A missing Belarusian activist’s body was found in a park in Ukraine, and police are investigating if it was a ‘murder disguised as a suicide’

Belarusian activist Vitaly Shishov
Vitaly Shishov.

  • The body of a Belarusian activist was found in a park in Kyiv, Ukraine.
  • Police said they are looking at if it might be a “murder disguised as a suicide.”
  • Vitaly Shishov helped Belarusians fleeing persecution. The country retaliates against its critics.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

A Belarusian activist was found dead in Ukraine, in what police are investigating as a murder.

Vitaly Shishov lived in the capital city of Kyiv, where he led the Belarusian House in Ukraine, a nonprofit that helps people from Belarus fleeing persecution, The Guardian reported.

His body was found hanging in a park on early Tuesday after he didn’t come home from a run, the BBC reported.

“Belarusian citizen Vitaly Shishov, who had gone missing in Kyiv yesterday, was today found hanged in one of the Kyiv parks, not far from where he lived,” the police said in a statement.

They said they had opened a murder investigation and that one option is that it was a “murder disguised as a suicide.”

Yury Shchuchko, a member of the Belarusian House in Ukraine, told the Associated Press Shishov was found with marks of beating on his face and that nothing was stolen from him.

Belarus, often referred to as Europe’s last dictatorship, has retaliated against people who criticize the state.

Opposition politicians have fled the country, and over the weekend, an Olympic athlete said she was forcibly taken to the airport in Tokyo after she criticized her coaches. She was given a humanitarian visa by Poland on Monday.

And in May, Belarus diverted a Ryanair passenger plane that was headed to Lithuania, forcing it to land in Belarus in order to arrest the dissident Roman Protasevich who was on board.

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