Belarusian opposition politician Tsikhanouskaya wanted by Russia: interior ministry database

MOSCOW (Reuters) – Belarusian opposition politician Sviatlana Tsikhanouskaya is listed as wanted by Russia in connection with a crime, according to a database of Russia’s interior ministry.

It was unclear when Tsikhanouskaya’s name was added to the database, but Russian media outlets first reported it on Wednesday.

Tsikhanouskaya fled to neighbouring Lithuania shortly after a disputed Aug. 9 election and has since met with European political leaders and called for President Alexander Lukashenko to leave power.

(Reporting by Anton Zverev and Gabrielle Tétrault-Farber; Writing by Alexander Marrow; Editing by Alison Williams)

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Belarusian Interior Ministry knows nothing about detention of Maria Kolesnikova – World

MINSK, September 7. /TASS/. The Belarussian Interior Ministry has no information regarding the detention of a member of the Presidium of the opposition’s Coordination Council, Maria Kolesnikova, and her colleagues, the ministry’s spokeswoman Olga Chemodanova told TASS on Monday.

“The Interior Ministry has no information at its disposal about the detention of Kolesnikova and her colleagues,” she said.

Earlier, Belarusian media said that in the morning of September 7 unidentified persons kidnapped Kolesnikova near the National Arts Museum in Minsk. She was reportedly forced into a minivan bearing a Communications marking.

A member of the Belarusian opposition Coordination Council’s presidium, Maxim Znak, has confirmed to TASS that his attempts to contact Kolesnikova have been unsuccessful. The Council’s press-service said that lawyers were also looking for the Council’s representatives Ivan Kravtsov and Anton Rodnenkov, who remain unavailable.

The Minsk police department has told TASS it is checking the reports of Kolesnikova’s disappearance.

In Belarus’s August 9 presidential election the incumbent, Alexander Lukashenko, emerged the winner with 80.1% of the votes. The runner-up, Svetlana Tikhanovskaya, who received 10.12%, did not recognize the election returns. Shortly afterwards she moved to neighboring Lithuania, where she has remained since. Right after the election returns were made public several Belarusian cities saw mass protest demonstrations. During the first days there were clashes with police. The opposition’s Coordination Council has been calling for further protests, while the authorities are demanding the illegal demonstrations must be brought to an end. During the election campaign Kolesnikova was a member of the election team of Viktor Babariko, who was eventually denied registration as a presidential candidate. She firmly supported Svetlana Tikhanovskaya as a presidential candidate and jointed the opposition’s Coordination Council.

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Belarusian Interior Ministry says 633 protesters were detained on September 6 – Society & Culture

MINSK, September 7. /TASS/. Belarusian law enforcers detained 633 protesters on Sunday, about 31,000 people took part in the protests, Interior Ministry Spokeswoman Olga Chemodanova said on Monday.

“Yesterday, on September 6, 42 protests were recorded in various populated areas of the country. <…> The total number of participants was about 31,000 people,” she said on her Telegram channel. “In all, 633 people were detained for violating the legislation on mass events, 363 people were taken into custody until the consideration of cases on administrative offences in court.”

According to the Interior Ministry, in the city of Grodno, radical activists tried to block traffic. They also threw plastic bottles, sticks and stones at law enforcement officers.

Belarus held its presidential election on August 9. According to the Central Election Commission’s data, incumbent President Alexander Lukashenko won 80.10% of the vote, whereas Svetlana Tikhanovskaya, who was considered to be his key rival, garnered 10.12% of the ballot. Subsequently, she refused to recognize the outcome of the polls. After the results of exit polls were announced late on August 9, mass protests flared up in downtown Minsk and other cities. In the early days they were accompanied by clashes between protesters and police. The authorities call for an end to illegal rallies, while the Coordination Council set up by the opposition demands more protests.

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