Kirill Golub, a Belarussian angel investor who has also been involved in the Lithuanian and Latvian IT scene, has been reportedly detained since August 12 in the Belarus capital Minsk. Golub has not been politically active, according to a press release from the investor association Changer International Business Club
According to media reports, as of August 12, some 6000 people have been detained in Belarus for protesting against allegedly falsified election results that claimed incumbent President Alexander Lukashenko had gotten around 80 percent of the vote in Sunday’s presidential poll.
Golub has been active in IT related businesses since the early 2000s, starting the first web design studio in Belarus and later selling the company to investors from the US and using the proceeds of the deal to make “angel” investments in Belarussian and Baltic startups.
He is the president of the Belarus Business Angels Association a founder of the Lithuanian Business Angel Network LitBAN. He was also an advisor to formed Latvian President Raimonds Vējonis. Golub is credited with bringing investors from Belarus to the Baltics and with efforts to make the Latvian capital Riga a springboard for Belarus IT companies to international markets.
Golub was recently mention as speaking for Angel Band, which granted an EUR 50 000 seed investment in the stock market investment game Fantasy Invest, aimed at players in the US.
There are reports of some 300 (by one account, 500) Belarus IT company CEOs and investors signing a letter demanding that political detainees be freed and that new elections be held. It is not known whether Golub was among those signing the letter, and the website with the text of the appeal is apparently blocked (the internet is mostly shut down in Belarus since the August 9 election “results” were published.
Changer International Business Club is calling for Golub’s release. News of his arrest/disappearance was also published by the English-language Moscow Times and on several other news websites, a Google search showed.
The Latvian news agency LETA reported on August 13 that Latvia will support individual sanctions on Belarusian officials responsible for the violent crackdown against protesters and for electoral fraud, Foreign Minister Edgars Rinkevičs said on Twitter.
The minister will present Latvia’s position at the forthcoming European Union (EU) Foreign Affairs Council meeting on August 14
European Union foreign ministers will hold an extraordinary meeting on Friday to review the situation in Belarus, Lebanon and the eastern Mediterranean, foreign policy chief Josep Borrell announced.