Authorities say Belarusian opposition leader Maria Kolenikova has been detained on the Ukrainian border a day after her abduction. Belarisian state media reported that he was detained on Tuesday morning. Officials say two other opposition leaders were able to flee Ukraine at the time. This information is known from the British media BBC report.
Witnesses said a group of masked people forcibly picked up Maria Kolenikova in a minibus from the center of the capital Minsk on Monday (8 September). The police refused to arrest him. Opposition groups called for a ceasefire in protest against President Alexander Lukashenko’s government. A day later, it was revealed that he had been detained in the border area.
A Belarusian border official said that Maria Kolnikova and two other opposition leaders, Anton Rodnakov and Ivan Kravtov, tried to cross the border into the BMW. The officer claimed that Maria fell out of the car while crossing the border at high speed.
But Ukraine’s deputy interior minister, Anton Gerashenko, said that two Belarusian opposition leaders were forcibly deported. Efforts to force Maria to leave the country also failed.
Belarus President Alexander Lukashenko has faced the biggest threat in his 27-year rule. Protests began in the country on 9 August following allegations of fraud in the country’s presidential election. Although he held steady in the early days of protests for four consecutive weeks, he recently proposed a referendum on constitutional reform. Ignoring this, millions of Belarusians staged protests in several major cities including the capital Minsk last Sunday. Police took out a rally on Friday in riot gear, in which hundreds of protesters were removed from the truck.
Maria Kolenikova was one of the organizers of the protest. Although the other two women organizers of the protests were forced to leave Belarus, she is determined to continue her position in her country.