Tuesday, August 3, 2021
The head of a group helping people flee Belarus has been found dead near his home in neighbouring Ukraine.
Vitaly Shishov’s body was found hanged in a park in Kyiv, a day after he failed to return from a jog. Police have opened a murder inquiry.
Police said they were investigating whether he had been killed and his death made to look like suicide.
Mr Shishov led the Belarusian House in Ukraine, helping those who left Belarus after a violent crackdown.
Ukraine, Poland and Lithuania in particular have become favoured destinations for those fleeing persecution following a disputed presidential election in Belarus in August 2020.
The Belarusian House in Ukraine provides support to new arrivals in finding accommodation, jobs and legal advice, its website says.
Meanwhile a Belarusian athlete competing in the Tokyo Olympics was granted a humanitarian visa from Poland after refusing her team’s order to fly home early.
Sprinter Krystina Timanovskaya, 24, said she had forcibly taken to the airport for criticising coaches, and voiced fears for her safety.