Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)
July 2020 Belarus Special Weapons News
- Ukraine To Seek Extradition Of Alleged Russian Mercenaries Detained In Belarus, Moscow Calls For Their Release RFE/RL 31 Jul 2020 -- Kyiv says it will seek the extradition of alleged contractors from the Russian private military company Vagner being held in Belarus as Moscow demanded their release, saying they were in transit and headed to Turkey.
- Kremlin urges Belarus to release 33 detained Russians Press TV 31 Jul 2020 -- Russia has urged Belarus to immediately release 33 Russian private security contractors detained on terrorism charges, dismissing the accusations against them as bogus.
- U.S. Calls On Belarus To Hold Free Elections, Expresses Regret Over Lack Of OSCE Observers RFE/RL 31 Jul 2020 -- The United States called on Belarus on July 30 to conduct its upcoming presidential election in a free and fair manner as it expressed disappointment over the lack of Western observers to monitor the vote.
- What Is Russia's Vagner Paramilitary Group And What Was It Doing In Belarus Ahead Of Vote? RFE/RL 30 Jul 2020 -- When authorities in Belarus conducted a high-profile operation to detain some 33 suspected Russian mercenaries near Minsk on July 29, officials were quick to connect the incident with the country's August 9 presidential election.
- Kremlin Refutes Claims That Russia Sends People to Belarus to Destabilize Situation Sputnik 30 Jul 2020 -- Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov refuted on Thursday as "slander" claims that Russia could have tasked anyone with destabilizing the situation in Belarus ahead of the presidential election there.
- Belarus Arrests Suspected Russian Mercenaries, Alleges Election Plot VOA 30 Jul 2020 -- Relations between Russia and its erstwhile ally Belarus veered into uncharted territory after Belarusian security forces on Wednesday detained more than 30 suspected Russian mercenaries near the capital Minsk - allegedly for trying to disrupt Belarus' Aug. 9 presidential elections.
- Belarusian Authorities Link Jailed Opposition Politicians With Detained Russian Military Contarctors RFE/RL 30 Jul 2020 -- Belarusian authorities have linked jailed opposition politicians with a probe launched against 33 contractors from the private Russian military company Vagner, who were detained and allegedly wanted to destabilize the country ahead of an August 9 presidential election.
- Belarusian Presidential Campaigner's Sister Briefly Detained For Questioning RFE/RL 30 Jul 2020 -- A sister of Veranika Tsapkala, the wife of former potential presidential candidate Valer Tsapkala, says she was briefly detained for questioning after she disappeared, raising fears she had been kidnapped.
- Tens Of Thousands Rally In Minsk In Support Of Opposition Presidential Candidate RFE/RL 30 Jul 2020 -- Tens of thousands of people have gathered in the Belarusian capital for the largest opposition rally in the country since the start of the campaign ahead of a presidential election on August 9.
- Belarus, Ukraine Agree to Boost Border Control to Prevent Destabilization Sputnik 30 Jul 2020 -- Minsk and Kiev have reached an agreement to boost border control and strengthen cooperation between relevant agencies to prevent destabilization ahead of the Belarusian presidential election, the Belarusian Foreign Ministry said on Thursday.
- Belarus Leader Says He Survived Coronavirus VOA 29 Jul 2020 -- Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko announced he had tested positive but successfully overcome the novel coronavirus on Tuesday – adding a new twist to a charged presidential election season in the former Soviet republic often called the "last dictatorship in Europe."
- State Media Vs. The Streets: How Lukashenka Lost The Media War In Belarus RFE/RL 29 Jul 2020 -- All is not well for Belarusian President Alyaksandr Lukashenka ahead of an August 9 election in which he is seeking a new term.
- Belarus Says Over 30 Russian Mercenaries Detained Ahead Of Presidential Vote RFE/RL 29 Jul 2020 -- Belarusian authorities say they have detained 32 Russian members of the private military company Vagner who were allegedly plotting to "destabilize" the country ahead of a presidential election on August 9.
- Watchdog Denounces 'Oppressive' Climate For Reporters Ahead Of Belarus Election RFE/RL 29 Jul 2020 -- Reporters Without Borders (RSF) has warned of the "oppressive" climate surrounding media freedom in Belarus ahead of a presidential election in two weeks, condemning the "systematic" arrests of journalists covering pro-democracy demonstrations.
- Belarusian President Lukashenko Says He Had Asymptomatic Coronavirus Sputnik 28 Jul 2020 -- As of 28 July, Belarus has confirmed 67,251 coronavirus cases, including 538 deaths and 60,492 recoveries from the disease. Belarus is among the few countries that did not lock down the economy and restrict the movement of people during the pandemic.
- COVID-19: Lukashenka Says He Has Overcome Virus; Kyrgyzstan Announces Day Of Mourning RFE/RL 28 Jul 2020 -- The global death toll from the coronavirus is more than 650,000, with more than 16.5 million infections confirmed, causing mass disruptions as governments continue to try to slow the spread of the respiratory illness.
- Journalists Detained Near KGB Building In Minsk Amid Crackdown On Press RFE/RL 28 Jul 2020 -- Belarusian police have detained at least 11 journalists near the KGB security service building in the capital, Minsk, in the latest crackdown on the press ahead of the country's upcoming presidential election.
- Belarusian President's Ex-Security Chief Gets 12 Years In Prison For Bribery RFE/RL 27 Jul 2020 -- The former chief of Belarusian President Alyaksandr Lukashenka's security has been sentenced to 12 years in prison for bribe taking.
- Belarusian Authorities Accused Of 'Fostering Fear' Ahead Of Presidential Vote RFE/RL 27 Jul 2020 -- Human rights groups have accused Belarusian authorities of fostering an atmosphere of "fear and intimidation" ahead of a presidential election scheduled for August 9.
- Belarusian 'Fighting Girlfriends' Gladly Bear Burden For Their Men In Presidential Election RFE/RL 26 Jul 2020 -- Belarusian presidential candidate Svyatlana Tsikhanouskaya addressed supporters for the first time at a campaign rally on July 25, speaking in Orsha, where she was joined by two other women representing imprisoned candidates.
- Nobel Author Alexievich Says Lukashenka Faces 'New Generation' In Belarus, Demands Fair Vote RFE/RL 25 Jul 2020 -- Belarusian author and Nobel laureate Svetlana Alexievich has thrown her support behind an upstart female challenger in next month's presidential election, and urged authoritarian incumbent Alyaksandr Lukashenka to ensure the ballot is free and fair.
- Unregistered Opposition Presidential Candidate Tsapkala, Children Flee Belarus RFE/RL 24 Jul 2020 -- Valer Tsapkala, the opposition politician whose candidacy election officials refused to register for an August 9 presidential poll, has fled Belarus for Russia with his children for safety reasons.
- Women Lead The Charge Against Belarus's Longtime Ruler RFE/RL 23 Jul 2020 -- A few months ago, she was a homemaker raising two kids and living in the shadow of her husband, an outspoken vlogger with presidential ambitions who was crisscrossing Belarus railing against President Alyaksandr Lukashenka.
- Lukashenka Threatens Expulsion For Foreign Journalists Who Call For 'Mass Disturbances' RFE/RL 23 Jul 2020 -- Belarusian President Alyaksandr Lukashenka says journalists who call for "mass disturbances" as a presidential election approaches should be expelled from the country.
- Under Threat, Belarusian Opposition Candidate Moves Children Out Of Country RFE/RL 20 Jul 2020 -- The Belarusian opposition's main presidential candidate has taken her two children to an EU country out of concern for their safety after receiving threats ahead of next month's election.
- Unified Belarusian Opposition Holds Massive Election Rally Against Strongman Lukashenka RFE/RL 19 Jul 2020 -- The Belarusian opposition's main presidential candidate has held two mass rallies as the campaign heats up to unseat authoritarian President Alyaksandr Lukashenka in next month's election.
- Knowing He May Be In Trouble, Lukashenka Tries To Blunt Election Challenges In Belarus RFE/RL 17 Jul 2020 -- It's not who's on the ballot that sparked a fresh wave of protests as an August 9 presidential election draws closer in Belarus – it's who is not.
- Belarusian Opposition Rallies Behind Tsikhanouskaya In Presidential Race RFE/RL 17 Jul 2020 -- The united campaigns of three opposition figures involved in Belarus's presidential election next month have called on Belarusians to vote for registered opposition candidate Svyatlana Tsikhanouskaya.
- Belarus' Army Modernised in Light of 'Modern Wars, Conflicts', Lukashenko Says Sputnik 16 Jul 2020 -- Commenting on the refurbishment of the nation's armed forces, Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko reflected on the country's experience during the Great Patriotic War, noting that today, it would be "impossible" to unexpectedly start a war.
- Belarusian Opposition Campaigns Issue Joint Program For Presidential Election RFE/RL 16 Jul 2020 -- The campaigns of three opposition figures involved in Belarus's upcoming presidential election have issued a joint statement on cooperation in the controversial poll.
- Lukashenko Urges EU to Criticize US for 'Lack of Democracy' Instead of 'Pointing Fingers' at Belarus Sputnik 16 Jul 2020 -- Belarusians are set to go to the polls for presidential elections on August 9, with longtime president Alexander Lukashenko running for a sixth consecutive term.
- Lukashenka Vows Not To 'Give Our Country To Anyone' After Violent Dispersal Of Demonstrators In Belarus RFE/RL 15 Jul 2020 -- Belarusian President Alyaksandr Lukashenka has dismissed Western criticism after police across the country violently dispersed thousands of demonstrators following the exclusion of a top challenger from the country's election next month.
- Hundreds Protest Opposition Candidates' Lockout in Belarus VOA 14 Jul 2020 -- Hundreds marched in Minsk Tuesday after Belarus' election officials refused to register two top opposition candidates for the August 9 presidential election.
- Top Lukashenka Challenger Babaryka Barred From Belarus's Presidential Election RFE/RL 14 Jul 2020 -- A top challenger to Belarusian President Alyaksandr Lukashenka has been barred from running in the country's election next month amid growing public discontent over the Belarusian authoritarian leader's handling of the coronavirus pandemic.
- UN Rights Expert Describes 'Dire' Situation In Belarus Ahead Of Presidential Vote RFE/RL 10 Jul 2020 -- The UN special rapporteur on the human rights situation in Belarus says the country's "already dire" human rights situation has deteriorated further over the last year, amid a widening crackdown on civil society ahead of a presidential election.
- Belarusian Opposition Politician Gets Fifth Consecutive 15-Day Jail Term RFE/RL 08 Jul 2020 -- Paval Sevyarynets, a co-chairman of the nonregistered opposition Belarusian Christian Democratic Party, has received his fifth consecutive 15-day jail term for allegedly calling on people to participate in an unsanctioned rally.
- UN Urges End To 'Crackdown' On Civil Society In Belarus Ahead Of Presidential Vote RFE/RL 01 Jul 2020 -- United Nations experts are urging the Belarusian government to abandon its "policy of arbitrary arrests, violence, and intimidation" against political activists, rights defenders, journalists, and bloggers ahead of a presidential election on August 9.
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