Human rights activists meet with Yury Zakharanka’s mother


New windows and an oven were installed in Ulliana Zakharnaka’s house. has learnt it form Aleh Vouchak, a former prosecution investigator and head of the organisation Legal Assistance to Citizens.

“The idea to collect money to buy gas equipment for Yury Zakharanka’s mother appeared last spring, when we came to visit her on the anniversary of her son’s disappearance. We visit her often, but we didn’t turn attention that she had to burn wood in her stove every day. We decided to appeal to people to collect money, buy gas equipment and make her life easier. Frankly speaking, we didn’t expect so many people across Belarus to join the initiative so actively. We understand that many fear to send a postal order officially, because they may face attention from relative agencies. But people were not afraid to help the woman who raised a real Belarusian hero,” the human rights defender noted.

The lawyer adds they saw an renovated house.

“I’d like to note that the gas equipment was installed, but we also have money for new windows and the front door. Ulliana Zakharnaka, who marks the 90th birthday this year, was happy to see us and made dinner. The general’s mother said she could sleep till 10 a.m., because she didn’t need to get up early to burn the stove any more. She is cheerful and active. Her stamina and optimism makes us feel good. She is a wonderful and beautiful woman,” Aleh Vouchak said.

General Yury Zakharanka disappeared on May 7, 1999. Officially, it happened on Zhukovsky Street in Minsk. He was forcefully kidnapped by “unidentified persons” and taken in an unknown direction in a car. A criminal case over criminal article 101 in connection with the disappearance of the former interior minister was opened only on September 17, 1999. Witnesses of the abduction, who were found by a public commission, say Zakharanka was forcefully kidnapped by several men.