According to reports, a leader, Maria Kolenikova, has been detained in protests against Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko abducted by masked men on Monday, which extends the latest attempt to silence the country and expel the protest.
Kolsnikova is leading protests against Lukashenko, the 26-year-old president of Belarus, who has been married to re-election last month with allegations of fraud, sparking widespread national unrest and subsequent harsh action from the government .
Russian news agency Interfax reported that Kolenikova intentionally broke her passport so that she could not be transported to Ukraine, an attempt to “forcibly evacuate from her country of origin” described by Deputy Ukranian interior Anton Gerashenko on Facebook.
Prior to this report, the protesting leader was missing for 24 hours after protesting after seeing Masked people in plain clothes in front of Minsk’s National Art Museum, looking at masked people in plain clothes, tying him in a dark minivan and driving quickly.
According to Ukraine’s Border Service, two other leaders in the opposition-led coordination council, Anton Ronkov and Ivan Krustov, also disappeared, but both arrived in Ukraine early Tuesday.
Since being denied entry into Ukraine, Kolenikova has been detained, Anton Bychkowski of the Belarusian Border Service reported Reuters, Saying: “I cannot say where she is, but she is detained.”
Lukashenko told Russian reporters on Tuesday that he would consider holding fresh elections after several weeks of protests in Belarus.
“Maria Kolenikova could not be removed from Belarus because this brave woman took action to stop her movement across the border,” Gerashchenko wrote. “All responsibility for his life and health is taken personally by Alexander Lukashenko.”
Lukashenko, who has been called the “last dictator of Europe”, claimed victory in the beginning of August over rival Svetlana Tikhanovskaya with nearly 80% of the vote, resulting in Belarus responding to violence and widespread arrests. Opposition leaders have been pressured to leave Poland or Lithuania. Kolonnikova was last in Belarus in a trio of women leading the opposition against Lukonenko. The other two, Tikhanovskaya and Veronika Tsepalko, both already fled the country to avoid arrest after claiming Lukashenko’s victory.
Lithuania’s Minister of Foreign Affairs Linas Linkevicius accused the Belarusian government of trying to end the country’s opposition one by one, forming a relationship with the People’s Commissariat for the KGB’s predecessor Internal Affairs (NKVD) Has been Kidnapped [Maria Kolesnikova] Linkevius wrote, is a disgrace in the city of Minsk. “Stalinist NKVD methods are being implemented in 21st century Europe.”
“Belarus Protest leader allegedly kidnapped as ‘one by one’ drops” (Forbes)
“Belarus’s inconsistent opposition leader” (The Wall Street Journal)
“Hundreds of Belarus protesters say they were beaten by police, demanding justice” (Reuters)