Belarus Anti-regime officials detained in border areas deepening confrontation with regime

Belarus Anti-regime officials detained in border areas as confrontation with regime deepens September 8 at 8:18 p.m.

The conflict between the anti-regime factions calling for his release and Lukashenko’s government has deepened as it was revealed that one of the top anti-regime officials, who has been at the center of protests calling for the president’s resignation in Belarus, was detained in the border area with Ukraine on August 8.
Mariya Kolesnikova, a leading official of the Coordinating Council, an anti-regime organization that continues to protest in Belarus, was seen cared away by several masked figures in minsk, the capital, local media reported on July 7.

Belarusian border security officials later revealed on August 8 that they had detained Mr. Kolesnikova in the border area between Belarus and Ukraine.

According to border security officials, Mr. Kolesnikova was found by border guards when he tried to cross the border with two members of the “Coordinating Council” early On the 8th, he was found by border guards and tried to speed up and pass by, but only three of them, Mr. Kolesnikova, got out of the car and detained him.

Mr. Tishanovskaya, an anti-regime party currently active in neighboring Lithuania, said on his social media site today that “the regime should release Mr. Kolesnikova and all other political prisoners right now. There should be no taking the people hostage.”, he said, further deepening the conflict between the anti-regime factions and the Lukashenko government.

What is Mr. Kolesnikova?

Mariya Kolesnikova, 38, who worked as a musician in Belarus, became involved in politics for the first time as head of election measures for Babarico, the former head of a bank that was scheduled to run for Belarusian presidential election last month.

However, Since Mr. Babarico was detained by the administration and abandoned his candidacy, she turned to the support of Mr. Tsihanovskaya, who became the de facto unification candidate for the opposition forces, and attracted attention as one of the women who challenged the strong President Lukashenko.

After the election, as a senior member of the Coordinating Council launched by Mr. Tsihanovskaya, he called for dialogue with the administration toward the resignation of President Lukashenko and made it clear that he would form a new political party with Mr. Babarico.

As Lukashenko’s government increased pressure on the Coordinating Council and a succession of fleeing members, Mr. Kolesnikova remained in minsk, the capital, and took part in a major protest this month to call for a change of government.

Voices of sympathy at protests in Russia’s Far East

Protests calling for the resignation of President Lukashenko in Belarus have also affected protests against Putin’s regime in the Russian Far East, about 7000 kilometers away.

In Khabarovsk in the Russian Far East, protests by residents and opposition forces have continued following the arrest of a governor who distanced himself from Putin’s government in July on suspicion of involvement in murders more than 15 years ago.

Every Saturday, thousands of people march on the great street, asking for the former governor’s bail and saying, “President Putin should step down,” an unusual situation in which protests without permission from the authorities continue for about two months.

As protests begin in Belarus over the outcome of the presidential election, participants in Khabarovsk protests send ale to Belarusian protests by placards and slogans such as “We are with Belarus,” “Belarus, forever.”

According to local media, one of the protesters said that “we need to pay attention to and support each other’s situation with the citizens of Belarus” because there is strong sympathy among the residents of Khabarovsk for the anti-government supporters who continue to protest in Belarus because of the feeling that the governor he chose in the election was “excluded by political pressure.”

Expert “Russia doesn’t care”

As anti-government protests continue in Belarus for nearly a month, Special Assistant Professor Jun Koizumi of the Center for Advanced Science and Technology at the University of Tokyo, who is familiar with Russian politics, said of Russia’s clear support for Lucashenko’s regime: “Protests are on the upsurg, and Russia may lose its sphere of influence if the Lukashenko regime falls. If Belarus is no longer a parent-Russian government, it may come into direct contact with NATO because NATO members are ahead of it, which is dangerous, security and unacceptable for Russia,” he said, noting that Russia’s emphasis is on the continued lucashenko regime.

In addition, in light of continuing protests in Russia criticizing Putin’s regime in The Far East Khabarovsk, he said, “It has been 20 years since Putin became a regime, and there has been a strong dissatisfaction among the people. The tightening is getting tougher, but life doesn’t get as good as it was in the 2000s, and the public doesn’t know why they keep listening to Mr. Putin. In neighboring Belarus, exactly the same thing happened, and it developed into an anti-regime demonstration openly as if it had caught fire. It is natural for Mr Putin not to feel like it,” he said, analyzing that Russia is wary of the situation in Belarus over the domestic situation.

On the other hand, with regard to The Lukashenko government, he said, “We are turning away from the people, from state-owned enterprises, and neighboring countries. Then, it has become a feeling of Russia one more time,” and then, “From Russia, Belarus has become blocked in all eights, and it is seen that Mr. Lukashenko has returned to the place where there is no choice but to listen to Russia.” He said he sees the weakening of President Lukashenko, who has so far opposed cooperation with Russia in military and economic terms, as an opportunity to bring in Belarus.

German foreign minister ‘very worried’

German Foreign Minister Maas said he was “very concerned” about the detention of Mr Kolesnikova, a leading official in an anti-regime organization that has been at the center of protests calling for the president to step down in Belarus. It is unacceptable for anti-regime factions ready for dialogue to be suppressed one after another,” he wrote on Twitter, and indicated that if President Lukashenko does not change his policy, the EU-European Union will take action, such as impose sanctions.