Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)
May 2021 - Belarus Special Weapons News
- NATO Restricts Access Of Belarusian Officials To Its Headquarters After Ryanair Incident RFE/RL 31 May 2021 -- NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg has said personnel at Belarus's diplomatic mission to the alliance will have their access restricted at its headquarters in the wake of the forced landing of a passenger plane by Minsk and the arrest of an opposition journalist who was on board the plane.
- Belarusian Journalist Pratasevich Moved To KGB Detention Facility, Says Rights Group RFE/RL 30 May 2021 -- The Belarusian rights group Vyasna says detained journalist and opposition activist Raman Pratasevich has been moved to a pretrial detention facility run by the country's main security agency, the KGB.
- Russia Ready To Send $500 Million Loan Tranche To Belarusian Government RFE/RL 29 May 2021 -- Belarusian strongman Alyaksandr Lukashenka was in the Russian Black Sea resort city of Sochi for a second day of meetings with Russian President Vladimir Putin.
- U.S. Reimposes Sanctions On Belarusian State Firms Over Diversion Of Plane, Arrest Of Journalist RFE/RL 29 May 2021 -- The United States will impose more sanctions on Belarus after the diversion of a commercial flight to Minsk and the arrest of a journalist on board.
- NATO Chief Says 'Hard To Believe' No Russian Coordination On Ryanair Diversion RFE/RL 29 May 2021 -- NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg says he thinks it is likely that Belarusian authorities organized the diversion last week of an Irish airliner to Minsk with ally Russia.
- European Alliance To Suspend Belarus's State Broadcaster Over 'Exceptional Concerns' RFE/RL 29 May 2021 -- The executive board of the European Broadcasting Union (EBU) has voted to suspend Belarus's national broadcaster over "serious and quite exceptional concerns" that threaten freedom of expression and other "core values."
- Belarusians Protest Across Europe In 'Day Of Solidarity' Against Lukashenka RFE/RL 29 May 2021 -- Protests were held in several European capitals on May 29 as part of a global day of solidarity with the Belarus opposition called by exiled opposition leader Svyatlana Tsikhanouskaya.
- Media Freedom Coalition Statement on the Arrest of Roman Protasevich US Dept. of State 29 May 2021 -- The undersigned members of the Media Freedom Coalition condemn in the strongest terms Belarus' forced diversion and landing of a commercial aircraft and subsequent arrest of journalist Roman Protasevich.
- Statement by Press Secretary Jen Psaki on the United States Response to Belarus's Forced Diversion of Ryanair Flight and Continuing Attack on Fundamental Freedoms The White House 28 May 2021
- Russia Refuses to Allow 2 EU Airline Flights to Land VOA 28 May 2021 -- Russia refused to allow two EU-based airlines to land flights in the country to avoid Belarusian airspace days after Belarus scrambled a fighter jet and used a false bomb alert to divert an Irish passenger jet to Minsk and arrest a dissident Belarusian journalist.
- Belarus Threatens West as EU Debates Severe Sanctions VOA 28 May 2021 -- President Alexander Lukashenko of Belarus has threatened to retaliate for any European Union sanctions imposed on him for detaining two opposition activists after forcing their plane to land in Minsk earlier this week.
- Lithuania Expelling Two Belarusian Diplomats Amid Uproar Over Plane Arrests RFE/RL 28 May 2021 -- Lithuania says it is expelling two Belarusian diplomats accused of conducting activities "incompatible with their diplomatic status" amid international outrage over Belarus's forced landing of a Vilnius-bound passenger flight in Minsk and the detention of a dissident journalist.
- EU Earmarking Billions Of Euros In Aid For Belarus, Once Democracy Takes Root RFE/RL 28 May 2021 -- The European Union is aiming to provide at least 3 billion euros to Belarus once the country starts on a democratic path with a focus on rule of law and justice reform, restructuring state-owned enterprises, and spending on infrastructure, according to a proposal seen by RFE/RL.
- Russian Authorities Tell Airlines To Expect Delays Due To Belarusian Airspace Ban RFE/RL 28 May 2021 -- Russia's state air transport agency says changes to routes from Europe to Russia as a result of the dispute between the West and Belarus over the forced diversion of a Ryanair flight to Minsk may result in longer clearance times.
- Lukashenka, Putin Meet Amid Outrage Over Diversion Of Plane RFE/RL 28 May 2021 -- Belarusian authoritarian ruler Alyaksandr Lukashenka met in the Russian Black Sea resort city of Sochi with Russian President Vladimir Putin as EU foreign ministers debate possible targets for new economic sanctions against Minsk in response to its diversion of a commercial plane and the arrest of a journalist on board.
- G7 Foreign Ministers' Statement on Belarus US Dept. of State 27 May 2021 -- The text of the following statement was released by the G7 foreign ministers of Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the United Kingdom and the United States of America and the High Representative of the European Union.
- Belarus: Foreign Secretary welcomes ICAO fact-finding mission into diverted flight UK FCDO 27 May 2021 -- The UK welcomes decision by the International Civil Aviation Organization to open a fact-finding mission into diverted Ryanair flight.
- Swiss Firm Doesn't See 'Credible Evidence' Backing Belarusian Claim On Plane Diversion RFE/RL 27 May 2021 -- E-mail provider Proton Technologies AG says it has not seen "credible evidence" to back up the claim by Belarus that it received an e-mailed bomb threat before diverting a passenger plane to Minsk.
- Belarusian Rights Group Declares Sapega A Political Prisoner RFE/RL 27 May 2021 -- The Belarusian rights group Vyasna has designated Sofia Sapega a political prisoner after a passenger flight she was on from Athens to Vilnius was diverted to Minsk, where she was detained along with her boyfriend, journalist Raman Pratasevich.
- EU Discusses Economic Sanctions On Belarus; G7 Urges Pratasevich's 'Immediate And Unconditional' Release RFE/RL 27 May 2021 -- European Union foreign ministers are discussing possible economic sanctions against Belarus as the Group of Seven (G7) industrialized countries called for journalist Raman Pratasevich's "immediate and unconditional release" amid a wave of international condemnation over Pratasevich's arrest after a flight he was travelling on was diverted to Minsk by Belarusian authorities.
- Amid A Disinformation Cacophony From Minsk, Analysts Say 'Putin Benefits' RFE/RL 27 May 2021 -- When Belarusian strongman Alyaksandr Lukashenka announced in April that he had been the target of a failed assassination plot allegedly backed by the CIA, few outside the country batted an eyelid. That's because the outspoken former collective farm boss who has ruled the ex-Soviet state since 1994 has peddled various outlandish theories since protests erupted over his widely disputed reelection in August.
- Parents Plea For Release of Belarus Opposition Activists VOA 26 May 2021 -- The parents of the young opposition activist and blogger detained in Minsk after the passenger jet he was on board was forced to land in the Belarusian capital earlier this week are pleading for the international community to help free their son.
- Lukashenko Defends Diverting Flight in Belarus to Arrest Activist VOA 26 May 2021 -- Belarus President Alexander Lukashenko on Wednesday defended the diversion of a European flight and the arrest of a journalist and activist on board, saying he acted within international rules to protect the people of Belarus.
- Statement by the North Atlantic Council on Belarus NATO 26 May 2021
- Lukashenko: Belarus responded lawfully to protect people after bomb scare from Switzerland Press TV 26 May 2021 -- Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko has said that his government responded adequately and lawfully to protect his people in diverting a Ryanair flight to Minsk, pursuant to receiving a bomb threat against the passenger airliner from Switzerland.
- 'You Have Bomb On Board': Belarusian Transcript Of Ryanair Pilots Raises More Questions Than It Answers RFE/RL 26 May 2021 -- Just after 12:30 p.m. local time on May 23, flying at an altitude of around 12,000 meters, Ryanair's Vilnius-bound flight FR4978 from Athens crossed into Belarusian airspace and made contact with air traffic controllers in the capital, Minsk.
- Video Statement By Belarusian Blogger Contains All The Hallmarks Of Forced Soviet-Era 'Confessions' RFE/RL 26 May 2021 -- It bore all the hallmarks: the emotionless expression, the monotone delivery, the nondescript backdrop, the tightly clasped hands.
- Belarus Opposition Says It's Preparing New Stage Of Protests Against Lukashenka RFE/RL 26 May 2021 -- Belarus's opposition says it is preparing to stage a "new phase" of active protests against authoritarian leader Alyaksandr Lukashenka, who has faced renewed international pressure over the country's diversion of a civilian airliner and arrest of a dissident journalist who was a passenger on the flight.
- Europe's Aviation Regulator Urges Avoidance Of Belarus Airspace As Lukashenka Lashes Out At West RFE/RL 26 May 2021 -- Europe's aviation regulator has urged all airlines to avoid Belarusian airspace for safety reasons as the country's authoritarian leader, Alyaksandr Lukashenka, defended his decision to use the military to help force the diversion of a civilian aircraft traveling between EU members Greece and Lithuania to land in the capital, Minsk, where authorities immediately arrested a journalist and his girlfriend.
- Belarusian Court Sentences Opposition Politician, Pro-Democracy Activists RFE/RL 25 May 2021 -- Belarusian opposition politician Paval Sevyarynets has been sentenced to seven years in prison by a regional court in the eastern city of Mahilyou on a criminal charge of "organizing mass unrest."
- More Airlines Halt Belarus Overflights Following Controversial Plane Diversion RFE/RL 25 May 2021 -- More airlines have announced a suspension of their flights over Belarusian airspace after the country diverted a passenger plane to Minsk and arrested a dissident journalist.
- Airlines Shun Belarusian Airspace As Calls For Sanctions Over Plane Diversion Grow RFE/RL 25 May 2021 -- The global aviation industry has moved to isolate Belarus as the leader of the country's opposition called for the international community to act in concert to stop authoritarian leader Alyaksandr Lukashenka from acting with "impunity" following the diversion of a commercial airliner and arrest of an opposition journalist.
- Forced landing of Ryanair flight FR4978 in Minsk: UK statement UK FCDO 25 May 2021 -- Ambassador Neil Bush condemns the actions on 23 May by the Belarusian authorities, who arrested journalist Roman Protasevich having forced his flight to land in Minsk.
- Belarus: UN human rights office calls for 'immediate release' of Roman Protasevich UN News 25 May 2021 -- The Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) has strongly condemned the arbitrary detention of an opposition journalist in Belarus, calling it an "astonishing episode" that heralds a new phase in the campaign of repression against journalists and civil society there.
- UN Likens Belarus' Seizure of Journalist to Extraordinary Rendition VOA 25 May 2021 -- The Office of the U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights says the seizure by Belarus of a journalist traveling on a plane is tantamount to extraordinary rendition - a state-sponsored abduction.
- Belarus Opposition Leader Alleges Journalist from Diverted Plane Beaten in Detention VOA 25 May 2021 -- Belarus opposition leader Sviatlana Tsikhanouskaya said Tuesday it is clear that Raman Pratasevich, the journalist arrested Sunday after the passenger jet he was traveling on was diverted and forced to land in Minsk, has been beaten in detention.
- Statement by President Joe Biden on Diversion of Ryanair Flight and Arrest of Journalist in Belarus The White House 24 May 2021
- Statement by NSC Spokesperson Emily Horne on National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan's Call with Democratic Opposition Leader Svyatlana Tsikhanouskaya of Belarus The White House 24 May 2021
- Remarks by President Charles Michel before the Special meeting of the European Council EC/CEU 24 May 2021
- European Council conclusions on Belarus, 24 May 2021 EC/CEU 24 May 2021 -- The European Council strongly condemns the forced landing of a Ryanair flight in Minsk, Belarus, on 23 May 2021 endangering aviation safety, and the detention by Belarusian authorities of journalist Raman Pratasevich and Sofia Sapega.
- Belarus: Declaration by the High Representative on behalf of the EU on the forced diversion of Ryanair flight FR4978 to Minsk on 23 May 2021 EC/CEU 24 May 2021 -- On 23 May, the Belarusian authorities, in an inadmissible step, forced a civilian plane to perform an emergency landing in Minsk. The plane, owned by an EU company, flying between two EU capitals and carrying more than 100 passengers, was forced to land by a Belarusian military aircraft.
- Guterres deeply concerned over 'forced landing' and arrest of Belarus opposition journalist, as condemnation grows UN News 24 May 2021 -- The UN Secretary-General said on Monday he was "deeply concerned" over the apparent forced landing of a commercial passenger jet over Belarus, and the subsequent detention of a prominent dissident and journalist by authorities there.
- EU Sanctions Belarus Over Plane Diversion, Arrest of Journalist VOA 24 May 2021 -- The European Union is urging member nations to close their airspace and airports to all Belarusian airlines after Belarus forced a commercial jetliner to make an emergency landing Sunday in Minsk and arrested an opposition blogger critical of authoritarian President Alexander Lukashenko.
- U.S. Representative Chris Smith: Belarus Sanctions So Far 'Just Not Enough' RFE/RL 24 May 2021 -- U.S. Representative Chris Smith, a member of the Foreign Affairs Committee in the House of Representatives and a leading congressional critic of Alyaksandr Lukashenka, has told RFE/RL that "it is time to be thinking about a tribunal" to bring the long-ruling Belarusian strongman and his associates to account.
- Analysis: What Now for Brussels and Belarus After Forced Landing Of EU Flight? RFE/RL 24 May 2021 -- It is fair to say that, until the forced landing of a Ryanair passenger jet in Minsk this past weekend, the European Union had appeared to suffer a severe form of "Belarus fatigue" this year.
- Lukashenka Signs Amendments Further Restricting Belarus Protests, Media Freedoms RFE/RL 24 May 2021 -- Belarus's authoritarian leader Alyaksandr Lukashenka has signed into law legal amendments severely restricting civil rights and the free flow of information amid a crackdown on the country's pro-democracy movement.
- Who Is Raman Pratasevich, And Why Is Belarus Targeting Him? RFE/RL 24 May 2021 -- Upon learning last year that a warrant in Belarus had been issued for his arrest for allegedly organizing mass anti-government protests through a popular Telegram channel he helped administer, independent Belarusian journalist Raman Pratasevich appeared unsurprised about the lengths the authorities would go to stifle dissenting views.
- The Pratasevich Arrest: What's In It For Russia? RFE/RL 24 May 2021 -- After a passenger jet travelling between two European Union capitals was forced to land in Minsk and a Belarusian journalist was arrested on the tarmac, observers are wondering whether Moscow approved what one Western official called a "act of state terrorism" -- or even made it happen.
- Is The Pratasevich Case A Game Changer For Belarus? RFE/RL 24 May 2021 -- Alyaksandr Lukashenka, who has been the authoritarian leader of Belarus for decades, is no stranger to international censure.
- Latvia's AirBaltic Says Changes Routes To Avoid Belarus Airspace RFE/RL 24 May 2021 -- Latvia's airBaltic says that it has changed its flight routes to avoid Belarusian airspace after the forced diversion and landing of a Ryanair plane to Minsk that was carrying a prominent opposition journalist on an internal EU flight.
- EU Leaders 'Strongly Condemn' Belarus For Diverting Civilian Plane, Agree On More Sanctions RFE/RL 24 May 2021 -- The European Union has agreed at a summit in Brussels on a set of sanctions against Belarus and strongly condemned the use of a MiG-29 fighter jet to divert a civilian plane on a flight between two EU member states.
- EU Leaders Call For Sanctions Against Belarus Over Ryanair 'Hijacking' To Detain Journalist RFE/RL 24 May 2021 -- A chorus of EU leaders called for swift sanctions after Belarus's authoritarian ruler forced a Ryanair plane to land in Minsk and detained a prominent opposition journalist, in what was widely condemned as a state-sponsored hijacking of a commercial flight.
- UK government advises against flying over Belarusian airspace UK FCDO 24 May 2021 -- The UK has issued a notice to airlines to avoid Belarusian airspace after a Ryanair flight was diverted to Minsk yesterday by the Belarusian authorities.
- Russia hails 'reasonable' approach by Belarus to divert Lithuania-bound flight over reported bomb threat Press TV 24 May 2021 -- Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov has defended Belarusian authorities' decision to divert a Lithuania-bound passenger flight over the country's airspace following a reported bomb threat, saying Belarus had treated the incident with an "absolutely reasonable approach."
- UK tells airlines to avoid Belarus as bilateral relations collapse Press TV 24 May 2021 -- Relations between the UK and Belarus have nosedived after Belarusian authorities diverted a passenger plane flying over their territory to arrest a dissident blogger wanted on extremism charges.
- West threatens reprisals after Belarus diverts plane over bomb scare, detains dissident figure Press TV 24 May 2021 -- Belarusian authorities have diverted a Lithuania-bound passenger flight over the country's airspace following a reported bomb threat and then detained a dissident figure on board the plane, drawing fierce rebukes from US and European officials.
- EU Fury Mounts After Belarus Forces Landing of Plane Carrying Opposition Blogger VOA 24 May 2021 -- European leaders are vowing to punish Belarus for illegally diverting to Minsk Sunday a Lithuanian-bound Ryanair flight carrying a fugitive critic of Belarusian president Alexander Lukashenko.
- CommuniquÃ© of European Council President Charles Michel on the incident involving a forced landing of a Ryanair flight in Minsk, Belarus, on 23 May EC/CEU 23 May 2021
- Diversion of Ryanair Flight to Belarus and Arrest of Journalist US Dept. of State 23 May 2021 -- "The United States strongly condemns the forced diversion of a flight between two EU member states and the subsequent removal and arrest of journalist Raman Pratasevich in Minsk."
- EU leaders condemn Ryanair flight's diversion to Belarus People's Daily 24 May 2021 -- European Union (EU) leaders on Sunday condemned the diversion of an Athens-Vilnius Ryanair flight to Minsk, the capital of Belarus, and warned possible sanctions against Belarus in the EU summit scheduled on Monday.
- EU Assails Belarus over Diversion of Plane, Detention of Journalist VOA 23 May 2021 -- European governments accused Belarus on Sunday of engaging in an act of state terrorism after it forced a commercial jetliner to make an emergency landing in Minsk after a purported bomb threat and then arrested an opposition blogger critical of authoritarian President Alexander Lukashenko.
- EU, NATO Demand Belarus Explain 'Forcible' Diversion Of Passenger Plane, Detention Of Journalist RFE/RL 23 May 2021 -- The head of NATO has joined the leaders of several EU countries in demanding an investigation into the diversion on May 23 of a Lithuanian-bound flight to Minsk, where authorities arrested one of its passengers, opposition activist and journalist Raman Pratasevich.
- Belsat Satellite Network Reports Raid By Belarusian Security Forces RFE/RL 22 May 2021 -- Belarusian security forces raided a Minsk studio used by a Polish-based TV station that has produced investigations critical of authoritarian Belarusian leader Alyaksandr Lukashenka and his associates.
- Two Pilots Killed In Military Plane Crash In Belarus RFE/RL 19 May 2021 -- A military jet exploded after crashing into the ground near private houses on the outskirts of the city of Baranavichy in western Belarus, killing two pilots.
- EU Slams Belarus For Shutting Independent News Site RFE/RL 19 May 2021 -- The European Union has slammed Belarus for its closure of the country's biggest independent online news publication, Tut.by, as one of its reporters left prison after serving six months for her reporting on the death of a protester killed during a crackdown on demonstrations against authoritarian ruler Alyaksandr Lukashenka.
- Belarus: UK responds to crackdown on journalists UK FCDO 19 May 2021 -- The Foreign Secretary has issued a statement following the recent crackdown on journalists in Belarus.
- Independent News Site In Belarus Raided As Crackdown Escalates RFE/RL 18 May 2021 -- Financial police in Belarus have launched a probe against the country's largest independent online media outlet, Tut.by, in what the United States, human rights groups, and media freedom watchdogs denounced as the Belarusian authorities' latest move in their crackdown on the country's pro-democracy movement and free media.
- Lukashenka Signs Law Allowing Belarusian Police To Use Firearms Against Demonstrators RFE/RL 18 May 2021 -- Belarus's authoritarian leader Alyaksandr Lukashenka has signed into law legislation that allows police and security forces to shoot at demonstrators.
- Lukashenka To Meet Putin Soon As Belarus Plans To Raise Cash RFE/RL 16 May 2021 -- Alyaksandr Lukashenka will meet with Russian President Vladimir Putin later this month as the Belarusian strongman faces growing isolation from the West over his crackdown on peaceful protesters.
- Belarusian Military Suggests NATO Aircraft Practising Strikes Against Russia, Belarus Sputnik 16 May 2021 -- NATO air forces are most likely practising strikes against Belarus and Russia during their demonstration flights in the region, Maj. Gen. Igor Korol, the first deputy chief of the general staff of the Belarusian armed forces, said on Sunday.
- Five Belarusian Opposition Figures: Where They Are, What Fates They Face RFE/RL 15 May 2021 -- Tens of thousands of people in Belarus have been swept up in the crackdown launched by Alyaksandr Lukashenka after he was declared winner of a presidential election last August that much of Belarus rejected as rigged. His main challenger, Svyatlana Tsikhanouskaya, said she was forced to leave Belarus for Lithuania a day after the August 9 poll amid threats to herself and her family. She is not the only leading Belarusian opposition figure to have faced threats, jail time, or other pressure from Lukashenka and the state.
- Charges Against Belarusian Opposition Figure An 'Outrage,' Says U.S. State Department RFE/RL 14 May 2021 -- Formal charges filed against Belarusian opposition figure Maryya Kalesnikava are "an outrage," U.S. State Department spokesman Ned Price said on May 13.
- Belarusian Army Officer Gets 18 Years In Prison Amid Crackdown Over Postelection Protests RFE/RL 14 May 2021 -- A captain in the Belarusian armed forces' General Staff accused of leaking a government document about the use of troops to crack down on peaceful protesters has been sentenced to 18 years in prison.
- Jailed Belarusian Opposition Figure Kalesnikava Handed Final Accusation Papers RFE/RL 13 May 2021 -- Belarusian opposition figure Maryya Kalesnikava has been charged eight months after her arrest last year for urging people to protest against a disputed presidential election that left Alyaksandr Lukashenka in power.
- Lukashenka Signs Contingency Decree On Presidential Powers RFE/RL 09 May 2021 -- Belarus's authoritarian ruler Alyaksandr Lukashenka has signed a decree allowing the transfer of presidential powers to the country's Security Council if he is killed or otherwise unable to perform his duties.
- Belarus' Lukashenko Orders Power to Be Transfered to Security Council in Event of His Death Sputnik 09 May 2021 -- In April, Belarusian president Alexander Lukashenko revealed that the country's security forces had detained a group of people plotting his assassination, and claimed that the US State Department had backed the conspirators.
- More Than A Dozen Handed Sentences In Belarus Over Anti-Lukashenka Protests As Crackdown Continues RFE/RL 07 May 2021 -- More than a dozen activists in Belarus, including a Russian citizen, have been handed prison sentences amid a continued crackdown following months of protests sparked by a disputed presidential election last August that authoritarian ruler Alyaksandr Lukashenka claims to have won.
- Lukashenka Downplays Criminal Case Launched Against Him By Group In Germany RFE/RL 07 May 2021 -- Belarus's authoritarian ruler Alyaksandr Lukashenka has downplayed a criminal complaint filed in Germany on behalf of 10 Belarusians alleging that the strongman has committed crimes against humanity.
- Belarus's Lukashenka Doubles Down On Fear (And Throws In Some Bleach) To Silence Pro-Democracy Opponents RFE/RL 06 May 2021 -- Dzyanis Urbanovich, a Belarusian opposition leader and no stranger to longtime leader Alyaksandr Lukashenka's security apparatus and jails, was snatched off the streets of Minsk on April 21 and locked up in a prison that has become synonymous with torture.
- Belarusian Opposition Leader Calls For More U.S. Sanctions On Lukashenka's Regime RFE/RL 06 May 2021 -- Belarusian opposition leader Svyatlana Tsikhanouskaya has called on the United States to apply more sanctions to pressure authoritarian ruler Alyaksandr Lukashenka, who has led a brutal crackdown against prodemocracy protests triggered by last year's disputed presidential election.
- Case Filed In Germany Accusing Lukashenka Of Crimes Against Humanity RFE/RL 05 May 2021 -- Lawyers have filed a criminal complaint in Germany on behalf of 10 Belarusians alleging that authoritarian ruler Alyaksandr Lukashenka has committed crimes against humanity.
- Former Belarus Soldiers, Law Enforcement Officers Deprived Of Their Ranks RFE/RL 04 May 2021 -- Belarusian authoritarian ruler Alyaksandr Lukashenka has issued an order to deprive more than 80 former servicemen and law enforcement officers of their ranks accusing them of actions that are "incompatible" with their status, amid an ongoing crackdown on dissent following a disputed election last year.
- Four Tsikhanouskaya Associates Handed Prison Terms RFE/RL 04 May 2021 -- Four associates of Belarusian opposition leader Svyatlana Tsikhanouskaya have been sentenced to lengthy prison terms for organizing protests against authoritarian ruler Alyaksandr Lukashenka in the southeastern city of Homel.
- Belarus Media Is Under 'Wave of Repression' VOA 04 May 2021 -- Belarus has never had a strong tradition for media freedom but a mass crackdown after contested elections last year has made an already repressive situation even more dire, local journalists say.
- Chronicling The Bloody Belarus Crackdown An Imperative For Online News Editor, Despite Pressure RFE/RL 02 May 2021 -- Anger spilled onto the streets of Minsk and across Belarus on August 9, 2020, shortly after polls closed and a state-run exit survey pointed to a big victory for Alyaksandr Lukashenka. Protesters marched through the streets of the capital, many facing off against armed riot police who dealt with them brutally.
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