Belarusian KGB adds World of Tanks studio boss to terrorist list

source: pcgamer

Likely in retaliation for Wargaming leaving the country after Belarus supported Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

Nikolai Katselapov, the chief business development officer at World of Tanks studio Wargaming, appears to have been added to a list “of organisations and individuals involved in terrorist activities”(opens in new tab) by Belarus’ Committee for State Security (or KGB, yes, as in that KGB). In a move which was likely sparked by Wargaming pulling out of Belarus(opens in new tab) following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, he is accused under article 290-1—”Financing of terrorist activities”—of the Criminal Code of the Republic of Belarus.

Katselapov was actually added to the list all the way back on December 30, but it was only when independent Belarusian newspaper Nasha Niva(opens in new tab) (via Game World Observer(opens in new tab)) reported on the story that it came to wider public knowledge. Nasha Niva believes that Katselapov is still free, which would make sense given that Wargaming hasn’t been present in Belarus for nearly a year now, but hasn’t been able to obtain comment from the company thus far.

I’ve also reached out to Wargaming to ask for comment on this story, and will update this piece if I receive a reply.

Belarus has long used its terrorist list as a political bludgeon. In the past, dissidents like opposition leader and former presidential candidate Sviatlana Tsikhanouskaya have been added to it as a pretext to justify repression of groups and individuals hostile to president Alyaksandr Lukashenka. It’s likely that Wargaming’s decision to vacate the country back in April last year offended the higher echelons of Belarus’ government, particularly given that Wargaming was the country’s largest game development studio: It was valued at over a billion dollars in 2016.(opens in new tab)

It’s unclear why Belarus has picked on Katselapov particularly, though Nasha Niva theorises he may at some point have donated money to opposition political figures. Regardless, he has become entry #993 on the most recent version of Belarus’ terrorist list, and it’s looking even more unlikely that Wargaming will return to its home country anytime soon.

15 thoughts on “Belarusian KGB adds World of Tanks studio boss to terrorist list

  1. Well, they are just concerned that War Gaming is going to keep on laundering money for the KGB, that’s all.

    1. So the KGB, puts someone from WG on their terrorists list with the accusation of financing terrorist activities, while WG is supposedly laundering money for the KGB? Seems legit if you call the KGB a terrorist organisation. xD

  2. I knew WG was somehow under the radar of Belarusian higher-ups. Sadly no one listened to me… But on the bright side: DOWN WITH WG! BRING THE PAIN!

  3. There is increasing number of orcs in the general chat propaganding and spewing their hateful garbage all days long.And WG doesn’t even mention it,they even do the opposite and import more russians daily on the EU servers.

  4. If their list is anything like the one in the US then they’re doing it to seize assets that are still in the country as well as send a clear message to anyone else who would dare move their business out of the country.

  5. The only reason Belarus would sanction WG is because that WG were clearly finiancing that corrupt Communist regime and with wg pulling out the shitty commie Belarus government seeking revenge

  6. WG published a letter threatening Belarus that if they didn’t become less of a dictatorship, they (as well as several hundred other companies) would simply leave the country, taking their people and wealth with them.

    Well, Belarus doubled down, and most of those companies made good on their threat and left, leaving Minsk in particular much poorer.

    This is Belarus angrily thrashing like an overgrown child. What likely happened is this WG employee in particular donated to a Ukrainian cause, and Belarus is still buttmad.

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