On August 10th, Belarusian opposition leader Svetlana Tikhanovskaya fled Belarus and arrived in Lithuania to presumably be protected from the oppression President Alexander Lukashenko allegedly plans on exercising.
Lithuanian Foreign Minister Linas Linkevičius said she was “safe.”
Linkevičius had earlier said he was concerned about Tikhanovskaya’s safety after she went to the Central Election Commission (CEC) building in Minsk to formally file a complaint over August 9th’s election, and that she then “seemed to disappear.”
Linkevičius told Lithuanian TV that Tikhanovskaya had been “detained for a long time” — up to seven hours.
“Neither the circumstances nor the location were known,” the minister said. “When I had tried to contact her for a few hours, unsuccessfully, the search began. There was a lot of communication all night, everyone cared.”
Veronika Tsepkalo, a senior ally of Tikhanovskaya, said that she had also fled the country late on Monday evening after being told there was “an order out for my arrest.”
At least one person was killed and dozens injured in a second night of clashes between riot police and protesters across the country.
The fighting late on August 10th appeared to escalate as police once again employed rubber bullets and stun grenades against demonstrators, while some shot back with fireworks and several Molotov cocktails.
Protesters also began constructing crude barricades from shopping carts, fencing, breezeblocks and other items found on the street.
The US Department of State issued a statement saying that it is “deeply concerned” over the elections in Belarus.
“The United States is deeply concerned about the conduct of the August 9 presidential election in Belarus, which was not free and fair. Severe restrictions on ballot access for candidates, prohibition of local independent observers at polling stations, intimidation tactics employed against opposition candidates, and the detentions of peaceful protesters and journalists marred the process. We regret that OSCE/ODIHR observers did not receive a timely invitation to monitor the vote. Free and fair elections, genuinely contested, are the basis for the authority and legitimacy of all governments.”
The contents of the statement are very tame, but, more or less, say the exact same that they have said towards Venezuela and other countries where the US has wished to see a full or partial regime change.
Separately, the foreign ministers of Ukraine, Lithuania, and Poland released a joint statement on the elections.
“As Foreign Ministers of Lublin Triangle States, we are deeply concerned with escalation of the situation in Belarus after the presidential elections and call upon the authorities to refrain from the use of force and to release all those detained last night.
Respect for fundamental freedoms and human rights, including democracy and rule of law, is essential for further development of independent and sovereign Belarus, which we fully support.
We are confident that only by means of dialogue the current situation can be resolved for the benefit of the people and the state of Belarus. In case of the need, we are open for any assistance or good offices in facilitating this dialogue.
The well-being and prosperity of Belarus and its people are important for the entire Europe and specifically our region. We are all interested in continuing mutually beneficial dialogue as well as cooperation based upon democratic values and focused on creating conditions for a common and stable future.”
The surprising part is that Russia hasn’t been entirely blamed for the entire scenario that unfolded.
Meanwhile, the 33 Russians that were detained in Belarus and were allegedly planning to stir unrest appear to be entirely forgotten.
Citing a source with the Russian intelligence agencies, the Russian daily Komsomolskaya Pravda reported that the Russian nationals, who were detained in Belarus in late July, fell victim to a provocation orchestrated by the Ukrainian intelligence agencies. The article depicts how the Russians were recruited. The so-called ‘employers’ called from virtual numbers. In the phone calls, they used false identities and fake positions in the Russian major oil company Rosneft.
It was an electoral ploy by Lukashenko, which is questionable, since he won anyway, but the protests are a reality, who, then will be blamed for the protests if the Russians who were supposed to organize them are in jail.
MORE ON THE TOPIC:
- Lights, Camera, Action: Staging Of Protests in Belarus (Videos)
- Ukraine-Like Scenario In Belarus: First Confirmed Death During Protests In Minsk