Viktar Hanchar

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Viktar Hanchar
Born(1957-09-07)September 7, 1957
DisappearedSeptember 16, 1999 (aged 42)
Minsk, Belarus
StatusMissing for 24 years, 8 months and 5 days

Viktar Hanchar, or Viktar Hančar (Belarusian: Віктар Ганчар, Russian: Виктор Гончар, Viktor Gonchar, September 7, 1957 – disappeared September 16, 1999) was a Belarusian politician who disappeared and was presumably murdered in 1999. He was born in the village of Radzichava, Slutsk Raion.

Hanchar graduated from the Law Department of the Belarusian State University in 1979 and worked as law research worker at different major Belarusian institutions.

Political career[edit]

Beginning in May 1991, Hanchar worked as first deputy chairman of Maladzyechna mayor. In May 1994, he ran for the Constitutional Court of Belarus, but did not receive the support of most MPs.

During the presidential elections in 1994, Hanchar was one of the most active in the election campaign headquarters of Alexander Lukashenko. In 1994, after the victory of Lukashenko in the presidential elections, Hanchar was appointed Deputy Prime Minister of Belarus, but soon resigned. Hanchar joined the opposition to the president and joined the United Civic Party, becoming a member of its Political Council (since 1995). In 1995–1996 he was general secretary of the CIS Economic Court.

In 1995, Hanchar was elected to the Supreme Soviet of Belarus. In 1996 he was appointed chairman of the Central Election Committee (CEC), and actively opposed to Lukashenko during the 1996 referendum. In 1996, he was dismissed by the president from his position. Hanchar never recognized the results of the 1996 referendum as legitimate. In 1998, Hanchar led an alternative Election Committee during the 1999 presidential election, organized by the opposition as a protest against constitutional reforms by Lukashenko.


Hanchar disappeared in Minsk on September 16, 1999, along with his friend, the businessman Anatol Krasouski. Pieces of broken glass and blood were found on the supposed site where Hanchar and Krasouski had been last seen. On December 5, 2002, they were officially declared missing by the court. In January 2003, the Chief Prosecutor of Minsk suspended the criminal investigation into the disappearance of Hanchar and Krasouski.

According to the former head of jail number 1 Oleg Alkaev (Aleh Alkaeu), Viktar Hanchar was abducted and executed on the order of people close to President Lukashenko.[1] Investigation of the disappearance of Hanchar and Krasouski is one of the main issues of the Belarusian opposition, and is also mentioned in the documents of international organizations.

In September 2004, the European Union and the United States issued travel bans for four Belarusian officials suspected of being involved in the kidnapping of Hanchar: Interior Affairs Minister Vladimir V. Naumov, Prosecutor General Viktor Sheiman, Minister for Sports and Tourism Yuri Sivakov, and Colonel Dmitri Pavlichenko from the Belarus Interior Ministry.[2]

For several years the Belarusian opposition has organized the Day of Solidarity with Belarus on the 16th of every month to commemorate the disappearance of Hanchar, Krasouski, Jury Zacharanka, Dzmitry Zavadski, and the mysterious death of Hienadz Karpienka.[3]

In December 2019, Deutsche Welle published a documentary film in which Yury Harauski, a former member of the Special Rapid Response Unit, confirmed that it was his unit that had arrested, taken away and murdered pro-democracy activist Yury Zakharanka, and that they later did the same with Viktar Hanchar and Anatol Krasouski.[4] Harauski fled to Switzerland in 2018, seeking asylum.[5] In 2023 Harauski was arrested and charged with the forced disappearance of Zacharanka, Hanchar and Krasouski.[5] Harauski's trial in a Swiss court opened on 19 September 2023.[5] Due to numerous contradictions in his statements, the Swiss court did not consider it proven that Harauski was actually involved in the killings. Human rights defenders from Trial International were disappointed with the judges' decision.[6]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Олег Алкаев: существует видеозапись убийств Захаренко, Гончара и Красовского Archived December 13, 2009, at the Wayback Machine
  2. ^ "USA, EU declare Belarus officials personas non grata". Pravda. 28 September 2008. Retrieved 3 March 2015.
  3. ^ "День солидарности: 9 лет назад исчезли Виктор Гончар и Анатолий Красовский". Retrieved 2018-01-03.
  4. ^ "Belarus: How death squads targeted opposition politicians". Deutsche Welle. 16 December 2019. Retrieved 25 November 2020.
  5. ^ a b c "Former Belarus 'hit squad' member to stand trial in Switzerland". BBC News. 19 September 2023. Retrieved 19 September 2023.
    "Belarus ex-police stands trial over vanished Lukashenko opponents". France24. 19 September 2023. Retrieved 19 September 2023.
  6. ^ "Schweizer Richter sprechen Belarussen frei". Deutsche Welle. 28 September 2023. Retrieved 23 November 2023.

External links[edit]

Political offices
Preceded by
Head of Central Electoral Commission
Succeeded by
Preceded by
Deputy Prime Minister
Succeeded by