Wital and Uładisłau Kuznieczyks spent almost two years at the Swedish embassy in Minsk. They intended to ask for political asylum, but were refused. In early June, they managed to leave this place, flee the country and get to Latvia. In Belarus, they have been prosecuted for participating in anti-government protests.
After a year and nine months spent on the premises of the Swedish embassy in Minsk, father and son, Wital and Uładisłau Kuznieczyk, managed to leave Belarus. As they told the portal Zierkało (zerkalo.io, formerly tut.by), at first, despite the KGB observations, they first managed to leave Minsk. Then they crossed the “green border” from Latvia.
The Kuznieczyks come from Witebsk. They took part in anti-government protests in 2020 and feared repression by the authorities. In September 2020, hoping to get protection from the site Sweden, reported to the country’s embassy in Minsk. When they heard that it was impossible to obtain asylum, they jumped over the fence.
The men managed to escape from the Belarusian services, but found themselves in a stalemate because the Swedish authorities could not offer them any help other than staying at the embassy.
– They could not surrender us to the Belarusian authorities, and Sweden did not want to grant us any status. It was explained to us that if this happened, it would be a precedent. And people will jump to all embassies over the fence – told Uładisłau Kuznieczyk to the portal Zierkało.
Escape on your own
According to the report of both men, published on Thursday, they planned the escape on their own, and it was possible thanks to the fact that the older one had to go to another city for research (previously he had cancer). The embassy management issued permission for such a trip.
The most important obstacle, they said, was the observation by the Belarusian KGB and the Interior Ministry. The surrounding buildings were hung with cameras and it was practically impossible to leave the embassy without the Belarusians noticing it. “We were prepared to be detained,” the men said.
On June 1, the Kuznieczyks in the diplomats’ car left the embassy to another place, where the tests were to take place. How they managed to avoid the cameras remains a mystery – writes zerkalo.io.
Regulating the legal situation
Instead of going to the doctor, the Kuznieczyks went to the border with Latvia, changing the means of transport – bus, taxi. – Yes. We rode public transport, but changed our clothes. I was wearing a mask. Father grew a beard earlier – said Uladzisłau.
They crossed the “green border”, they say, thanks to the compass and GPS they had in their “clean” phone.
In Latvia, they ended up in an open-type refugee camp. Now they are trying to regulate their legal situation, find a job and a livelihood.
Main photo source: PAP / EPA