A leading Belarusian opposition figure has actually been apprehended while attempting to cross into surrounding Ukraine, Belarusian state media reported Tuesday after weeks of demonstration over a challenged election outcome.
Concerns over Maria Kolesnikova’s location grew on Monday, with independent Belarusian media outlet Tut.by reporting that she was abducted and pushed into an automobile by masked males in the center of capital Minsk.
After the news of her disappearance broke, her assistants stated Monday she was not addressing her phone and they were fretted about what might have taken place to her.
On Tuesday, Belarusian state news company Belta mentioned spokesperson for the nation’s border services, Anton Bychkovskiy, as stating Kolesnikova was apprehended when she and 2 of her allies were attempting to cross the border into Ukraine early on Tuesday.
Bychkovskiy stated the trio passed passport control and moved towards Ukraine in an automobile, which began accelerating upon coming across more border guards. He stated Kolesnikova was “pushed out of the car” while her partners continued driving towards Ukraine, without elaborating.
He stated her 2 partners have actually crossed into Ukrane, however Kolesnikova was captured.
NBC News has actually gotten in touch with Belarusian border services and President Alexander Lukashenko’s workplace for additional remark, however did not hear back.
In a news release provided on Tuesday, Ukraine’s border services validated that Kolesnikova did not pass border control into Ukraine, while her 2 partners did make it throughout.
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Kolesnikova was an assistant to Svetlana Tsikhanousakya, who was a runner-up in the governmental election that saw strongman Lukashenko win with a landslide 80 percent of the vote. The result stimulated mass demonstrations, at first met a violent crackdown by authorities.
Tsikhanousakya has actually given that gotten away to Lithuania. The other opposition leader, Veronika Tsepkalo, likewise vacated Belarus out of worry of getting apprehended.
Kolesnikova pertained to prominence when she unified with Tsikhanousakya and Tsepkalo ahead of the election, advising individuals to vote Lukashenko out.
She has actually declined to leave Belarus in spite of federal government crackdown, participating in numerous demonstration rallies.
Kolesnikova was likewise among the essential members of the coordination council released by Tsikhanousakya out of exile to work out a serene shift of power with Lukashenko, who they state falsified election outcomes.