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30 April 2024, 10:25

“Thrill seeker”. Why Ukrainian special services recruit Belarusian teens

MINSK, 30 April (BelTA) – The ONT TV’s documentary “Targeting Children: Recruited by an Enemy” tells a story of how the Ukrainian special services recruit Belarusian teenagers to commit terrorist attacks in Belarus, BelTA has learned.

The documentary is based on real experiences of Belarusian teenagers who fell for the techniques of the Ukrainian special services.

One of them is Daniil Garasim, born in 2005. “The first assignment was to go to the city of Osipovichi and carry out photo and video recording of the rocket-artillery brigade,” said the boy. “Fulfilling my task in Osipovichi, I did not think that I was doing something terrible. I thought it was just a check of how I could take pictures, record a video of the hardware being moved between garages and that's it.”

On the morning of 29 December 2023 Daniil Garasim told his parents that he was going to go repair the sofa. He went to the train station and bought a ticket for the Minsk-Osipovichi train. He reported each move to his handlers.

“He is an obedient boy,” his parents would say about him later. Daniil just turned 18, and obediently did everything he was told: he confirmed the route at each stage, sent his geolocation and checkpoints. He made a perfect puppet in the hands of experienced handlers.

A few months earlier, Daniil began browsing the Internet, watching YouTube channels for hours. “I watched various war-themed videos: combat activities, tutorials of how to sit and lie down, how to dig a trench, how to look out from behind the corner,” the boy said. “Initially I was promised to be taken from Gomel to Chernigov Oblast. They told me I would wait for enlistment there, undergo military recruit training, all kinds of courses, and then join those combating on the front. This task of mine was a so-called test. After accomplishing it I was supposed to go there.”

“I guess I needed some thrills in my life,” he said.

Daniil Garasim will be held accountable. He is prosecuted under Article 356, Part 1 of the Criminal Code of the Republic of Belarus. I betrayed my country by contacting the special services of another country and sharing various kinds of information with them,” he added.
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