In April, U.S. citizen lawyer Youras Ziankovich (Youras Ziankovich) returned to the Moscow hotel after lunch with friends and found four men waiting for him on the street. According to the manager, Ziankovich’s wife Alena Dzenisavets said.
In the Nordic Guest House, the men were all dressed in plain clothes, put on a hood, and put him in a car in front of the Ostankino Hotel on the outskirts of Moscow. She told CNN that Yulas had crossed the Russian border. In the three-car convoy, they drove more than 700 kilometers (435 miles) to Minsk, the capital of Belarus.
Dzenisavets said that she reproduced what happened to her husband through the appointment of a lawyer in the Belarusian court. He has not had any direct contact with Yulas for nearly three months. Tsiankovic’s lunch partner Alexander Feduta was arrested at the same time. He was also taken to Minsk. Feduta served as the spokesperson for Alexander Lukashenko in 1994 and later clashed with the Belarusian leader. Then he continued to join the opposition in the country. After arriving in Minsk, Tsiankovich was transferred to the KGB Belarusian remand center.
He occasionally received visits from lawyers, but since he was taken from the streets of Moscow, US consular officials were unable to visit him for several weeks. For the Belarusian authorities, the arrest of Ziankovich is part of a larger job, and they are about to do so. Six days after the kidnapping, President Alexander Lukashenko told reporters in Belarus about the plot to assassinate him and kidnap his children as part of an attempted coup.
Two other people were arrested on suspicion of conspiracy, including Olga Golubovich, a former employee of Ziankovich Law Firm. They were all accused of “conspiracy or other acts aimed at seizing state power”; Belarus also sought to extradite five other people who allegedly participated in the conspiracy between the United States and Lithuania.
The head of the investigation of the National Security Council of Belarus, Konstantin Bicek, subsequently announced that Ziankovic had pleaded guilty and was cooperating with the investigation. Bychek told Belarusian State Television that Ziankovich was involved in an attempt to bribe members of the Belarusian security forces to participate in a conspiracy to overthrow Lukashenko. Elena Dzenivasets insists that the accusation against her husband is absurd and that if he admits it, it is to save his life. When the Belarusian KGB learned that Ziankovych was in Moscow, Biček said: “We asked the Russians about the possibility of sending a group of Belarusian agents to Russia.”
The Russian Internal Security Service FSB later stated that the arrest was related to the Belarusian KGB. The joint action is aimed at preventing “illegal activities.” Russian President Vladimir Putin supported Lukashenko’s statement about the coup conspiracy, complaining in his annual State of the Union address that “even this blatant act has not been condemned by the so-called collective West. No one seemed to notice. Everyone pretends that nothing is wrong. “The U.S. Embassy in Minsk stated that it was unable to discuss the case, and because Ziankovich has dual citizenship, consular officials did not automatically have the right to meet him.