Home World EUROPE Belarus Briefing | Oct. 30

Belarus Briefing | Oct. 30

Belarus has seen weekly mass protests against the disputed presidential re-election of Alexander Lukashenko for nearly three months.

On Monday, exiled Belarusian opposition candidate Svetlana Tikhanovskaya called for a national strike after the deadline she set for Lukashenko to resign and free all political prisoners expired the previous day.

Here’s more of the latest news from Russia’s ex-Soviet neighbor:

Oct. 30: What you need to know today

  • Belarus President Alexander Lukashenko held a meeting with his new security chiefs on Friday following a reshuffle as he seeks to tighten his grip on power after months of unprecedented protests.
  • Belarus has partly closed its land borders with all neighbors except Russia for most travelers, citing the coronavirus, while critics say it was a political move against the opposition.

Oct. 29

  • Lukashenko dismissed controversial Belarusian interior minister Yury Karayeu, who oversaw a brutal crackdown on protesters in the days after the Aug. 9 presidential election, on Thursday. State media reported that Karayeu was replaced by Ivan Kubrakou, who previously headed the Minsk city police department.
  • Prominent American political strategist and former Bernie Sanders campaign adviser Vitali Shkliarov on Wednesday returned to the United States from Belarus where he was detained in late July on charges of mobilizing protesters. Shkliarov was among several prominent figures seized in Belarus amid a crackdown on Lukashenko’s opponents.
  • Belarus opposition leader Svetlana Tikhanovskaya has called Monday’s general strike aimed at putting pressure on President Alexander Lukashenko a “collective success” and vowed to continue calling for his resignation. 
  • Lukashenko has called on universities to expel students who joined the anti-government rallies across Belarus. 

With reporting from AFP and TASS.

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