Wargaming top manager called a terrorist by KGB Belarus

Nick Katselapov, Chief Business Development Officer at Wargaming, has been added to the list of people related to terrorism by KGB Belarus (the State Security Committee). He was accused of financing terrorist activity.

This was reported by The regional Ministry of Taxes and Duties of Belarus in late 2022. However it was not until a few days ago, when a non-state Belarusian media brought this information to light. The official report does not disclose any details, so it is unclear which money transfer and to whom — an organization or a person — served as a basis for such an allegation.

Officially, Belarus, the country in Eastern Europe where Wargaming was founded, is a democratic state. However, the EU has blamed the government of Belarus for authoritarian practices many times.

For example, the country has had only one president for the past 29 years — Alexander Lukashenko. And cases of opposition leaders disappearing or being imprisoned are known to have taken place.

A few of the Belarusian opposition organizations and their leaders are on that terrorist list already. One of them is Sviatlana Tsikhanouskaya, the candidate from the opposition in the 2020 Belarusian presidential elections.

It is possible that Katselapov had transferred finances to some opposition bodies in his motherland and that activity was spotted by the KGB Belarus. However, there could also have been an economic reason for such an accusation from the side of the authorities.

In April 2022, Wargaming announced that it was suspending all operations in its main markets, Russia and Belarus due to the “strategic review of business operations.” This happened shortly after Russia had started an invasion of Ukraine.

Wargaming used to be one of the biggest and richest IT companies in Belarus. Such a move, which was obviously caused by politics, might have been taken critically by the Belarusian government and they might have taken some actions against one of the company’s top managers.

Katselapov is one of the original members of Wargaming. According to some media sources, he can be called a co-founder of the company. As of 2013, he owned 17% of Wargaming. In 2021 he was named the most powerful Belarusian businessman by the local magazine Ezhednevnik.

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