Eastern Europe

Moscow Confirms Belarusian Opposition Figure Arrested In Minsk

Moscow Confirms Belarusian Opposition Figure Arrested In Minsk
Rally in support of Sviatlana Tsikhanoŭskaya and the joint campaign headquarters. 30 July 2020, Minsk, Belarus (Maria Kolesnikova far left in black)
Image by Homoatrox

Belarusian opposition figure Maria Kolesnikova, the only member of the anti-lukashenko leadership to remain in the country, has been arrested, reported Russian state news agency TASS.

“The head of the investigative group of the Investigative Committee’s main investigation department Vasilyuk called me and informed that she had been arrested,” Maria’s father Alexander Kolesnikov said on Wednesday, according to tut.by portal.

Meanwhile, the Belarusian State Border Committee noted that information on Kolesnikova’s whereabouts and a legal assessment of her actions would be provided later, reported TASS.

On Tuesday, Belarus-1 state TV channel reported on its Telegram channel that Kolesnikova had been detained while trying to illegally cross the border with Ukraine. According to the Belarusian State Border Committee, she was going through border control together with the Council’s spokesman Anton Rodnenkov and executive secretary Ivan Kravtsov. The two men passed the control and later headed to Kiev, where they established contact.

Opposition reports came out yesterday Kolesnikova was ‘abducted’ in Minsk. Apparently she was transported to the border region in a mysterious manner after that incident.

Svyatlana Tsikhanouskaya, the exiled leader of the country’s reinvigorated opposition to five-term President Alyaksandr Lukashenka, urged protesters at home to “remain peaceful” amid an intensifying crackdown that featured another suspected abduction by regime forces, reported RFERL.

Belarus’s Prosecutor-General’s Office announced it had opened a criminal case against Maryya Kalesnikava, another member of the presidium of the opposition’s Coordination Council, for what it called “public calls for seizing power in the country.”

“The protests must remain peaceful,” Tsikhanouskaya said in an address at Warsaw University. “I think it is impossible to fight violence and give violence,” she said during a speech at Warsaw University.

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