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  • Pressball: “Financial hardships related to the closure of the website caused the failure of Lisichkin’s heart”

    The Pressball newspaper published an obituary for their editor-in-chief, Siarhei Lisichkin, who passed away on August 11. He was 54 years of age.

    “The edi­to­r­i­al team was shocked by the news on Fri­day.

    The day before, Siarhei Lisichkin, Pressball’s edi­tor-in-chief, worked on the next issue of the news­pa­per. He felt unwell but reas­sured us that it was not a big deal. He attrib­uted it to a mag­net­ic storm. But every­one knew that his health was most­ly affect­ed by finan­cial prob­lems we all faced after the web­site was cen­sored in Belarus.

    It is wide­ly rec­og­nized that adver­tis­ers favor the online plat­form and the block­age result­ed in a loss of income.”

    The belief that the ‘dis­qual­i­fi­ca­tion’ would not last long did not come true. The obit­u­ary states that the editor’s heart failed under stress.

    The edi­to­r­i­al team acknowl­edges that Siarhei Lisichkin joined Press­ball dur­ing a chal­leng­ing peri­od when the pub­li­ca­tion lost a group of excel­lent jour­nal­ists and ill-wish­ers pre­dict­ed a quick end.

    “In the begin­ning, the team faced many chal­lenges in build­ing team­work, busi­ness approach­es, and strat­e­gy choic­es. How­ev­er, Lisichkin’s will­ing­ness to lis­ten to his col­leagues and trust in their exper­tise paid off.”

    Siarhei Lisichkin became the newspaper’s leader in Decem­ber 2020 amidst staff purges and the fir­ing of man­age­ment who sup­port­ed the protests.

    He was offered the posi­tion by Uladz­imir Bazanau, who was the chair­man of the Belaru­sian Foot­ball Fed­er­a­tion at the time. The pub­li­ca­tion was part­ly owned by the Fed­er­a­tion. Ini­tial­ly, Lisichkin declined the offer but lat­er changed his mind. Con­se­quent­ly, sev­er­al impor­tant employ­ees left the news­pa­per.

    Before join­ing Press­ball, Lisichkin worked as a reporter for ANT TV chan­nel and also as a part-time spokesper­son for Min­sk Field Hock­ey Club. He also wrote for Sportiv­naya Panora­ma, SB. Belarus Segod­nya, Kom­so­mol­skaya Prav­da, Min­sk Kuri­er, and oth­er media out­lets.

    Dur­ing Lisichkin’s tenure, Press­ball attempt­ed to main­tain a loy­al­ist posi­tion towards the gov­ern­ment, yet the Min­istry of Infor­ma­tion recent­ly blocked the newspaper’s web­site.


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