Monday, February 26

Belarus

Russian Troops Arrive in Belarus for Joint Combat Exercises
Belarus, News, Russia

Russian Troops Arrive in Belarus for Joint Combat Exercises

Russian troops have arrived in Belarus to conduct joint combat exercises in February. The Belarusian defence minister stated this on Tuesday. However, he did not say how many men were involved.   According to the minister, the exercises are being held in view of the deteriorating political and military situation in the world and rising tensions with the West and Ukraine, it said in a statement. He added that these are "improvised" exercises. The Belarusian Ministry of Defense also released photos on Tuesday showing Russian tanks and army trucks on railway carriages. The Allied manoeuvres will take place from February 10 to 20, Major General Oleg Voinov said at a meeting with foreign military representatives. Belarusian leader Alexander Lukashenko had previously announced the exerc...
Russia Warns of Flight Delays Due to Belarus
Belarus, News, Russia

Russia Warns of Flight Delays Due to Belarus

Russia still allows airlines to avoid Belarus' airspace. However, this could cause delays because the country receives multiple requests, the country's aviation authority warned.   KLM still had no problems with disruptions around noon on Friday. RBC news agency reported on Thursday that Russia does allow aircraft to bypass Belarus. Earlier, several flights had to be cancelled because Moscow did not permit the detour. These were Austrian Airlines and Air France flights that were not approved for the diversion. The unrest in European airspace follows the arrest of dissident Roman Protasevich in Belarus. He was en route from Greece to Lithuania by plane, but the Belarusian authorities diverted his flight to Minsk. There would have been a bomb threat. Belarus received a lot of inter...
Germany Also Wants European Sanctions Against Lukashenko
Belarus, Europe, Germany, News

Germany Also Wants European Sanctions Against Lukashenko

The European Union should also impose sanctions on Belarusian President Aleksandr Lukashenko, Germany believes.   The sanctions agreed ten days ago do not appear to be sufficient to stop the regime in Minsk from cracking down on the protests, says German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas. Maas will chair the consultations of his EU colleagues in Luxembourg on Monday, where dealing with Belarus is once again on the agenda. He noted before the start that "nothing has improved in Belarus. The violence of the Lukashenko regime and the arrest of peaceful protesters continues." He, therefore, proposes not to leave it with the 40 Belarusians who have already been punished but to expand the punitive measures to include other persons responsible, including the president himself. Among the 40 Be...
Poland Wants European Marshall Plan for Belarus
Belarus, Europe, News, Poland

Poland Wants European Marshall Plan for Belarus

Poland wants the EU to work on a 'Marshall Plan' for Belarus. According to Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki, the aid package must include at least one billion euros in financial aid.   He wants to discuss this at the EU summit next week. It has been very restless for over a month in Eastern European Belarus, which is sometimes referred to as the 'last dictatorship in Europe'. Angry citizens have been taking to the streets in droves since the controversial re-election of President Aleksandr Lukashenko, who has been in power for a quarter of a century and does not want to budge. Morawiecki's 'Marshall Plan' aims to stabilize the Belarusian economy. The term Marshall Plan refers to the American reconstruction aid that Europe received after World War II. The Polish prime min...
Lukashenko Lands in Sochi for Consultation With Putin
Belarus, News, Russia

Lukashenko Lands in Sochi for Consultation With Putin

Belarusian President Aleksandr Lukashenko landed in the Russian coastal city of Sochi on Monday around 10 a.m. for consultations with his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin.   The two meet for a working meeting on strategic cooperation and trade and energy projects. Lukashenko had been under considerable pressure in his own country since the presidential elections last month. The president claims to have won it big, but the opposition doubts that. Sunday, between 100,000 and 150,000 people took to the streets. At least 774 people were arrested. The Belarusian authorities are trying to crack down on the demonstrations, including by arresting many opposition leaders. Opposition candidate Svetlana Tichanovskaja fled to Lithuania shortly after the elections.
Belarus is Preparing For New Mass Protests
Belarus, Europe, News

Belarus is Preparing For New Mass Protests

After the arrest of opposition activist Maria Kolesnikova, the democracy movement in Belarus called for new nationwide mass protests against President Alexander Lukashenko on Sunday.   In the capital Minsk, a "March of the Heroes" will take place, which is also dedicated to Kolesnikova. The 38-year-old had her passport torn up after her brutal kidnapping this week, preventing deportation to neighbouring Ukraine. She is now in custody on charges of an attempted seizure of power. Kolesnikova accuses the KGB secret service and the police of violent behaviour. She has also sued for death threats and kidnapping. The initiators of the protest call emphasized that there are many heroes in the democracy movement who would be honoured with the march. Opposition to Lukashenko, described as...
The Belarusian Regime Has Begun to Release Prisoners Detained During Demonstrations
Belarus, News

The Belarusian Regime Has Begun to Release Prisoners Detained During Demonstrations

The Belarusian regime has begun to release prisoners detained in recent days during demonstrations against dictator Lukashenko.   Some of the protesters who were released in the capital Minsk had bruises. They said they had been tightly packed in cells. Prisoners would have been assaulted, for example, beaten. According to a released demonstrator, 28 people had to share a cell that is intended for no more than five people. They all had to share a loaf of bread for two days. After four nights of demonstrations and battles with the police, there are also more and more daytime demonstrations. Human chains are being formed in protest against police brutality. Many women in white clothes and with flowers, as well as men, participate. The stringent actions of the Belarusian authorities...
Ukraine Asks Belarus to Extradite Russian Mercenaries
Belarus, News, Russia, Ukraine

Ukraine Asks Belarus to Extradite Russian Mercenaries

Ukraine has formally requested Belarus for the extradition of 28 alleged Russian mercenaries who have been arrested by security forces in Belarus.   That said the office of the Ukrainian prosecutor on Wednesday. Ukraine suspects the men have fought with Russian-backed separatists in eastern Ukraine. Belarus arrested the men last month, saying they were trying to destabilize the country in the run-up to Sunday's presidential election. Russia denies using mercenaries and has said the men travelled through Belarus on their way to other countries.