Militant lieutenant general Igor Sunevich, who was born in the Luhansk region of Ukraine, was often distinguished by outrageous statements and actions. As interior minister, he repeatedly wore the NKVD uniform for the May 9 parade, which, in his own words, he ordered with his own money. A replica of those uniforms that suppressed and shot Belarusians in Soviet times, Shunevich was to “pay tribute to the officers of the corps who worked during the difficult post-war period.”
In May 2019, the then police chief refused to apologize to representatives of the Roma community for their brutal detentions caused by the investigation into the death of traffic lieutenant Yevgeny Potapovich near Mogilev, although the Commission of Inquiry later concluded to the conclusion that the security officer committed suicide, in which the Roma were not involved in any way. That same year, Shunevich called Belarussian members of the LGBT community “leaks.” Even Lukashenko sometimes did not like the actions of the general, who in 2019 criticized the work of the security official for over-enhanced security measures before the 2019 European Games, comparing fan zones with concentration camps and ghettos.
For the most part, however, the regime trusted Sunevic. And in 2014, the general became the head of the main hockey club in Belarus, Dinamo Minsk, from the position of chairman of the supervisory board Zubr. All the time under Shunevich, the club had some sort of legionnaire restrictions for itself (there are no such restrictions for non-Russian clubs in the KHL itself) and in 2017 it generally stated that the team would only succeed in the future with Belarusians, but before that it turned out to be too far away. In 2020, after resigning from the ministerial post, Sunevic was transferred to the position of general manager of Dinamo, where he lasted until May 2021 (and there was real domination of the legionnaires this season).
“Dynamo” removed the security officer: under him, the hockey players were not registered with Lukashenko, there was a field of fake fans and the domination of foreigners
Where is Sunevic now?
After the “bison”, the general was not left without a job. In the autumn of 2021, the Council of Ministers, in agreement with Lukashenko, proposed that Sunevich be elected president of the Belarusian Society of Hunters and Fishermen for five years. No one at the Democratic Congress of the organization was against it. In the next issue of the sectional newspaper “Palyanichy i Rybalov”, a photo of the general with a portrait of Lukashenka in the background was solemnly placed on the front page.
BOOR was founded in 1912, when just over 500 hunters were registered in Belarus. There are now about 40,000 of them in the country, which means each of them has a gun. Now Shunevich personally controls it.
Take over the old
In his new job, Shunevich did not have to wait long for strong statements. During the service, the head of the society must write the “Column of the President” in “Palyanichy i Rybalov”. Unusual general thoughts have appeared in the last issue. The former silovik took six months at BOOR to become an expert in the field of flora and fauna and to assess the threat of extinction of certain species in the territory of Belarus.
Sunevic called the Red Book a remnant that hinders rapid decision-making on certain species of animals. In the post, the former security official saw anti-government activity in general, because “this is a socio-ecological way of copying the work that should already be done by state institutions specially designed for it” and “a kind of” aggravating “state environmental means, prevents quick decision making on certain types of animals.
“It simply came to our notice then. If we say that there are species whose population is in an oppressed and threatening state, then we close their hunt. In addition, hunters should not act as “extremes” here – we close any activity that threatens the existence of these species. “Then we will take all necessary measures to remove this population from the threat,” Sunevic explained.
Who is Sunevic proposing to shoot?
Above all, the general did not like to find a bison, a lynx and a bear in the Red Book. “He took the symbol of Belarus and Dinamo Minsk very seriously.”
“It’s honestly incomprehensible to me how, in terms of population security, the bison is different from the bear or the lynx? The bison population in our country is not in a depressed state; in addition, many small populations of this animal are in a state where they are already harming agriculture and forestry and sometimes pose a threat to humans. “It is possible to chase it under certain conditions and yet it is on the Red Book lists”, the president of BOOR assures.
In the Red Book, the European bison is in the third category of animals – it is not directly threatened with extinction, but is in danger of extinction in the near future and the transition to the Black Paper. Bison has been under state protection since 1946 and has been included in all editions of the Red Book. The population of this animal now has more than two thousand people – about a quarter of the total on the planet.
It is worth noting that in the autumn of last year in Belovezhskaya Pushcha it was reported that the number of bison was twice as high as the optimal. The organization complains that it is necessary to spend a lot of money to feed the 675 bison kept in the park.
Is it possible to hunt bison now?
It is only possible to perform a selective shot on the reserve gene pool – elderly or sick animals. Any hunter can do this, for which you need to buy a ticket. During the hunt, the visitor will be accompanied by a forester and will show which bison can be killed.
You have to pay money for such pleasure. It will be the cheapest for passport holders of Belarus and EAEU countries (Armenia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Russia). For one year (young growth of the current year) you have to pay up to 800 rubles, young growth from one to two years – up to 2.5 thousand, for a non-trophy adult – up to 5 thousand. Citizens of other countries have a higher price: minors – up to 1.5 thousand, young animals aged one to two years – up to 5 thousand, non-trophy adults – up to 22 thousand.