Belarusian leader set to visit Russia as protests continue
Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko attends a meeting as he visits Belarusian Academy of Sciences in Minsk, Belarus, Friday, Sept. 11, 2020. Facing criticism from the West, Lukashenko has worked to cement ties with his main ally and sponsor, Russia. He is set to head to Russia on Monday for talks with President Vladimir Putin. “The threats and detentions come before the protests set for the weekend,” the head of the center, Ales Bialitski, said. Putin has said he stands ready to send police to Belarus if protests turn violent, stoking fears that Moscow could move to annex its neighbor.
Top Belarus activist says authorities threatened to kill her
FILE - In this Aug. 30, 2020, file photo, Maria Kolesnikova, one of Belarus' opposition leaders, gestures during a rally in Minsk, Belarus. Kolesnikova, a professional flute player with no political experience, emerged as a key opposition activist in Belarus. (Tut.By via AP, File)KYIV A prominent opposition activist who resisted her forcible expulsion from Belarus by ripping up her passport accused Belarusian authorities Thursday of threatening to kill her amid their efforts to end a month of protests against the country's authoritarian president. They threatened to kill me, Kolesnikova said. She was detained Monday and destroyed her passport in a no-man's land between Ukraine and Belarus the next day to prevent her expulsion.
Scores detained as students march against Belarus president
(Tut.By via AP)MOSCOW 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. Police cordons forced the demonstrators to change their route, and they detained dozens of them, according to the Viasna human rights center. Students and universities in general are a highly explosive group, Stefanovich said in a telephone interview. One protester, Tatyana Ivanova, said that students from the Minsk State Linguistics University ran into a campus building to avoid being detained, but police tracked them down there. The president bristled at the idea and alleged the opposition would wage a massacre on his allies if it takes power in Belarus.
Strike leader detained in Belarus as crackdown continues
Belarusian opposition supporters gather in front of police line towards the Independence Palace, residence of the President Alexander Lukashenko in Minsk, Belarus, Sunday, Aug. 30, 2020. Seeking to stem the protests, Belarusian prosecutors have opened a criminal probe against the opposition Coordination Council, accusing its members of undermining the countrys security. The Belarusian government also cracked down hard on the news media, deporting some foreign journalists from the country and revoking the accreditation of many Belarusian journalists. Two Moscow-based Associated Press journalists who were covering the recent protests in Belarus were deported to Russia on Saturday. In addition, the APs Belarusian journalists were told by the government that their press credentials had been revoked.
Belarusian authorities crank up pressure on opposition
Pavel Latushko, former culture minister and Belarusian Ambassador to France, greets his supporters and journalists on his way to Belarusian Investigative Committee in Minsk, Belarus, Tuesday, Aug. 25, 2020. (AP Photo/Sergei Grits)MINSK Authorities in Belarus on Tuesday steadily cranked up the pressure on protesters pushing for the resignation of the country's authoritarian leader, jailing several opposition activists, summoning others for questioning and selectively ordering demonstrators to appear in court. While courts considered charges against two council members detained Monday, Sergei Dylevsky and Olga Kovalkova, another member, former Belarusian culture minister and diplomat Pavel Latushko, was summoned for questioning over his role in the opposition body. Police declared that the deaths were suicides, but the opposition has contested the claim. We demand to stop violence and intimidation by the authorities.___Associated Press writers Vladimir Isachenkov in Moscow and Lorne Cook in Brussels contributed.
Belarus' leader digs in amid continuing protests
Belarusian opposition supporters light phones lights and wave an old Belarusian national flags during a protest rally in front of the government building at Independent Square in Minsk, Belarus, Wednesday, Aug. 19, 2020. The authoritarian leader of Belarus complained that encouragement from abroad has fueled daily protests demanding his resignation as European Union leaders held an emergency summit Wednesday on the country's contested presidential election and fierce crackdown on demonstrators. President Alexander Lukashenko has dismissed the protesters as Western puppets and threatened opposition leaders with criminal charges. The 65-year-old Belarusian leader dismissed the European Union's criticism of the Aug. 9 vote and told its leaders to mind their own business. During the first four days of protests, police detained almost 7,000 people and injured hundreds with rubber bullets, stun grenades and clubs.
AP Interview: Ex-official urges transition talks in Belarus
The opposition is creating the Coordination Council to discuss the transition of power. Prosecutors opened a criminal probe into the opposition council Thursday. After leaving the Belarus Embassy in Paris, Latushko served as the head of the Ylanka Kupala national theater in Minsk. Latushko says its important for Belarus to keep close relations with Moscow while developing ties with the West. We have very broad relations with Russia, he said, adding that Moscow is interested in seeing a stable Belarus.