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Belarus protests: Maria Kolesnikova ‘detained at Ukraine border’

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picture captionMaria Kolesnikova informed BBC Russian final month that “to understand exactly what’s going on, you really have to be here”

A Belarus opposition chief has reportedly been detained on the border with Ukraine the day after her disappearance.

State media report that Maria Kolesnikova was held on the border early on Tuesday morning.

It comes the day after witnesses reportedly noticed masked males bundle her right into a minibus.

She is considered one of three ladies who joined forces to problem President Alexander Lukashenko in August’s election.

Mass protests adopted his re-election amid allegations of vote-rigging. Authorities stated

greater than 600 folks had been arrested on Sunday on the fourth consecutive weekend of anti-government demonstrations.

Mr Lukashenko has dominated his nation since 1994. He has accused Western powers of interference.

But he has been supported by President Vladimir Putin of Russia and is anticipated to go to Moscow “in the coming days”.

The EU demanded the discharge of all political prisoners on Monday and stated it was planning to impose sanctions.

What’s occurred to Ms Kolesnikova?

There are conflicting reviews in regards to the opposition determine’s whereabouts. As but officers haven’t confirmed what has occurred to her, and it’s unclear precisely what occurred on the border crossing.

A Belarus border official reportedly stated Ms Kolesnikova was detained on the Ukrainian border early on Tuesday. Two different opposition members, Anton Rodnenkov and Ivan Kravtsov, crossed the border.

The three had been in a BMW, the official stated. At the crossing, the automotive “accelerated sharply”, and Ms Kolesnikova “found herself outside the vehicle”. The official stated she was “pushed out of it” and it continued to maneuver in direction of Ukraine. She is now in detention, he added.

Ukraine has confirmed that solely the 2 males had arrived. Anton Geraschenko, Ukraine’s deputy inside affairs minister, described the 2 males’s departure as “forcible expulsion”.

“Maria Kolesnikova could not be expelled from Belarus, because this brave woman took action to prevent her movement across the border,” he wrote in a Facebook submit. “She remained on the territory of the Republic of Belarus.”

She is reported to have torn up her passport on the border so she couldn’t enter Ukraine, based on Interfax-Ukraine information company which is citing “informed sources”.

On Monday, eyewitnesses noticed masked males seize Ms Kolesnikova on the road in central Belarus and push her right into a minibus.

The Co-ordination Council – a physique arrange by the opposition to supervise a switch of energy after the disputed election – later stated it had no concept of her whereabouts. It added that press secretary Mr Rodnenkov and government secretary Mr Kravtsov had additionally disappeared.

The inside ministry stated it had no details about any of the council members being detained.

media captionWhat lies behind the Belarus protests?

Who are the three ladies?

Ms Kolesnikova is the final of the three ladies who joined forces towards Mr Lukashenko to stay inside Belarus.

She was initially the marketing campaign supervisor for presidential candidate Viktor Barbaryko earlier than his arrest in June, when she determined to work with Veronika Tsepkalo and Svetlana Tikhanovskaya,

Ms Tikhanovskaya stood towards Mr Lukashenko within the election on 9 August. She solely determined to run after her husband was arrested and barred from standing, and is now in Lithuania after she was pressured to go away Belarus following the vote.

Ms Tsepkalo has travelled to Poland along with her husband Valery and kids. Mr Tsepkalo, the previous ambassador to the US for Belarus, was additionally barred from standing towards President Lukashenko.

Another feminine activist, Olga Kovalkova, introduced on Saturday she had fled to Poland amid threats of imprisonment.

“I’m the only one of the three of us who is still here,” Ms Kolesnikova informed BBC Russian in an interview final month. “To understand exactly what’s going on, you really have to be here.”

Ms Kolesnikova described the current demonstrations as “not a struggle for power” however “a struggle for human dignity and self-respect”. She stated she and her group had determined towards utilizing bodyguards.

“No number of guards would be of any use if a bus full of riot police stopped us,” she stated. “We all know what a police state is capable of.”

media captionA 73-year-old great-grandmother has become an unlikely hero for demonstrators in Belarus

Related Topics

  • Minsk

  • Belarus
  • Ukraine

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