Updated at 20:11,29-10-2020

Former corrupt officials quit new jobs as collective farm directors

Aleksey Karpeka, Euroradio

Former corrupt officials quit new jobs as collective farm directors
Photo: pexels.com
Belarus' State Security Committee, also known in Belarus under the old Soviet name KGB, recently detained several officials from the Healthcare Ministry. Social media immediately responded to this news with jokes that Belarus desperately needs new collective farm directors and KGB makes sure to find the right candidates for the job.

There is a grain of truth in every joke. In 2016, the former officials who were pardoned by President Lukashenka indeed received "mandatory job placements" to work as directors at collective farms or state-run factories. But do they really stay in exile for long? Here are the three stories of crime, punishment and success.


Success story No1: Viktar Khadasevich

From the Lipauka collective farm to the job of a shopping mall director in Babrujsk.


Former corrupt officials quit new jobs as collective farm directorsViktar Khadasevich, former managing director of the Babrujsk meat-processing plant, is not the first CEO convicted for corruption. His predecessor Andrei Isaychanka was also convicted and sentenced to six years in prison with confiscation of property.

Khadasevich was detained one and a half month after he was appointed the meat-processing plant's director (he had worked as the chief technical officer there for two years). He was convicted in May 2015 but already in February 2016 surfaced as the director of the Lipauka collective farm in the Chocimsk district, Mahilou region.

However, Viktar Khadasevich worked in Lipauka only for less then one year, Euroradio has learned.

"Viktar Khadasevich no longer works as the farm director. He resigned after about one year of work and left,” current manager at Lipаuka Mikalai Kakotau tells Euroradio.


Viktar Khadasevich told Euroradio that he currently works in his home city of Babrujsk:

“I work in my native city Babrujsk as director of the shopping center Spektr. I left Lipauka becuase my labor contract expired."


What happened after Viktar Khadasevich resigned from Lipauka? Already in February 2017, the Regional Economic Court of Mahilou opened bankruptcy proceedings against the collective farm. In December 2017, the farm began to undergo financial rehabilitation actions.

“Insolvency began when our financial condition did not allow us to pay our debts. Currently, Lipauka is in the process of rehabilitation. Under the business plan we have, our goal is to become sustainable by 2020," adds Lipauka manager Mikalai Kakotau.


Viktar Khadasevich explains Euroradio that the farm had already been in the red when he came to work there.


Success story No2: Aliaksandr Arkhipau

He was sentenced to 6 years in prison, spent one and a half years behind bars and another year and a half managing a loss-making collective farm.


Former corrupt officials quit new jobs as collective farm directorsAliaksandr Arkhipau is a former deputy Prosecutor General of Belarus. In 2014, he was convicted to 6 years in prison for bribery and office abuse. However, Aliaksandr Lukashenka pardoned Arkhipau. In January 2016, the former top law-enforcement official was appointed to work as the managing director of the loss-making agricultural enterprise Piatrovicy near Smaliavicy. Local residents say that the previous farm director Vasil Patyla "was caught red handed with a bribe and ended up behind bars."

But the former deputy Prosecutor General did not stay in the collective farm for too long. Already in May 2018, he quit his job at the farm - perhaps over his failure to meet the agricultural production targets, according to local newspapers.

Former corrupt officials quit new jobs as collective farm directors

Image: nv-online.info

Currently, Piatrovicy farm is run by acting director Aliaksandr Karalchuk who was not available for comment due to non-stop buisness trips. What about Arkhipau? He may soon surface as a top manager somewhere else.


Success story No3: Uladzimir Bulai

"He resigned - quite possibly at his own will.”


Former corrupt officials quit new jobs as collective farm directorsWe can't but tell you the story of Uladzimir Bulay, chairman of Casniki district administration! In early September 2015, Prosecutor General's Office opened a criminal case againsty him. The public servant was detained and charged with office abuse. He was facing between three and ten years in prison. However, that did not prevent him from becoming the director of the Klianovicy farm in the Krupki district in January 2016.

Just like the other pardoned former currupt officials, he did not stay long at the collective farm and resigned in early 2018. The farm's current director Aliaksandr Svirydau just confirms that:

"He resigned - possibly at his own will. I don't know. I will not discuss someone's private life and his work in Klianovicy."

Is it a coincidence that in early 2018 investigators detected a criminal scheme at three dairy farms in Klianovicy: supervisors forced workers to receive milk as their salaries. In January - September 2017, between 20 and 350 liters of milk were recorded on workers, with one supervisor having "sold" his worker over 13000 liters of milk.


New pardoned former officials head to new collective farms

News broke recently that the former head of Salihorsk district Aliaksandr Rymasheuski was appointed as the Radastauski agricultural enterprise director. In December 2017, he was found guilty of bribery and sentenced to 8 years in a high-security prison and a fine of 28561 BYN ($14 000). However, he did not stay behind bars for long. Already in June 2018, Rymasheuski was pardoned by the president.

When this Euroradio correspondent called the Radastauski office, he was told that Rymasheuski is busy with non-stop field trips and is unavailable for comment.

From 1999 till today, this farm was run by Leanid Karol. He recently filed a resignation letter and was dismissed at the mutual content of the parties, Euroradio has learned. He remains a member of the Radastauski village council elected during the local elections in February 2018.

The Radastauski collective farm has not performed well for long periods of time but in 2017 the situation improved. The net profit of the company grew to 168 000 BYN ($84 000). What happens to the enterpise in the future will depend on Aliaksandr Rymasheuski.

It is also known that the former head of Minsk's Leninski District Valry Kulesh also approached President Lukashenka with a clemency appeal. It remains unclear yet if he too will get a manadtory job placement in a collective farm.

The full list of the convicted but pardoned former officials was never published. The Office of the President reckons that the lists of pardoned former top officials and former top managers appinted to managerial positions should remain classified.