Alexander Lukashenko

  • Lukashenko announces security shake-up to tighten grip on Belarus
    MOSCOW, October 29 (Reuters): Belarusian leader Alexander Lukashenko replaced his interior minister and named three security hawks to new roles on Thursday to tighten his grip on the country after nearly 12 weeks of mass protests. Ivan Kubrakov, who as head of police in the capital Minsk has led the crackdown on the biggest demonstrations, was appointed interior minister. His predecessor, Yuri Karayev, was one of three men named to new roles as presidential aides and "i
  • Protesters march through Belarus as opposition threatens national strike
    KYIV, October 25 (Reuters): Tens of thousands of people marched through Minsk and other cities on Sunday, keeping pressure on Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko a day before the opposition threatens to launch a national strike if he refuses to resign. Crowds streamed through the capital shouting "strike", waving red-and-white opposition flags and beating drums on the 11th straight weekend of mass protests since a disputed election plunged the country into turmo
  • Tens of thousands march in Belarus despite firearms threat
    MOSCOW, October 18 (Reuters): Tens of thousands of people marched through the streets of the Belarusian capital Minsk on Sunday to demand the resignation of veteran president Alexander Lukashenko, despite a threat by officials to use firearms against protesters. Belarus, a former Soviet republic closely allied with Russia, has been rocked by strikes and weekly street protests since authorities announced that Lukashenko, who has ruled in authoritarian fashion since 1994, had sec
  • Belarus announces retaliatory sanctions against EU as Putin and Lukashenko talk
    MINSK/MOSCOW, October 2 (Reuters): President Alexander Lukashenko's government announced that it had drawn up a list of people banned from entering Belarus in retaliation for sanctions imposed by the European Union on Friday. After hours of summit talks, EU member states agreed to sanction about 40 Belarusian officials accused of rigging the Aug. 9 presidential election that handed Lukashenko a sixth term and sparked a wave of mass protests and strikes. Belarus did
  • Tens of thousands rally against Belarus president in 'people's inauguration'
    MINSK, September 27 (Reuters): Masked police dragged people into vans and fired stun grenades and tear gas to disperse crowds as tens of thousands marched for a seventh straight weekend to demand veteran Belarusian leader Alexander Lukashenko quit. Protesters chanted "impostor" and "Sveta is our president" as they marched through Minsk and other cities decked out in red-and-white opposition colours. At least 53 people were detained, human rights activists sa
  • UK preparing Magnitsky sanctions over Belarus human rights violations - minister
    LONDON, September 24 (Reuters): Britain is preparing Magnitsky sanctions against individuals in Belarus in coordination with the United States and Canada, foreign minister Dominic Raab said on Thursday, after pointedly criticising the country's recent election. Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko was sworn in for a sixth term after an election that the opposition and several foreign governments say was rigged. "Given Lukashenko's fraudulent inauguration, I
  • Lukashenko abruptly sworn in, Belarus opposition calls for more protests
    MINSK, September 23 (Reuters): Ignoring calls for an end to his 26-year grip on power, President Alexander Lukashenko of Belarus was sworn in for a sixth term on Wednesday after an election that the opposition and several foreign governments say was rigged. The ceremony would normally have been publicised as a major state occasion but was instead held without warning following Lukashenko's claim of a landslide victory in the Aug. 9 election. The opposition, which has sta
  • Belarus leader entreats patron Putin for support as protests rage on
    MOSCOW, September 14 (Reuters): President Alexander Lukashenko flew to Russia on Monday to entreat his patron, Vladimir Putin, for more support as a crackdown on the opposition in Belarus showed no sign of dispelling protests against one of Moscow's closest allies. Belarusian state media showed Lukashenko disembarking from his plane in the Black Sea resort of Sochi, where the Russian president often hosts visiting dignitaries. Russian news agencies reported the talks b
  • At least 100,000 Belarus protesters flood streets to demand end of Lukashenko
    MOSCOW, September 13 (Reuters): At least 100,000 Belarusian protesters took to the streets of Minsk on Sunday in one of the biggest demonstrations yet against President Alexander Lukashenko after he claimed a landslide victory in an election his opponents say was rigged. As public anger continued to build against Lukashenko, who has ruled the former Soviet nation for 26 years, Moscow offered him support by saying it would send paratroopers to Belarus for "Slavic Broth
  • Viva Maria: Belarusian protesters celebrate leader who chose jail over exile
    Reuters Maria Kolesnikova's decision to rip up her passport and risk prison rather than exile has burnished the musician-turned-politician's status as a hero to the mass protest movement against veteran Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko. Dozens of people were detained this week as protesters took to the streets chanting her name and holding up placards, some reading "Viva Maria". Her face was superimposed on the image of a Soviet World War Two poster and
  • Exiled news service started by teen blogger becomes big source of Belarus news
    WARSAW, August 28 (Reuters): It started five years ago with a music video uploaded by a teenage blogger on YouTube. Now, the Nexta Live channel, with more than 2 million subscribers on the messaging app Telegram, has become one of the main sources of news in Belarus, where a popular uprising aims to unseat President Alexander Lukashenko. Founder Stsiapan Putsila, now 22, wasn't even born when Lukashenko took power in 1994. Now, he works from exile out of an office in nei
  • Belarus opposition council members questioned in criminal case
    MINSK, August 21 (Reuters): Two leading members of a newly formed opposition council in Belarus were questioned on Friday in a criminal case that accuses the body of trying to seize power from President Alexander Lukashenko after a disputed election. Dozens of supporters accompanied Maksim Znak and Sarhey Dyleuski as they arrived for questioning at the headquarters of the Investigative Committee. Znak, a lawyer, said on entering that he feared he might be arrested. But when
  • 'I'm not a saint': Lukashenko offers to hand over power after referendum
    MINSK, August 17 (Reuters): Alexander Lukashenko, the leader of Belarus, said on Monday he would be willing to hand over power after a referendum, in an apparent bid to pacify mass protests and strikes that pose the biggest challenge to his 26 years in office. He made the offer, which he insisted would not be delivered on while he was under pressure from protesters, after exiled opposition politician Sviatlana Tsikhanouskaya said she was willing to lead the country. In a sig
  • Russia says military help available as Belarus tension rises
    MINSK, August 16 (Reuters): Russia said on Sunday it had told Belarusian leader Alexander Lukashenko it was ready to offer military assistance if necessary as demonstrators gathered for one of the biggest protests against Lukashenko's contested re-election yet. A least two protesters have been killed and thousands have been detained since last Sunday's vote, which opponents of Lukashenko, in power for 26 years, say was rigged to disguise the fact that he has lost public
  • Opposition in Belarus tell Lukashenko to step down after 'illegitimate' election win
    MINSK, August 10 (Reuters): The opposition in Belarus rejected official election results handing President Alexander Lukashenko a landslide re-election victory on Monday, saying the poll was rigged and that talks needed to begin on a peaceful transfer of power. Earlier, the central election commission said Lukashenko, in power for more than a quarter of a century, won 80% of the vote in Sunday's election, while Svetlana Tikhanouskaya, who emerged from obscurity to become hi
  • President of Belarus accuses Russia of lying, warns of revolution plot
    MINSK, August 4 (Reuters): Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko on Tuesday accused Russia of lying about the presence of Russian security contractors in Belarus and said unnamed forces were trying to carry out a revolution but would fail. Lukashenko, in power since 1994, is up for re-election on Sunday and faces his biggest challenge in years amid public anger over his handling of the coronavirus pandemic, the economy and human rights. Belarus detained the Russian
  • Belarus president accuses election rival of corruption after raid
    MINSK, June 12 (Reuters): The leader of Belarus, Alexander Lukashenko, on Friday accused his political rival Viktor Babariko of corruption but denied trying to block Babariko from standing against him in the presidential election in August.   Lukashenko has ruled the eastern European country with an iron fist since 1994 but faces the biggest challenge to his authority in years, with thousands of people taking to the streets recently to support opposition candidates