Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)
September 2021 - Belarus Special Weapons News
- EU To Toughen Visa Requirements For Belarusian Officials Over Election Fraud, Migrants RFE/RL 29 Sep 2021 -- The European Union says it will tighten the rules for issuing visas to Belarusian state officials in retaliation for Minsk using migrants to destabilize the 27-member bloc.
- Belarusian Authorities Seek Dissolution Of Top Human Rights Group RFE/RL 29 Sep 2021 -- International human rights organizations are urging Belarus's authorities to withdraw a lawsuit requesting the liquidation of one of the country's oldest independent human rights groups -- the Belarusian Helsinki Committee -- a move seen as part of a wide effort by the government of authoritarian leader Alyaksandr Lukashenka to silence all critical voices.
- Lukashenka Says Belarus Plans Constitutional Referendum By February 2022 RFE/RL 28 Sep 2021 -- Belarus will hold a referendum on a new controversial constitution by February next year, authoritarian ruler Alyaksandr Lukashenka said.
- Belarus warns of joint response with Russia to Ukraine's drills with US, NATO Press TV 27 Sep 2021 -- Belarus has voice concerned over Ukraine's military exercises with the United States and other NATO countries near its borders, warning of a joint response with Russia to the drills.
- UN Human Rights Council 48: UK statement for the interactive dialogue on the situation of human rights in Belarus UK FCDO 24 Sep 2021 -- UK International Ambassador for Human Rights Rita French gave a statement thanking the High Commissioner for the update on the human rights situation in Belarus.
- Human rights in Belarus continue downward spiral, warns Bachelet UN News 24 Sep 2021 -- The UN High Commissioner for Human Rights said on Friday that she continues to be alarmed by "persistent allegations" of "widespread and systematic torture" of protesters in Belarus.
- UN Rights Chief Sounds Alarm on Growing Abuses in Belarus VOA 24 Sep 2021 -- U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights Michele Bachelet reported the human rights situation in Belarus continues to worsen, as President Alexander Lukashenko stiffens repressive measures to quell dissent.
- Report Highlights Belarus's 'Repressive' Campaign Against Internet Freedom RFE/RL 22 Sep 2021 -- Human rights watchdog Freedom House says global Internet freedom has declined dramatically in Belarus, where last year's disputed presidential election led the authorities to repeatedly restrict access to the Internet, increase social media surveillance, and detain and use "deadly force" against online activists.
- UN Agencies Request Access To Asylum Seekers Stranded At EU Border With Belarus RFE/RL 21 Sep 2021 -- Two United Nations agencies have requested immediate access to asylum seekers stranded at Belarus's border with European Union members Poland and Lithuania, after four migrants were found dead in the area.
- UN agencies shocked by deaths near Belarus-Poland border UN News 21 Sep 2021 -- The UN refugee agency, UNHCR, and migration agency IOM, called on Tuesday for an immediate investigation into the deaths of four people near the border between Poland and Belarus, due to causes yet to be determined.
- Poland Claims Mounting Evidence Minsk, Moscow Orchestrating Migrant Flow Across Border RFE/RL 20 Sep 2021 -- Poland says it has mounting evidence that Belarus, backed by Russia, is orchestrating the wave of illegal immigrants pouring across its borders and into the European Union.
- Belarus Suspends Probe Into Killing Of Anti-Government Protester RFE/RL 17 Sep 2021 -- The Belarusian Prosecutor-General's Office says it has suspended an investigation into the death of Raman Bandarenka, the anti-government protester whose killing in November 2020 intensified unprecedented protests demanding the resignation of authoritarian leader Alyaksandr Lukashenka following a disputed election.
- Recent developments in Belarus: UK statement, 16 September 2021 UK FCDO 16 Sep 2021 -- UK Deputy Ambassador Deirdre Brown reiterates demand for Belarus to stop the crackdown against civil society, human rights defenders and independent media.
- Belarusian Opposition Leader Urges 'Decisive Action' To Resolve Standoff RFE/RL 15 Sep 2021 -- Exiled Belarusian opposition leader Svyatlana Tsikhanouskaya has called on French President Emmanuel Macron to take "decisive action in solving the Belarus crisis."
- Zapad 2021 military exercises President of Russia 13 Sep 2021 -- Vladimir Putin visited the Mulino training ground in the Nizhny Novgorod Region to watch the main stage of the Zapad 2021 joint strategic exercises of the armed forces of the Russian Federation and the Republic of Belarus.
- Poland, Baltic States Discuss Security Against Backdrop Of Russian-Belarusian Military Drills RFE/RL 13 Sep 2021 -- The foreign and defense ministers of the Baltic states and Poland have gathered to discuss a joint response to conventional and hybrid threats as Russia and Belarus staged large-scale military exercises.
- Belarus set to buy $1 billion worth of weapons from Russia Press TV 13 Sep 2021 -- Belarus plans to purchase more than $1 billion worth of Russian weaponry, including the potential supplies of S-400 missile systems, said Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko.
- Lukashenko: Belarus is in Talks With Russia on S-400 Air Defence Systems Sputnik 12 Sep 2021 -- Earlier this week, Lukashenko met his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin for talks in Moscow. During the negotiations, the sides agreed on twenty-eight programmes for cooperation as part of the Union State of Russia and Belarus.
- Russia, Belarus Kick Off Massive Military Exercises Amid Tensions With West RFE/RL 10 Sep 2021 -- Russia and Belarus have launched massive joint military drills near NATO's borders as Moscow and Minsk vowed to deepen their military ties amid persistent tensions with the West.
- Russian-Belarus Zapad Drills Begin Friday as NATO Watches Closely Sputnik 10 Sep 2021 -- The large-scale Russia-Belarus Zapad-2021 drills, which will involve about 200,000 personnel, over 80 aircraft and up to 760 pieces of military equipment, are starting on 10 September, with NATO and neighboring nations observing closely from the sidelines.
- Russia, Belarus kick off massive joint drills, worrying NATO Press TV 10 Sep 2021 -- The army forces of Russia and Belarus have started joint military drills in the Baltic Sea and across the territory of their countries, causing alarm in some European Union states and NATO countries.
- Putin Says He, Lukashenka Agreed On Unified Gas Market RFE/RL 09 Sep 2021 -- Russian President Vladimir Putin says that he and his Belarusian counterpart, Alyaksandr Lukashenka, have agreed on a new unified gas market, and he praised Belarus, saying the situation there was "stabilized" after months of turmoil.
- Fifth Meeting, Five Takeaways: What Did Putin And Lukashenka Achieve in Their Integration Talks? RFE/RL 10 Sep 2021 -- More questions were raised than answered after Russian President Vladimir Putin and Alyaksandr Lukashenka met in Moscow on September 9.
- Russia To Show Off Military Might, Grip On Belarus During Zapad-2021 Exercises RFE/RL 09 Sep 2021 -- Russia and Belarus will be the site of what could be the biggest military exercises in Europe in decades, which comes as Alyaksandr Lukashenka moves to integrate Belarus even closer not only militarily but politically with Russia, triggering fears he is bargaining away the country's sovereignty to its much bigger neighbor.
- Lukashenka Heads To Moscow For 'Union State' Integration Talks With Putin RFE/RL 09 Sep 2021 -- Authoritarian leader Alyaksandr Lukashenka travels to Moscow on September 9 for his fifth face-to-face meeting this year with Russian President Vladimir Putin, amid speculation that the two leaders could sign a deal that could radically undercut Belarus's sovereignty.
- Putin Offers Lukashenka More Loans, Unified Gas Market, But 'Union State' Status Unclear RFE/RL 09 Sep 2021 -- Russian President Vladimir Putin said Moscow would give hundreds of millions of dollars in additional loans to Minsk, and that he and his visiting Belarusian counterpart had agreed on a new unified natural-gas market.
- Ukraine Dismisses CNN Report On 'Elaborate Plot' To Detain Russian Mercenaries In Belarus RFE/RL 08 Sep 2021 -- Top Ukrainian officials have dismissed an explosive CNN report that said Ukraine's main intelligence agency orchestrated a sting operation in neighboring Belarus in 2020 to arrest Russian mercenaries wanted for crimes in Ukraine.
- Latvia Says It Intercepted More Than 1,000 Migrants On Belarus Border Over Past Month RFE/RL 08 Sep 2021 -- Latvia says it has prevented more than 1,000 people from illegally entering the Baltic country since a state of emergency was declared at its border with Belarus a month ago, amid accusations that Minsk is intentionally sending migrants into EU member states.
- Ahead Of Putin-Lukashenka Summit, Russian Jets Arrive To Help Patrol Belarusian Borders RFE/RL 08 Sep 2021 -- Belarusian officials say Russian fighter jets have arrived to help patrol Belarus's borders, as part of a new joint military effort.
- UN Rapporteur Says Belarusian Repression Now Worse Than 'Catastrophic' RFE/RL 07 Sep 2021 -- UN special rapporteur Anais Marin has cited "terrible repression" and says the crackdown in Belarus on the country's human rights groups has hindered international monitoring of abuses there.
- Czechs Pledge $600,000 To Lithuania To Shore Up Border With Belarus RFE/RL 07 Sep 2021 -- The Czech Republic has pledged 530,000 euros ($630,000) to Lithuania to help secure its border with Belarus amid accusations that Minsk is intentionally sending thousands of migrants into the Baltic state.
- For Years, Lukashenka Has Held The Kremlin At Arm's Length. That May All Be About To Change. RFE/RL 06 Sep 2021 -- More than 20 years ago, leaders from Belarus and Russia signed a treaty on creating a union state, drawing the two former Soviet republics tightly together. Details, however, have never been agreed on by the two sides.
- Polish Lawmakers Back State Of Emergency Over Belarus Border Crisis RFE/RL 06 Sep 2021 -- Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki cited a threat from Russia and Belarus as he secured support from parliament for a state of emergency along the country's border with Belarus on September 6.
- West Condemns Belarus After Two Opposition Activists Handed Harsh Jail Terms RFE/RL 06 Sep 2021 -- Two leading Belarusian opposition figures, Maryya Kalesnikava and Maksim Znak, have been handed lengthy prison sentences for conspiracy in a process the United States called "shameful" amid an ongoing crackdown on pro-democracy activists and groups by authoritarian ruler Alyaksandr Lukashenka.
- The Sentencing of Belarusian Opposition Figures Maria Kalesnikava and Maksim Znak US Dept. of State 06 Sep 2021 -- The United States condemns the politically motivated conviction and shameful sentencing today of Belarusian opposition figures Maria Kalesnikava and Maksim Znak.
- US Condemns Prison Sentences for Belarusian Opposition Leaders VOA 06 Sep 2021 -- U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken condemned the sentencing Monday of two Belarusians who organized protests against longtime president Alexander Lukashenko.
- Belarusian Human Rights Defender Sudalenka, Two Assistants Go On Trial RFE/RL 03 Sep 2021 -- A well-known Belarusian human rights lawyer and his two assistants have gone on trial after providing legal assistance to activists, journalists, and other people who were persecuted in an ongoing crackdown by authoritarian ruler Alyaksandr Lukashenka's regime.
- Polish President Declares State Of Emergency Over Belarus Migrant Influx RFE/RL 02 Sep 2021 -- Polish President Andrzej Duda has imposed a state of emergency in parts of two regions bordering Belarus amid an influx of migrants from the former Soviet state.
- Russia to send huge military hardware consignment to Belarus: Lukashenko Press TV 01 Sep 2021 -- Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko says Russia will soon deliver a huge consignment of military hardware to the country, including aircraft, helicopters and air defense systems.
- Lukashenka Says Belarus To Receive Huge Military Consignment From Russia RFE/RL 01 Sep 2021 -- Belarus's authoritarian leader, Alyaksandr Lukashenka, says his country will soon receive a huge military hardware consignment from Russia, a sign of Moscow's continued support for the strongman amid an international outcry over his sometimes violent crackdown on dissent.
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