recruited teenagers in Belarus

Maria Misyuk. Image credit: ONT
Maria Misyuk. Image credit: ONT
MINSK, 30 April (BelTA) – The 16-year-old Ukrainian girl Maria Misyuk has recruited Belarusian teenagers for carrying out terrorist attacks in Belarus, BelTA learned from an investigative film released by the Belarusian TV channel ONT.

The girl said: “They suggested it to me. I was 14. What fool would reject such an honorable function at 14? In 2022 I already knew that I would move to Belarus. I told Marichka about it. She said it would be good to do something over there in order to promote Ukrainian content. She said that some new revolutionary organization was being established.”

Marichka is one of the curators of the terrorist cell Black Nightingales. Marichka started tracking the girl back in Ukraine. After the Misyuk family moved to Belarus, communication between the curator and the coordinator became even more intensive. The curator sent instructions on how to make improvised explosive devices (IEDs) and Molotov’s cocktails, literature with anarchist and destructive content. The curator taught the girl clandestine security methods and demanded that she recruit new cell members.

The terrorist cell Black Nightingales set up by Maria Misyuk after moving from Ukraine to Belarus consisted of a total of six people. Maria was the commander. Trofim Borisov was her second in command and was responsible for revolutionary fervor. Sergei Zhigalev took care of buying components for making IEDs and provided a rental apartment for meetings of the cell. Dmitry Zakhoroshko was instructed to assemble a detonator. The girls Aleksandr Pulinovich and Anastasia Klimenko took part in actions. Maria Misyuk “activated” all of them in spring and summer of 2023. All of them are college students located in Nesvizh, Baranovichi, Minsk, and Luninets. Maria Misyuk was a student of Mir Art College. She found her recruits in anarchist groups and on dating websites. Communication with no strings attached was established initially. After trustful relations were established, she recruited her cell members.

Sergei Zhigalev was the last person the Ukrainian citizen Maria Misyuk recruited. He took care of finances in the cell Ukraine’s Security Service (SBU) controlled. He was the only cell member, to whom parents had granted access to money. Sergei Zhigalev rented an apartment in Baranovichi where the first terrorist attack was being organized.

But as a matter of fact, it turns out that Sergei Zhigalev’s parents have sponsored terrorism, Maria Misyuk said.

“I was actually the first Belarusian participant of the organization. It is an international cell. We are anarchists and we are raising an army. We fight against the state. We understood that there would be victims: police officers and military personnel,” the terrorist cell activist Trofim Borisov confessed. “It is necessary to blow up an administrative building and a great deal of possible options. Sergei and I went to reconnoiter the site and looked at the police station and the prosecution service office.”

“If we have to blow up someone, then only people in uniform. How would Ukraine benefit? If things start happening here. Do you understand? Public response,” Maria explained.

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