21 January 2021 | BYPOL, Telegraf.by
Table of Contents:
- Events that took place in the Square of Changes
- Admission to the Emergency Hospital and the cause of death of Raman Bandarenka
- Persons involved
It has been more than two months since the General Prosecutor’s Office of the Republic of Belarus, represented by the Deputy Head of the Department for Investigation of Special Criminal Cases, Senior Counsellor of Justice Mikhail Shastapalau (Mikhail Nikolayevich Shestopalov), began conducting a review in accordance with Article 174 of the Criminal Procedure Code of the death of Raman Bandarenka.
The progress of this review is kept in the strictest confidence not only from the public, but also from Raman’s mother and the lawyer representing her, who appealed on 13 November 2020 to initiate an investigation into the death of her son.
In this regard, we consider it necessary to remind the prosecutor and his superiors of some of the provisions of the Criminal Procedure Code of the Republic of Belarus:
- the purpose of the criminal process is the protection of an individual, their rights and freedoms, the interests of society, and the state through quick and complete investigation of crimes, exposure and prosecution of those responsible (Art.7 of the Criminal Procedure Code);
- a decision on an appeal or a report of a crime must be made within no more than three days; and, if it is necessary to check the sufficiency of the presence or absence of grounds for initiating a criminal case, within no more than ten days. A further extension of the specified time limits is an exception, and is applied only if it is impossible to make a decision due to the lack of available evidence (Art.173 of the Criminal Procedure Code);
- the basis for initiating a criminal case is the availability of sufficient data indicating signs of a crime, i.e. during the review of an appeal or a report of a crime, the law does not require to establish the presence of a criminal offence, since this is the task of the preliminary investigation stage (Art.167 of the Criminal Procedure Code).
We know for a fact that the General Prosecutor’s Office has enough data at its disposal that points to the violent nature of the death of Raman Bandarenka, and signs of unlawful involvement of third parties in it.
To substantiate the validity of this statement, a simple analysis of the information that has already been published in the media and on the Internet would have sufficed. Because BYPOL is an initiative of professionals with extensive experience who worked within the system that until recently comprised the law enforcement bloc in Belarus, we conducted our own verification of the circumstances of the death of Raman Bandarenka, the results of which are published in this article.
Events that took place in the Square of Changes
It was established that at about 10 pm on 11 November 2020, a Minsk resident Raman Bandarenka (Roman Igorevich Bondarenko), born 01.08.1989, while in the courtyard of a residential complex located on Charviakova street, commonly referred to as the Square of Changes, while fulfilling his civic duty, took measures to halt the acts of vandalism carried out by a group of activists engaged in the destruction of the decorations on the fence made by residents with the use of white and red ribbons. In response to remarks about their arbitrariness, four men from this group of activists, displaying ideological enmity and intolerance towards supporters of political changes in the country, used illegal violence against Bandarenka, as well as other citizens.
Service 102: How can I help you?
Local resident: Oh, you know what, there is a fight in our courtyard, right here on Charviakova, across from Hippo [grocery store], there is a fight in the courtyard, some are tearing off, some guys came, they came over and are tearing off flags…
Service 102: How many people?
Local resident: Their flag was torn down!
Service 102: How many people?
Local resident: Well, there are probably six of these, and a whole courtyard of those. They beat one guy. They are shouting something there, I don’t know…
Service 102: So there are six people there or how many?
Local resident: Those… those who were cutting off all these?
Service 102: How many people are there in total?
Local resident: I don’t know!
(after these words they hung up – ed.)
The timeline of the events that took place that evening in the Square of Changes, including the actions of the group of activists and the unknown individuals in civilian clothes against the residents of the housing complex, as well as Bandarenka, with references to eyewitnesses and video recordings, is described in detail in the published journalistic investigations carried out by TUT.BY and Mediazona Belarus.
In addition to the evidence presented in the articles referenced above, BYPOL uncovered additional circumstances.
SOBR (Special Rapid Response Unit) officers were indeed driving a gray minivan, registration plate AB 6682-6. Among them were Captain Siarhei Sarman (Sergey Vasilievich Sarman) (team leader); Senior Warrant Officer Siarhei Antsiufeyeu (Sergey Mikhailovich Antyufeev); Warrant Officer Aleh Buikevich (Oleg Igorevich Buykevich); Warrant Officer Raman Savianko (Roman Vitalievich Savenko); as well as Senior Warrant officer Yauhen Tsimanouski (Evgeny Vladimirovich Timanovsky). The latter is a part-time mixed martial arts fighter nicknamed Tyazh.
A heavyset man wearing a pom-pom hat, who, along with two other unknown individuals in civilian clothes and masks, forcibly carried Raman Bandarenka away from the Square of Changes, is allegedly Yauhen Tsimanouski. Taking these circumstances into account, as well as the fact that they loaded Raman into the SOBR van and that this group was accompanied by the SOBR sports instructor Dzmitry Shakuta, it would be reasonable to suspect that the specified actions were committed by the above-named employees of this special unit.
According to Google Maps, the distance from the Square of Changes to the Central District Police Station is about 750 meters, which can be covered by a car in three minutes. Raman was detained at 10:19 pm.
At 10:58 pm Raman Bandarenka was taken to the Central District Police Station in Minsk. He was delivered there by Minsk OMON officers, who carried Raman into the building holding him by the arms and legs.
By that time, Raman was in critical condition: he could not move independently, and it was impossible to establish speech contact with him. According to the information from our reliable sources, when the OMON threw him on the ground in front of the viewing window of the officer on duty, Raman could only make uncontrollable movements, i.e. “twitch”. Raman was handed over to the Police Department unit on duty (hereinafter – the UOD) with a verbal explanation that he was in a state of strong alcohol intoxication. After that, the OMON officers quickly left the police department building.
The UOD officers carried Bandarenka into the room for detainees and put him on the floor, without checking the actual physical condition of the person they had brought in, contrary to the established requirements.
At 11:04 pm, one of the employees, following the standard procedure for dealing with a person brought to a Police Station in the state of strong alcohol intoxication, called Raman an ambulance from the duty unit telephone number (017) 228-78-84:
Police Department (PD): Police Department is calling, got to examine a male with strong alcohol intoxication.
Emergency Medical Care (EMC): Arlouskaya 58-1?
EMC: Phone number you are calling from now?
EMC: Got his ID?
PD: No, we’re establishing it, he looks about thirty.
EMC: Is he speaking? Did he say if he had COVID?
PD: No, he isn’t speaking.
EMC: Arlouskaya 58-1, await.
PD: Yeah, thanks. Good bye.
After that, in order to establish Raman’s identification, the UOD officers attempted to awaken him: they slapped him on the cheeks and shook him. Only at that moment did they pay attention to the absence of the signs characteristic of a person in the state of alcohol intoxication in Bandarenka: there was no smell of alcohol on the breath, or reaction to external stimuli. The further actions of the officers on duty provide grave evidence to the severity of Raman’s physical condition. In a 2-minute period, they repeatedly requested an ambulance for Bandarenka from two different phone numbers: at 11:06 pm from the telephone number (017) 228-78-74, and at 11:08 pm from (017) 288-02-02. Moreover, they categorically denied the previously submitted information about the reason for calling the ambulance, i.e. the state of alcohol intoxication of a person brought to the Police Station.
EMC: Ambulance, I’m listening! What happened?
PD: Hello. The Central District Police Department is calling. A man is starting to lose consciousness.
EMC: Where did you request it [ambulance] to?
PD: Central Police Department!
EMC: Police Department of the Central District? Arlouskaya?
PD: Yes, Arlouskaya 58-1.
EMC: To Arlouskaya?
EMC: Is that him?
PD: Yes, yes, yes, he is groaning, yes, yes!
EMC: Well, he’s only groaning, not losing consciousness.
PD: Yes! He is losing consciousness!
EMC: Your request has been recorded. As soon as a crew is available, your request will be routed to them.
PD: Yeah, go ahead. Urgently.
EMC: Ambulance seven.
PD: Hello, greetings. The Central District Department is calling. We have a young man, like, he is unconscious now. He is losing consciousness.
EMC: Unconscious or losing consciousness?
PD: Already unconscious!
EMC: Which Police Department?
PD: Central District Police Department!
EMC: Police Department of the Central District!
PD: I’m unable to give you his ID…
EMC: How old?
PD: About 30-35, something like that.
EMC: Not intoxicated?
PD: No, there’s no smell of alcohol at all!
EMC: Request accepted at 11:08 pm!
At this time, Bandarenka’s relatives and friends tried in vain to find him through the service 102 [police].
Service 102: Police, how can I help you?
T: Miss, hello!
Service 102: Hello.
T: My spouse was detained. May I know where he was taken?
Service 102: What date was he detained?
T: So… this evening, at night they detained him. Two and a half hours ago.
Service 102: Tonight?
T: Yes, yes, yes.
Service 102: Where was he detained?
T: Charviakova street.
Service 102: You’ve got to call the Central District Police Department. 288-02-02.
T: Mhm. Thank you.
Service 102: You’re welcome.
Admission to the Emergency Hospital and the cause of death of Raman Bandarenka
According to the medical document of the City Clinical Hospital of Emergency Care (specifically “Examination by a doctor in the admitting ward of IB [Patient] No. 29110”), the examination of Raman Bandarenka in the hospital admitting ward began on 12 November 2020, at 12.05 am and ended at 12.10 am.
Raman was unconscious when admitted to the hospital. On the Glasgow Coma Scale, his neuropsychic state was evaluated at 4 points (“GCS 4b”) – the most severe condition on this scale is measured at 3 points.
During the examination, he was diagnosed with bodily injuries in the form of multiple punctate abrasions in the facial area; bruises of the right auricle with redness (“the auricle is hyperemic”); bruises of the soft tissues of both legs and the region of the upper left anterior axis of the iliac bone (“purple-red bruises up to 2,5–3 cm in diameter”).
Based on the results of the examination, Raman was hospitalized with the following diagnosis: “Closed severe traumatic brain injury (TBI) as of 11 November 2020. Acute subdural hematomas over both hemispheres of the brain (usually due to rupture of intracranial veins lying in the subdural space, which leads to an increase in intracranial pressure with compression and possible damage to the brain). Traumatic SAH (subarachnoid haemorrhage – haemorrhage in the subarachnoid space (the cavity between the arachnoid mater and the pia mater)).” Bruises, abrasions of the soft tissues of the face, right auricle, and both of the lower extremities.
Two diagnoses that require additional instrumental and laboratory tests have been made. “Alcohol intoxication (questionable). Aspiration pneumonia (inflammation of the lungs that occurs when inhaling or passively entering the lungs of various substances in a massive volume, most often in practice – vomit) (questionable).”
After hospitalization, Bandarenka urgently underwent brain surgery, which did not yield a positive result.
From the content of the audio recording of the conversation between the neurosurgeons who operated Raman and his relatives, we can see that Raman received an extremely severe head injury, which some 5–7 years ago would have been classified as incompatible with life, by medical standards.
…When he was brought here, his condition was assessed as that he was already almost beyond the line that separates the living from the non-living. We performed the surgery, and during the surgery, naturally, his condition continued to deteriorate, and due to the danger of cardiac arrest during the surgery [we had to stop], we did the maximum possible, but we still needed to continue the surgery, but right now he won’t survive it. Why? There is a severe contusion of the brain, that is, parts of the brain are broken and there are haemorrhages in them. The worst thing is that one of these areas is located right in the brain stem (meaning: medulla oblongata – ed.). That is 5–6 centimeters (illegible), all vital functions, basic ones, everything, without exception, breathing, heart activity, movements, taste, and so on, a lot of different… And right there there’s contusion of the “scoliosis veins” (meaning: contusion of the vessels of the brain stem supplying blood to the medulla oblongata – ed.), due to this, severe cerebral edema, severe cerebral wedging (i.e. brain dislocation or displacement of the brain structures relative to others – ed.) And now he is practically in the state that, according to all our protocols and rules, it is categorically impossible to operate on him, we will stabilize him…
The medulla oblongata is the posterior part of the brain, a direct extension of the spinal cord. It regulates such basic life functions as respiration and blood circulation; therefore, in case of damage to the medulla oblongata, death occurs instantly.
The cause of Bandarenka’s death has been established, and has long been known. It is directly stated in his death certificate issued on 23 November 2020, under the code “S06.5”. According to the International Classification of Diseases, this code stands for “Traumatic subdural haemorrhage”.
The term “traumatic” from the criminal legal assessment of the fact of Raman’s death directly indicates its violent nature.
The presence of bodily injuries in the form of a contusion of the right auricle, multiple abrasions in the facial area, as well as the moment recorded on the video wherein one of the SOBR officers (allegedly Tsimanouski), shortly before loading Raman into the van, lifted him by the legs and sharply lowered him to the ground, hitting his head on the surface, indicate that Bandarenka’s traumatic brain injury was caused by a third party (parties).
In fact, neurosurgeons also speak about this directly in the audio recording of the conversation with Raman’s relatives:
…But this does not mean that he was hit precisely on the back of the head. Such haemorrhages can occur as a result of a blow to the back of the head, or the forehead, or the vertex. The place of the application of the force doesn’t matter here, what matters is the direction of the movement of the brain in the cranial cavity after this impact, that is, in which direction the force was applied. Not so much where, but in what direction…
The cause of Roman’s death indicated in his death certificate was also confirmed during the comprehensive medical examination of his corpse, which was carried out by the committee formed by the Department of General Examinations No. 2 of the State Forensic Examination Committee (SFEC) of the Republic of Belarus, Minsk administration. The committee consisted of the Head of the said division I.M. Navumik, her Deputy S.S. Harelik, and other experts.
Тhe fact of the disappearance of the medical and forensic examination report (that establishes the mechanism of causing bodily harm) deserves particular attention: it disappeared in transit while being delivered from the laboratory of the Department of General Examinations No. 3, located on the Dawhinawski Trakt, to the Department of General Examinations No. 2, located on 58E Kizhavatava street. The SFEC’s own security service carried out complete searches of offices with the involvement of criminologists, a search with a service dog, and seized video footage of CCTV cameras. The SFEC management is keeping this information in the strictest confidence (internal investigation of the loss of the said expert report is ongoing).
The clear answer to the question whether Bandarenka was in the state of alcohol intoxication at the time of the events under investigation is given by the results of the laboratory analysis of his biological samples taken upon admission to the Hospital of Emergency Care. The absence of traces of ethyl alcohol in Raman’s blood indicates that he was sober (a preliminary diagnosis of “alcohol intoxication” was issued upon admission to the hospital on the basis of the anamnesis following the phone call for an ambulance and the presence of traces of vomit in the perioral region). The possible presence of traces of alcohol in other biological samples from Bandarenka’s body, which the representatives of the current political regime insist on, can only indicate that he may have consumed alcoholic beverages in the past, and has no legal grounds for assessing the circumstances and causes of his death.
The aggregation of the above factual data sufficiently demonstrates the presence of signs of intentional unlawful deprivation of Bandarenka of life, i.e. the presence of the reasons and grounds for initiating a criminal case, as per Art. 166, 167 of the Code of Criminal Procedure, since only such a procedural decision grants the use of the statutory instruments stipulated by law to ensure a timely, comprehensive, complete and objective investigation of the circumstances of the case.
1. Dzmitry Shakuta (Dmitry Viktorovich Shakuta)
One of the members of the group of activists involved in the destruction of ribbons was identified as Dzmitry Shakuta, born on 7 August 1980, government ID No. 3070880A011PB2. A “Merited Master of Sports” of the Republic of Belarus and a multiple-time Muay Thai world champion. Currently, he runs his own fighting club “Shock” and works as a special training instructor for the internal military troops, military units 3214 and 3032 (SOBR).
The reliability of the testimony regarding Shakuta’s presence in the Square of Changes and his participation in the use of violence against Bandarenka is confirmed by the obtained by us geolocation data of his mobile phones: +3752923504025 and +375297578883.
2. Dzmitry Baskau (Dmitry Yuryevich Baskov)
Dzmitry Baskau, born on 25 August 1978, government ID No. 3250878A013PB7. A former professional hockey player, now a businessman and a Chairman of the Ice Hockey Federation of Belarus since August 2020.
Baskau turned out to be the smartest of the group – he switched his mobile phone off at 8:57 pm before leaving for the Square of Changes, and turned it back on at 11:17 pm, i.e. after all the “events”, as confirmed by his mobile phone billing.
As we analyze the movement of all the “event” participants, it becomes apparent that Baskau was in the company of Dzmitry Shakuta, Natallia Eismant and Hanna Eismant.
In addition, he was identified in the photographs taken by a civilian who was present in the Square of Change at the time.
3. Natallia Eismant (Natalia Nikolayevna Eismоnt)
Natallia Eismant, born on 16 February 1984, government ID No. 4160284A004PB3. A former journalist who has been working as the Press Secretary of the President of the Republic of Belarus since 2014.
Natallia Eismant’s presence in the Square of Changes is confirmed by her mobile phone geolocation data.
4. Hanna Eismant (Anna Mikhailovna Eismоnt)
Hanna Eismant, born on 16 July 1981, government ID No. 4160781K016PB0. A Sports News Presenter for Belteleradiocompany, sister of Natalia Eismant’s husband.
Her presence in the Square of Changes is also confirmed by her mobile phone geolocation data registered in the coverage area of the cellular tower located near the scene.
5. Pavel Volchak (Pavel Vladimirovich Volchek)
Pavel Volchak, born on 9 April 1980, government ID No. 3040980A031PB6. A former hockey player of HC “Yunost”, he is currently a coach of “Junior Minsk”, a member of the ice hockey team of the President of the Republic of Belarus.
To confirm his participation, we attach the billing of his mobile phone number.
6. Zhaneta Volchak (Zhanetta Nikolayevna Volchek)
Volchak, born on 17 January 1978, government ID No. 4170178E011PB8. Zhaneta was in the Square of Changes together with her husband Pavel Volchak. She is a psychologist.
Billing of the subscriber phone number +375296091701 belonging to Zhaneta Volchak.
7. Siarhei Sarman (Sergey Vasilievich Sarman)
Captain Siarhei Sarman, born on 24 November 1983, government ID No. 3241183B054PB2. He was the team leader of the SOBR group (military unit 3032, Minsk), which provided ground support to the above-mentioned civilians.
Billing of the subscriber phone number +375297016032 belonging to Siarhei Sarman.
8. Siarhei Antsiufeyeu (Sergey Mikhailovich Antyufeev)
Senior Warrant Officer and SOBR officer (military unit 3032, Minsk) Siarhei Antsiufeyeu, born on 6 May 1977, government ID No. 3060577A042PB4.
Billing of the subscriber phone number +375291370235 belonging to Siarhei Antsiufeyeu.
9. Aleh Buikevich (Oleg Igorevich Buykevich)
Warrant Officer Aleh Buikevich, born on 7 May 1991, government ID No. 3070591C045PB0.
Billing of the subscriber phone number +375298025765 belonging to Aleh Buikevich.
10. Raman Savianko (Roman Vitalievich Savenko)
Warrant officer Raman Savianko, born on 13 June 1994, government ID No. 3130694C021PB7.
Billing of the subscriber phone number +375298066033 belonging to Raman Savianko.
11. Yauhen Tsimanouski (Evgeny Vladimirovich Timanovsky)
Senior Warrant Officer Yauhen Tsimanouski, born on 23 June, 1990, government ID No. 3230690E012PB4. He is the fifth member of the SOBR group, nicknamed Tyazh [Heavy – transl.] due to his heavyset dimensions and participation in boxing and MMA competitions.
Billing of the subscriber phone number +375292132148, belonging to Yauhen Tsimanouski.
12. Ruslan Kuliashou (Ruslan Alexandrovich Kuleshov)
Police Captain Ruslan Kuliashou, born on 26 January 1977, government ID No. 3260177M100PB1. He is a member of the second force support group and a commander of the 7th company of the 19th platoon of the OMON of the Minsk City Executive Committee (numbered patch on the uniform “▼771”).
His location on 11 November 2020 in the Square of Changes is also confirmed by the geolocation of his mobile phone.
13. Raman Kryvashein (Raman Alexandrovich Krivoshein)
Police Warrant Officer Raman Kryvashein, born on 11 March 1994. A squad leader of the 7th company of the 19th platoon of the OMON of the Minsk City Executive Committee (numbered patch on the uniform “▼771”).
Billing of the subscriber phone number +375293541319 belonging to Raman Kryvashein.
Employees of the Central District Police Department in Minsk:
14. Aliaksei Babkou (Alexey Valerievich Bobkov)
Police Colonel Aliaksei Babkou, born 6 June 1985, government ID No. 3060685A032PB7. Deputy Head of the Criminal Investigation Department (also serves as a Head of the Detective Work Division of the Criminal Investigation Department) of the Central District Police of Minsk. He is the official responsible for all the actions that took place at the police station on the specified evening.
According to the “Public order maintenance resolution on the territory of the Central District of Minsk on 11 November 2020”, Babkou was the officer on duty at the Police Station.
It should be noted that Babkou visited the City Clinical Hospital of Emergency Care on the night of 12.11.2020. This can be confirmed by the geolocation data of mobile phone numbers belonging to him: +375296683813 and +375336004986.
The coordination of the actions of these persons involved is clearly evidenced by the diagram of their telephone connections.
To this date, we established a list of individuals whose action (or inaction) in this criminal-legal situation require a legal assessment by initiating and conducting a preliminary investigation in accordance with the Criminal Procedure Code:
1. The group of activists involved in the destruction of ribbons and initiation of a conflict in the Square of Changes, leading to the actions which unlawfully deprived Bandarenka of life. These same individuals were involved in deliberately hiding information known to them about the circumstances of this crime and persons in respect of whom suspicion of their direct involvement can be raised (signs of malicious vandalism and failure to report a crime, i.e. Part 2 of Art.339 and part 1 of Art.406 CC):
- Dzmitry Baskau (Dmitry Yuryevich Baskov), born 25 August 1978;
- Dzmitry Shakuta (Dmitry Viktorovich Shakuta), born 7 August 1980;
- Natallia Eismant (Natalia Nikolayevna Eismоnt), born 16 February 1984;
- Hanna Eismant (Anna Mikhailovna Eismоnt), born 16 July 1981;
- Pavel Volchak (Pavel Vladimirovich Volchek), born 9 April 1980;
- Zhaneta Volchak (Zhanetta Nikolayevna Volchek), born 17 January 1978.
2. SOBR officers (their minivan was used to transport Raman Bandarenka from the Square of Changes, and, according to the intercepted telephone conversation between Shakuta and Baskau, the beating of Bandarenka continued in the van), in respect of whom there is sufficient evidence to raise suspicions against them of deliberately inflicting bodily harm on Raman Bandarenka with the motive of ideological enmity, which led to the death of the latter (signs of a qualified murder, i.e. paragraph 14, part 2 of Art.139 of the Criminal Code):
- Siarhei Sarman (Sergey Vasilievich Sarman), born 24 November 1983;
- Siarhei Antsiufeyeu (Sergey Mikhailovich Antyufeev), born 6 May 1977;
- Aleh Buikevich (Oleg Igorevich Buykevich), born 7 May 1991;
- Raman Savianko (Roman Vitalievich Savenko), born 13 June 1994;
- Yauhen Tsimanouski (Evgeny Vladimirovich Timanovsky), born 23 June 1990 (allegedly he is the individual who, shortly before loading Raman into the van, lifted him by the legs and sharply lowered him to the ground, hitting his head on the surface).
3. OMON officers, whose minivan was used to transport Raman Bandarenka to the Central District Police Department, where Bandarenka was brought in an unconscious state, deliberately misleading the UOD officers that the man was allegedly in a state of strong alcoholic intoxication (signs of complicity in a qualified murder committed in a group with SOBR officers, i.e. paragraph 14, part 2 of Art. 139 of the Criminal Code):
- Ruslan Kuliashou (Ruslan Alexandrovich Kuleshov), born 26 January 1977;
- Raman Kryvashein (Raman Alexandrovich Krivoshein), born 11 March 1994;
- other unidentified employees of the 7th company of the 19th platoon of the OMON of the Minsk City Executive Committee.
4. Employees of the Central District Police Department of the city of Minsk (officer on duty and employees of the operational duty service), who, in violation of the established order, i.e. without filling out appropriate documentation, accepted Bandarenka from the OMON officers into custody under their own responsibility, and failed to examine him for the need of medical assistance in a timely manner (signs of inaction of an official, i.e. part 3 of Art.425 of the Criminal Code):
- Aliaksei Babkou (Alexey Valerievich Bobkov) – Officer in charge in the Central District Police Department, Deputy Head of the Criminal Investigation Department (also serves as a Head of the Detective Work Division of the Criminal Investigation Department);
- officer on duty.