Alexander Lukashenko

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Belarus Leader Says Ukraine 'Operation' Has 'Dragged On'

We 'are doing everything now so that there isn’t a war,' Lukashenko says

(Newser) - Belarus’ authoritarian leader defended Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and said he was doing “everything” to stop the war, in a sit-down interview with the AP on Thursday. President Alexander Lukashenko also said that he didn’t think Russia’s “operation” in Ukraine would "drag on this...

People in Belarus Barely Know What It Means to Be Belarusian

A mural in a Minsk park gave them something to fight and die for

(Newser) - "The Battle for the Mural"—a New York Times Magazine piece by Sarah A. Topol—opens with a crime-thriller vibe: a man on a high-stakes mission, calculating every move through blind spots in the 40 security cameras he and his cohorts must dodge to reach the one place...

As Belarus' Ambassador Left Ukraine, a Biting Gift

A border guard tossed 30 pieces of silver at Igor Sokol

(Newser) - The indications that Belarus will join Russia in its war against Ukraine may be building. Belarus, which al-Jazeera calls "Russia’s oldest and staunchest post-Soviet ally," has removed all its diplomats from Ukraine in the past few days. As Belarusian Ambassador Igor Sokol passed through a border checkpoint,...

Belarus Ruler Threatens to Turn Off Heat in Europe

Natural gas pipeline runs through country from Russia

(Newser) - Alexander Lukashenko stepped up tensions with Western nations on Thursday by saying he'd reach for the gas shutoff in the event more sanctions are imposed on Belarus. "We are heating Europe," Lukashenko said, the Washington Post reports. "They still threaten us that they will close the...

Fleeing the Games, Sprinter Made a Last-Minute Switch

Wary of security, Belarus sprinter changed flight plans from Warsaw to Vienna at last minute

(Newser) - Change of travel plans for Krystsina Tsimanouskaya—she's headed to Vienna instead of Warsaw, at least initially. The Washington Post reports on the continuing drama swirling around the 24-year-old Olympic sprinter, who boarded a plane bound for Poland on Wednesday, less than three days after Belarus authorities took her...

Belarusian Sprinter Speaks Out
Belarusian Sprinter Speaks Out
the rundown

Belarusian Sprinter Speaks Out

'I don’t think I can ever go back to Belarus,' says Krystsina Tsimanouskaya

(Newser) - The Belarus sprinter who is refusing to go home has given her first interviews since the Olympic controversy erupted. In them, 24-year-old Krystsina Tsimanouskaya makes clear that she hopes to run in future Olympics, though not for her native country. Coverage:
  • “I don’t think I can ever go

Opposition Objects to Journalist's Teary TV Appearance

Foes of Belarus government say confessional video was made under duress

(Newser) - Belarus aired an interview with detained journalist Raman Pratasevich on state TV on Thursday, a video that included tears and a confession to opposing the government. Regime opponents criticized the video as being made under duress, Reuters reports. "His parents believe he was tortured. This is not Raman I...

Belarus Activist Hospitalized After Stabbing Himself in Court

Stsiapan Latypau reportedly was told his family would be prosecuted unless he confessed

(Newser) - A Belarus activist has been hospitalized after stabbing himself in the neck with a pen during a court hearing in Minsk, a rights group said. Stsiapan Latypau underwent surgery and is in satisfactory condition, the BBC reports. He's charged with being behind opposition social media, which he denies. The...

Protests Spread as US Decides on Sanctions

White House says it's holding the Belarus government accountable after hijacking

(Newser) - Demonstrations around the world opposed the Belarus government on Saturday—sparked by the hijacking of an airliner last week—a day after the Biden administration said it's imposing economic sanctions. A White House spokeswoman said the US will restore sanctions next week against nine state-owned operations in Belarus that...

Russian Backs Belarus By Blocking European Flights
Russia Blocks European Flights

Russia Blocks European Flights

EU meeting to consider sanctions after Ryanair hijacking

(Newser) - Russia has expressed its support for Belarus by refusing to let at least two European airlines' flights land in Moscow. Austrian Airlines and Air France announced the cancellations, saying permission from Russia was denied, per CNN ; Russia had no comment. Both airlines wanted to change the routes to avoid crossing...

Father of Seized Journalist Fears Torture

Belarus airs video clip of Raman Pratasevich

(Newser) - The journalist at the center of an international controversy surfaced in a video clip that aired on state TV channels in Belarus on Monday, reports AFP . Raman Pratasevich speaks quickly in the video that the BBC says "appears to have been recorded under duress." The 26-year-old was seized...

Belarus 'Hijacking' Poses a Big Test for Biden
On Diverted Jet, a Sense
of 'Panic' Among Passengers
the rundown

On Diverted Jet, a Sense of 'Panic' Among Passengers

Belarus' decision to force down a passenger plane is widely condemned

(Newser) - Ryanair calls it "state-sponsored piracy," per CNBC . The US secretary of state calls it "shocking," and the president of the EU Commission says it amounts to a "hijacking," reports the AP . Those were some of the reactions percolating Monday to the diversion of a...

Journalist Arrested After Plane Forced Down in Belarus

EU leaders speak out against the action, which was ordered by the country's authoritarian leader

(Newser) - Belarus forced down an airliner carrying a dissident who co-founded a media outlet popular with the political opposition, the New York Times reports. Roman Protasevich, the journalist and activist, was traveling from Athens to Vilnius, Lithuania, where he was living in exile. But the Ryanair flight with about 170 passengers...

Millions Watch Film Alleging Lukashenko Leads Luxe Life

Lukashenko Goldmine has notched more than 3M views since Monday

(Newser) - The man referred to as "Europe's last dictator" is also now the star of a film—though he's likely not too pleased about it. Lukashenko Goldmine is an 83-minute film by Poland-based opposition news service NEXTA that was dropped onto YouTube on Monday and has now been...

For Filming Protest, They Get 2 Years in Prison

2 journalists jailed in Belarus

(Newser) - Two journalists in Belarus were convicted Thursday of violating public order and sentenced to two years in prison after they covered a protest against authoritarian President Alexander Lukashenko , per the AP . Katsiaryna Bakhvalava, 27, and Daria Chultsova, 23, both of the Polish-funded Belsat TV channel, were arrested in November after...

Belarus Leader Sworn In During Secret Ceremony

Opposition calls it a 'thieves' meeting'

(Newser) - Belarus President Alexander Lukashenko's inauguration ceremony Wednesday was more like a surprise party than the usual grand occasion—and his countrymen were the ones getting the surprise. After more than a month of massive protests over August's disputed election, Lukashenko was sworn in for a sixth term Wednesday...

Belarus Opposition Leader Rips Up Passport at Border

Authorities attempted to expel Maria Kolesnikova

(Newser) - Belarus opposition activist Maria Kolesnikova resisted an attempt to throw her out of the country Tuesday—a day after witnesses saw masked men force her into a vehicle in the capital, Minsk. Kolesnikova, a member of the opposition Coordination Council, was taken to the Ukraine border along with two other...

Regime Cracks Down Hard on Belarus Student Protests

Authorities are 'really scared of strikes starting in universities'

(Newser) - Authorities in Belarus detained scores of university students who took to the streets Tuesday to demand that authoritarian President Alexander Lukashenko resign after an election the opposition has denounced as rigged . Hundreds of students gathered outside universities across the Belarusian capital, Minsk, and then marched across the city center to...

Putin to Belarus Ruler: Oh, and Happy Birthday

Lukashenko chats with Putin while 100K demonstrate

(Newser) - Tens of thousands of demonstrators gathered Sunday in the capital of Belarus, beginning the fourth week of daily protests demanding the resignation of the country's authoritarian president on his birthday. The protest at the "hero city" monument honoring Minsk's suffering and resilience in World War II drew...

100K Protesters Demand Belarus' Ruler Resign

Demonstrators say Lukashenko didn't fairly win reelection this month

(Newser) - More than 100,000 protesters demanding the resignation of Belarus' authoritarian president rallied Sunday in a vast square in the capital, keeping up the massive outburst of dissent that has shaken the country since a disputed presidential election two weeks ago, the AP reports. Sunday's demonstration overflowed Minsk's...

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