Alexander Lukashenko

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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...

'Until You Kill Me, There Will Be No Other Election'

Belarus leader Alexander Lukashenko heckled at tractor plant

(Newser) - Alexander Lukashenko might have Vladimir Putin on his side —but he has lost the support of workers at the Minsk Wheel Tractor Plant. The embattled president of Belarus was heckled and booed as he spoke to workers at the plant Monday, Sky News reports. Lukashenko, who is facing mass...

Belarus Prez: A Powerful Neighbor Is Ready to Help Us

Alexander Lukashenko is facing the biggest anti-government movement since he took power

(Newser) - Vladimir Putin has agreed to provide protest-engulfed Belarus with security assistance to counter protests if the country requests it, the president of Belarus declared Saturday after more people took to the streets demanding that he resign, the AP reports. President Alexander Lukashenko made the comment on Saturday evening, several hours...

Cops Use Live Fire on Belarus Protesters

Almost 7K detained in brutal crackdown

(Newser) - As protests over Sunday's disputed presidential election continue to sweep Belarus, police have admitted using live fire on protesters. Police say officers used firearms Tuesday night to protect themselves from a "group of aggressive citizens with metal rods in their hands," the BBC reports. At least one...

Opposition Candidate Flees Belarus: I Had No Choice

'Many will hate me, but God forbid you will ever have to face the choice that I had to face'

(Newser) - The opposition candidate in Belarus' disputed presidential election is no longer in the country, and a rep claims she was forced out. Svetlana Tikhanovskaya appeared Tuesday in a short video saying she'd opted to reunite with her children, who moved abroad after receiving threats during the campaign. "I...

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