Belarus Opposition Leader ‘Kidnapped’ By Masked Men – Reports

Belarusian opposition leader Maria Kolesnikova has been kidnapped by masked men in central Minsk, media reported Monday, citing eyewitnesses.

Kolesnikova, 38, was one of a trio of women who united to challenge Lukashenko in last month’s presidential elections after other opposition candidates were either jailed or driven to flee Belarus. She is the only member of the trio to have remained in Belarus since the election, with presidential candidate Svetlana Tikhanovskaya fleeing to neighboring Lithuania and Veronika Tsepkalo to Poland.

Eyewitnesses described seeing masked men in civilian clothes capturing Kolesnikova and forcing her into a dark minibus labeled “Communications” outside the national arts museum in Minsk, the news outlet tut.by reported. 

Minsk police said they were verifying reports of Kolesnikova’s kidnapping. The city’s police force later told the Russian state-run RIA Novosti news agency that it could not confirm the reports.

Belarus’ coordination council, set up to oversee the transfer of power to Tikhanovskaya, told the RBC news website that Kolesnikova is one of three council members with whom it has lost contact.

“We can only assume, but it’s obvious that the authorities are doing everything to prevent the council’s work as much as possible,” Pavel Latushko, former culture minister and currently a senior member of the transitional council, told Interfax.

The disappearances took place less than 24 hours after some 100,000 Belarusians took to the streets for a fourth weekend to protest the results of the Aug. 9 election where Lukashenko claimed an overwhelming majority of votes for his sixth term in office.

Lukashenko has accused the council of attempting to seize power and warned of “adequate measures” against its members.

(c) The Moscow Times

3 comments

  • She is the last of the leaders of the opposition to be kidnapped. Will she receive an offer she can’t refuse too, illegal deportation to Poland, or raped with a police baton, then murdered? Meanwhile Luka is laughing at the pathetic EU who want to keep communications open with him. Seems he isn’t listening to you anyway.

    “Lithuanian Foreign Minister Linas Linkevicius on Twitter: Instead of a dialogue with the residents of Belarus, the outgoing leadership is cynically trying to destroy them one by one. The abduction of Maria Kolesnikova in the center of Minsk is a shame. Stalinist methods of the NKVD are used in Europe in the 21st century. She must be released immediately .”

    Liked by 3 people

  • How about a total trade embargo on all goods by the West? Would crush Luka instantly.

    Liked by 3 people

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