Opposition journalist finds fired KGB chief at his family retreat

The European Radio for Belarus brings you the details of how the journalists with Narodnaya Volya newspaper located the whereabouts of the former chairman of the Belarusian security agency, KGB. Sciapan Suharenka is spending vacations together with his mother in his parental home near Magiliou in eastern Belarus.

Suharenka was fired by the head of the state from the top spy post on July 17. The resignation was officially described as a transfer to another government’s position. On July 20, unconfirmed reports broke out that the KGB chairman was arrested and held in the notorious SIZO No1 police custody in Minsk. But speculations found a dead-end after Maryna Koktysh, a correspondent with Narodnaya Volya newspaper, on July 23 detected his location. Instead of the police custody in Minsk, she had to travel 200 km off the capital to the village of Zducicy.

Maryna Koktysh: “I just thought: “Where would I go to if I were him?” and started calling to the village. I was lucky to get through to his mother. After I talked to her, I decided to travel there. Sukharenka could not be available on the phone and was unwilling to talk about his resignation”.

The former KGB chairman was very surprised with this visit but agreed to have a talk, the journalist told the European Radio for Belarus. Yet, he refused to answer some questions.

Maryna Koktysh: “During my last interview with him, I asked about his apartment. There were allegations that it had undergone posh renovation. He invited me then to visit his home so that I could see with my own eyes whether it was posh or not. So, when I knocked on the gate of his parental house in the village and when he saw me, he was shocked. I said: “You invited me, so here I am.” He couldn’t turn me out”.

However, Suharenka refused to talk about certain issues so far, Maryna Koktysh stressed on the last words. For instance, he would refuse to comment on his new appointment. Suharenka also refuted speculations on several web-sites about what had caused his resignation.

One of the versions suggested that the KGB chairman was removed from his post allegedly because his agents attacked Zianon Lomats, the powerful chairman of the State Control Committee. It was speculated that it was a provocation against Interior Minister Uladzimir Navumau. Suharenka said that if it was the way the speculations maintained, it was Navumau not him to resign.

The Narodnaya Volya journalist told ERB that the house of the former secret police chief’s mother was absolutely ordinary just like a standard house in the village. Suharenka was not found drinking. Rather, he was in a good mood. He said he was simply resting “before being appointed to a new post”.

Maryna Koktysh: “His mood is normal just like of many officials who would once fall from this height.”

The dismissed official passes time fishing and invited the journalist to join him.

Maryna Koktysh: “I refused because I had to write a story. We agreed to do it next time”.
The journalist took along a champagne bottle to present as a gift to Sciapan Suharenka. The former top chief refused to drink but treated her to fresh apples from his mother’s gardens.

Photo from http://www.nv-online.info/