Belarus President Alexander Lukashenko ignored an opposition ultimatum to quit Monday as local media showed factory workers and students protesting as part of an intended general strike. The streets of the capital Minsk were largely deserted on Monday morning, reported the news agency AFP. Lukashenko’s refusal to resign over claims his August 9 reelection was rigged followed renewed mass protests Sunday.
The UK has imposed sanctions on the Belarusian president, Alexander Lukashenko, his son and six other senior government officials judged to be responsible for rigging the August presidential poll and suppressing subsequent street protests. The foreign secretary, Dominic Raab, announced the sanctions on Tuesday in coordination with a similar move from Canada. The sanctions include an asset freeze and travel ban imposed on Lukashenko himself.
The EU has said it does not recognize Alexander Lukashenko as the president of Belarus, a day after he was sworn in for a sixth term at a secret ceremony. The bloc’s diplomatic chief said the unannounced inauguration, as well as his disputed re-election last month, lacked “any democratic legitimacy”. The opposition says the poll was rigged in Mr Lukashenko’s favor.
A prominent Belarusian opposition leader is facing up to five years in prison after she was charged with incitement to undermine national security, authorities in the eastern European country said Wednesday. Maria Kolesnikova called for “actions aimed at undermining Belarusian national security” using the media and the Internet, the country’s Investigative Committee said in a statement.
The embattled president of Belarus, Alexander Lukashenko, is meeting his last ally standing Monday, Russia’s Vladimir Putin, less than 24 hours after more than 100,000 people took to the streets in the latest protest to demand his resignation. The pair are to hold a “working meeting” at the Russian Black Sea resort of Sochi — their first face-to-face meeting since a protest movement emerged across Belarus after the contested Aug. 9
A top Belarusian opposition figure has been detained while trying to cross into neighboring Ukraine, Belarusian state media reported Tuesday after weeks of protest over a disputed election result. Concerns over Maria Kolesnikova’s whereabouts grew on Monday, with independent Belarusian media outlet Tut.by reporting that she was kidnapped and forced into a car by masked men in the center of capital Minsk.
Unidentified masked men snatched the leading Belarusian opposition figure, Maria Kolesnikova, from the street in the center of the capital, Minsk, on Monday and drove her away in a minivan, witnesses told local media. Kolesnikova was one of the campaign partners of the opposition candidate Svetlana Tikhanovskaya, who claimed victory against the long-ruling president, Alexander Lukashenko, in disputed elections on 9 August.
The Belarus chief prosecutor has launched a criminal case against opposition leaders, accusing them of trying to seize power. The indictment from Alexander Konyuk says the “creation and activity of the [opposition] Coordination Council are aimed at seizure of state power, and at harming national security”. Earlier President Alexander Lukashenko ordered police to end the mass protests against him in the capital Minsk.
European Union leaders holding an emergency summit were expected to endorse sanctions on Belarusian officials blamed for election fraud on Wednesday, but signaled reluctance to take steps that might be seen as a bid to pry the country from Moscow’s orbit. President Alexander Lukashenko has faced mass street demonstrations since officials declared he had been reelected on Aug. 9 in a vote his opponents say was rigged.
Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko has been heckled by workers on a visit to a factory as anger mounts over his disputed re-election. Workers chanted “leave” and booed the long-time leader of the ex-Soviet state as he insisted he would not allow a new vote after allegations of ballot fraud. Opposition candidate Svetlana Tikhanovskaya has suggested she could act as an interim leader.