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Politics and News from Belarus - Charter'97



Gennady Karpenko: Lived Open, Decent and Brave Life
16:00, 04/04/2003

April 6 will turn four years since the demise of Gennady Karpenko Vice-Speaker of the 13th Supreme Soviet, doctor of technical sciences, member of the National Academy of sciences of Belarus, academician of the International Academy of sciences of Eurasia. In February 1998 Gennady Karpenko headed the National executive committee, set up by the Belarusian opposition. Gennady Karpenko was a real competitor to the current regime and had every chance to be elected president in the year 2001. He died a sudden death on April 6, 1999 under mysterious circumstances. On that day the UCP members, deputies of the Supreme Soviet, his relatives and friends will put flowers and wreathes on his tomb in the Moskovsky cemetery. On April 6 at 12-1p.m. the people will form a chain of commemoration in the Oktyabrskaya square of Minsk in order to say: We remember you, Gennady! Your deaths mystery will be solved! We keep fighting for you!

He lived beautifully. Openly, decently and courageously. He loved and appreciated people and valued friendship above all. He was fair with everyone. He never betrayed his principles and said truth right in the eyes, no matter how bitter it sounds. He loved his country and nation, believed in the future and sacrificed his very health and energy for it. He earned great love and respect of many Im convinced that they got him killed. Surely, they did, these words belong to Gennady Karpenkos widow Ludmila. In January 2002 she fled to Germany fearing retaliation of the Belarusian special services, which were after her family.

Today Narodnaya Volya published an interview with Genady Karpenkos mother Vera Rozum. An eighty year old woman is a very easy-going and talkative person, who takes great interest in everything thats going on both here and elsewhere in the world. She reads the newspapers from cover to cover and has a great grasp of the current situation.

- I wonder, - she says: why do they pay Shushkevich only 3thsd rubles in pension? Nobody gets that little now. Ill tell you why: Lukashenko takes revenge on him. You know what he had done to Luda (meaning Gennadys wife). They exerted pressure on her, not letting her work normally. And then Lukashenko declared all of a sudden: I helped her out! When she had not enough means to bury Gennady I gave her the money. And Lida wrote everything right to him: what kind of a country is it if they cant bury with honor the doctor of sciences and famous academician?

- I always told Gena: give it up, son, and travel abroad. Lukashenko wont let you work and will get rid of you right away. And the father told him just the same. But he paid no heed to that. And so they killed him. One month before his demise he and my grandson Dima came to congratulate me with the 8th of March. I told him back then: Gena, they will get you killed! And he replied: Let them do that, one has to drive the country out of crisis. And I said: You wont do that. But he said that he would not leave the country all the same. (tears start filling the elderly womans eyes making it hard for her to continue).

- Remember how Gena withdrew his candidacy at the presidential race in 1994? When I went to the market to buy food at those days, I heard some people say between themselves: There was one normal candidate and now hes gone too! Why would he do that? Then I asked my son why he had done that, for many had been willing to vote for him. And he answered: Mum, its pointless. They already have the ballot-sheets ready! Then I objected that he should have stood up to the end.

- Others wonder how I survive this. But Gena wasnt the only such person. Look how many politicians got slain! Take Yura Zakharenko, whom I personally knew. His mother is going through hard times. Does she have any more children? What, he also died? I knew Vitya Gonchar too. His mother has other children left at least.

Can it be that our people will choose this president for the third time?

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