Polish soldier who defected to Belarus found ‘dead from hanging’ in Minsk apartment
A Polish soldier who defected to Belarus during the height of the border migrant crisis last year has been found dead.
According to reports by the Belarusian state news agency BELTA, Emil Czeczko was found ‘hanging at his place of residence’ in the Belarusian capital Minsk.
The 25-year-old had been a member of of Poland’s 16th Pomeranian Mechanised Division when he abandoned his post and defected.
Accused by the Polish authorities of desertion, Czeczko had been one of thousands of troops stationed on the frontier to stop refugees living in camps in the region from entering Poland.
Upon his arrival in Belarus, he was presented as being opposed to Poland’s management of migrants and said he had been ‘forced to kill people’.
In turn, Warsaw said he was being used as part of a disinformation campaign and that he had previously been in trouble with the law for ‘attacking his mother’.
Lukashenko’s regime says it is now carrying out an investigation into the Private’s death.
Belarusian journalist Franak Vyachorka told the Fact newspaper: “In Belarus, he played the role of an anti-Western hero for some time.
“Recently, he kind of disappeared from the radar. I don't want to make any hypotheses, but I also don't think the investigation will be real.
“I do not want to draw any conclusions from this, but any cooperation with the regime ends very badly.”
He added: “I believe that he was a victim of the Belarusian regime.”