Cherkasova, a well-known journalist, was stabbed 20 times in her apartment in the capital, Minsk. Police found no evidence of a break-in, and nothing was taken from the apartment, according to local press reports.
Cherkasova primarily covered social and cultural news but occasionally wrote about politically sensitive issues such as drug abuse, according to former BDG colleague and editor, Svetlana Kalinkina.
“I don’t exclude the possibility of a political murder” because of articles she had written about arms trafficking in Belarus, said BDG Deputy Editor Viktor Martinovich, according to The Moscow Times. “But this doesn’t really look political, especially compared with other cases of attacks against journalists in Belarus.”
Marina Zagorskaya, a Solidarnost reporter, told CPJ that four months before her death, Cherkasova had written a series, titled “The KGB is still following you,” outlining the methods of surveillance the Belarusian Security Services use to monitor civilians’ activities.
An Interior Ministry spokesman said on October 22 that investigators believed that Cherkasova was killed in a personal quarrel and were interviewing friends, relatives, and colleagues, the Interfax news agency reported.