CASE #475
10 / 08 / 2020
  • Almaz Special Anti-Terrorism Unit (SPBT Almaz)
  • Group 'Alpha' under the KGB of the Republic of Belarus
  • Undefined
Type of violation
  • Cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment
  • Damage to property
  • Murder
  • Use of excessive force
  • Use of rubber bullets (close proximity)
  • Use of stun grenades (close proximity)
International classification of violations
  • Prohibition of torture, cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment
  • Right to freedom of peaceful assembly
  • Right to liberty and security of person
  • Right to Life
  • Right to protection of property

Time: nighttime

Place/Location: at the crossroads of Pushkin Avenue and Pritytsky Street

Identity of the victim(s): Aleksandr Taraikovski (Аляксандр Тарайкоўскі)

Identity of the perpetrator(s): according to different experts and investigators it is either Almaz Special Anti-Terrorism Unit (SPBT Almaz) or Group 'Alpha' under the KGB of the Republic of Belarus. It is impossible to tell exactly mostly due to the quality of the videos, but it seems that both groups were present that night at the crossroad

The first video shows a man with raised hands approaching a group of armed police officers in full combat gear. This was Aleksandr Taraikosky, who was later identified by his wife (link to her interview with Radio Liberty at the bottom of the page). Explosions of grenades can be heard and visible, one of them flying in the frame. At 00:12, a shot occured, which is noticeable by a bright flash. After that, Alexander dropped his hands. At 00:18, there is a change of angle and we see the shooting from another camera. This video also captured the moment of the shot (00:20). After a few seconds, the victim fell to the ground.

The photo shows the victim at the moment before falling to the ground. There is a noticeable large bloodstain on the light-coloured t-shirt and dark shorts.

This video shows the murder of Alexander Taraikovsky from a different angle. The official version from the Ministry of Internal Affairs of Belarus indicated  that Alexander died from the explosion of an "unidentified explosive device": "During the confrontation with the special forces who arrived to unblock the square, one of the protesters tried to throw an unidentified explosive device in the direction of law enforcement. It exploded in his hand, the man has suffered injuries incompatible with life.". At the end of this video, one of the armed men is seen firing a shot at a vehicle passing by.

Another video, published by Euroradio in early September. The video shows the moment of the murder from a different angle. At 00:26, a slow motion segment begins with an increase in the image. At 00:36 a shot occured, in this frame, it is clearly visible that Alexander was standing with his hands raised high above his head. At 00:55, the authors of the video highlighted the second shot.

According to the Conflict Intelligence Team (CIT) with links to the researcher Robert Lee, perpetrators on the videos were armed with Benelli M4 Super 90 shotguns and ГМ-93/94 grenade launchers. According to the investigators, both types of weapons can fire non-lethal ammunition. Investigators also noted “fighters in a similar outfit, apparently, were involved in the injury of a journalist of the Belarusian newspaper“ Nasha Niva ”on Kalvariyskaya Street in Minsk on the evening of 10 August 2020. At the very beginning of the video, where a rubber bullet hit the journalist, fighters in a similar uniform are seen and with the same reflective details on the sleeves." (see more details the incident here on case #194 page)

Evidence collected on this page confirm that at the moment of his murder, Alexander Taraikovsky did not have any objects in his hands, there were no "unidentified explosive devices" and no explosions near him, and that he died of gunshot wounds inflicted on him by the special forces.

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