Belarus executed Dmitry Konovalov and Vladislav Kovalyov, both 26, who were
charged with bombing the Oktyabrskaya metro station in Minsk in April 2011.
Sympathizers of the victims and opponents of Belarussian President Alexander
Lukashenko placed flowers and candles at the Belarussian Embassy in Moscow. The
Internet is rife with people denouncing the action. One typical example is this
LiveJournal post by journalist Olga Bakushinskaya: "They actually killed them.
God, help and remember them."
Have these people completely lost their minds? ?
The bomb those men detonated killed 15 people and wounded more than 300. It
sent Lukashenko into a fury.
The Belarussian security services responded in a manner befitting any
totalitarian state — like a well-oiled and perfectly tuned machine. They
analyzed surveillance cameras from the metro station where the blast occurred
and saw a man leave a 20-kilogram bag and ascend the steps toward the exit,
where cameras captured his face. The authorities examined the footage from all
metro cameras, determined the station Konovalov exited from, and followed him
home a day later.
Konovalov left his home in Vitebsk and arrived in Minsk one day before the
terrorist attack. In the basement of his house, investigators found a lab
containing both explosives and metal beads and shards identical to those used
in the blast. ?
And this was not the 1st explosion of this type. 2 improvised explosive devices
were detonated in Vitebsk in September 2005 and later at a folk festival in
Minsk on Belarussian Independence Day, July 3, 2008. In the 2nd incident, 1 of
the bombs failed to detonate, and police managed to lift a set of fingerprints
from the juice container in which the device was found.
The Belarussian security services then moved heaven and earth to find the
terrorist. They questioned 854 witnesses, combed through 84,000 mobile phone
subscribers, conducted 509 searches and fingerprinted 2 million Belarussians.
But Konovalov called in sick on the day employees were fingerprinted at the
factory where he worked, and when he was later inducted into the army, he told
recruiters that he had already been fingerprinted at work.
When the authorities finally apprehended Konovalov, his fingerprints matched
those found on the juice container. Investigators were able to reconstruct the
crime right down to the very second each event occurred.
All of this was stated publicly at the trial and a good portion of those
proceedings is available on the Internet.?
Could any doubt possibly remain as to Konovalov's guilt? Could anyone actually
believe that the surveillance footage was fabricated and that the bloodthirsty
Belarussian regime actually spent three years and hundreds of thousands of
hours to find the owner of the fingerprints that the authorities themselves had
planted on the juice container? Would Lukashenko, who controls absolutely
everything in Belarus, have any reason to leave the case unsolved for 6 long
years and at enormous expense?
Did Lukashenko try to pin the bombings on the political opposition, on Moscow
or on Washington? No, the verdict clearly states that the maniac detonated the
bombs for fun.
If some people don't like the fact that Belarus has the death penalty, they
should protest the death penalty. If they don't like the fact that Lukashenko
is a dictator, they should protest dictatorships.
But they should never turn the fight for freedom into a fight to prove that a
convicted maniac and killer is innocent. The fact that Lukashenko is a dictator
doesn't make Konovalov a martyr.
(source: Opinion; Yulia Latynina hosts a political talk show on Ekho Moskvy
radio; The Moscow Times)