Belarus crisis

  • 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
  • Belarus says opposition protests are developing into terrorist threat
    MOSCOW, October 22 (Reuters): Belarus's interior ministry said on Thursday that opposition protests were developing into a terrorist threat. Belarus has seen more than two months of protests since an Aug. 9 presidential election, in which veteran leader Alexander Lukashenko claimed a landslide victory. His opponents say the election was rigged to hand him a sixth term in power. The head of Russia's SVR foreign intelligence service made a surprise visit to Belarus on
  • 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
  • Belarus opposition offers talks as U.N. hears fears of 'another iron curtain'
    GENEVA, September 18 (Reuters): Belarus opposition leader Sviatlana Tsikhanouskaya demanded on Friday an international mission to document what she called "atrocities" during crackdowns on anti-government protests but said she was ready to talk to end weeks of violence. She addressed a highly charged debate on the Belarus crisis at the U.N. Human Rights Council, where envoys from Minsk and its backer Moscow faced off against EU delegations who are pushing for sanction
  • 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
  • Belarusian opposition activist Kovalkova leaves country after arrest
    WARSAW, September 5 (Reuters): Belarusian opposition activist Olga Kovalkova arrived in the Polish capital Warsaw on Saturday, saying she had been forced by authorities in her homeland to leave the country. Kovalkova, a senior figure in the Belarusian opposition Coordination Council, was sentenced to 10 days in jail on Aug. 25. She said on Saturday that authorities had told her she would face further arrests if she did not leave the country. "Representatives of the m
  • Protesters rounded up in Belarus; Nobel-winning writer due for questioning
    MINSK, August 26 (Reuters): Belarusian police have rounded up dozens of protesters heading home from peaceful demonstrations, rights groups said on Wednesday, after days in which the authorities exercised comparative restraint towards mass anti-government rallies. The country's most celebrated writer, Nobel Prize-winner Svetlana Alexievich, was expected to appear for questioning later on Wednesday in a criminal investigation into an opposition council, two of whose leaders
  • Belarus jails two opposition leaders; teachers head rally of thousands
    MINSK, August 25 (Reuters): Belarus jailed two opposition leaders for 10 days on Tuesday as the government pursued a crackdown on the few figures still at large, while schoolteachers led a new protest of thousands against President Alexander Lukashenko. Despite most major opposition figures being in jail or exile, Lukashenko has so far failed to put down protests against his 26-year-old rule, more than two weeks after an election his opponents say was rigged. Olga Kovalkova
  • Belarusian protesters pack capital, army issues warning
    MINSK, August 23 (Reuters): Tens of thousands of anti-government protesters packed the streets of Minsk on Sunday as the army waded into Belarus' political crisis, warning that it, not the police, would respond to any opposition unrest near the city's national memorials. Demonstrations have been held in the capital and other Belarusian towns since Aug. 9, when an election which protesters describe as rigged granted veteran leader Alexander Lukashenko a sixth term in off
  • 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
  • Poland's foreign minister quits amid Belarus crisis
    WARSAW, August 20 (Reuters): Poland's Foreign Minister Jacek Czaputowicz has resigned, the ministry said on Thursday, the second ministerial resignation in a week as Poland tries to play a leading role in the EU response to a political crisis in neighbouring in Belarus. Czaputowicz had signalled in July he may quit, as the ruling Law and Justice (PiS) party announced it plans some personnel changes in the government during a reshuffle in the autumn that could see the number