Maria Kolesnikova Reportedly Restrained after Rejecting to Leave Belarus

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Maria Kolesnikova, a Belarus opposition leader, disappeared previously, and now according to the reports, she is in detention at the border on Tuesday morning. Another news emerged, too, with the witnesses revealing spotting some masked men bundling Maria into a minibus.

Mario Kolesnikova is among the three women joining forces for challenging President Alexander Lukashenko in the previously held elections in August 2020

Several protests went on after President Alexander’s re-election, considering it as electoral fraud. According to the higher authorities, on Sunday, around 600 people got arrested. Also, the previous Sunday was the fourth one being a consecutive weekend experiencing demonstrations for anti-government protests.

Since 1994, Mr. Alexander has ruled over the nation and accused the Western powers of interfering in the matters. Additionally, Russian President Vladimir Putin also supported Mr. Alexander and is also expected to visit Moscow soon.

However, the EU demanded the political prisoners’ release on Monday and revealed the planning for imposing the sanctions.

What went on with Maria Kolesnikova?

Several conflicting reports came out about the opposition leaders’ whereabouts, but what happened to Maria Kolesnikova is not yet revealed. And, what exactly happened at the border is, however, unclear too.

An official of the Belarus border reported that Ms. Maria was previously detained at the border of Ukraine on Tuesday. Ivan Kravtsov and Anton Rodnenkov, two more of the opposition members, were also spotted crossing the border. The official also added that all three were in a BMW, and at the border, the car accelerated, and Ms. Kolesnikova got pushed out of the moving car. The car continued moving towards Ukraine, while Ms. Kolesnikova got held back and is now detained.

Ukraine also confirmed the arrival of only two men, the Deputy Internal Affairs Minister of Ukraine, Anton Geraschenko, who mentioned the men’s departure as a “forcible expulsion.” He also added that Ms. Kolesnikova could not be forcibly expelled out of Belarus. She is a brave woman and took necessary actions to prevent her movement and expulsion across the border. Maria remained in Belarus’s Republic’s territory.

To avoid entering Ukraine, she tore off her passport at the border itself as informed by the sources and also stated by a Ukraine-based news agency, Interfax.

A few of the witnesses also saw some masked men seizing Ms. Maria on Central Belarus’s streets and pushing her into a minibus.

Even the Co-ordination council (a body by the oppositions for ensuring a smooth power transfer after any disputed election) also disclosed no idea about Maria Kolesnikova. Additionally, the council reported the executive secretary Mr. Kravtsov’s disappearance and the Press secretary Mr. Rodnenkov

About the detention of the council members, the interior ministry stated of having no information. 

The Three Women:

Three Women joined forces against the current President, Mr. Alexander Lukashenko, during the recent presidential elections in Belarus, and Ms. Kolesnikova is the last one among them. Firstly, she was president candidate Viktor Barbaryko’s campaign manager before his arrest during June. Later, she started working for Svetlana Tikhanovskaya and Veronika Tsepkalo.

Recently in the elections held on 9th August 2020, Ms. Tikhanovskaya stood against the current President; following the election, she ran away after her husband got arrested and marked against standing. She is in Lithuania now after forceful expulsion from Belarus post-elections.

Ms. Tsepkalo, on the other hand, moved to Poland with her children and husband, Valery. She was earlier a Belarus’s ambassador to the US and was also marked against standing against the current President.

Additionally, on Saturday, one more female activist fled from Belarus and moved to Poland. The activist Olga Kovalkova announced leaving due to specific threats of imprisonment. 

Recently, Maria Kolesnikova mentioned that she is the only one left out of the three women, still there in Belarus. She added that no one could understand the situation of what is happening without staying there. She also stated that the demonstrations were not the struggle for acquiring power, but they were for self-respect and human dignity

Ms. Kolesnikova also stated that she and her team decided not to have bodyguards, as the bodyguards and their number will never be of much use even if they are giant in number when riot police can stop them anytime. She then added that it is no mystery what a police state can do and is capable of!

 

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