Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)
December 2020 Belarus Special Weapons News
- Belarus Charges Leaders Of Independent Press Club With Tax Crimes As Crackdown Continues RFE/RL 31 Dec 2020 -- The founder of an independent Belarusian press group and several associates taken into custody last week have been charged with tax evasion and related crimes in a case that comes against the backdrop of a continuing state crackdown on dissent.
- Belarus Starts Vaccinating Citizens Against COVID-19 With Russia's Sputnik V, RDIF Says Sputnik 29 Dec 2020 -- Belarus has become the first country in the world, apart from Russia, to start vaccinating its population against COVID-19 with Russia's Sputnik V vaccine, the Russian Direct Investment Fund (RDIF) said on Tuesday.
- Lukashenka's Long Rule Over Belarus Looks Set To Survive 2020. What About 2021? RFE/RL 28 Dec 2020 -- Ever since he came to power in 1994, Alyaksandr Lukashenka has used controlled elections and other levers at his disposal to prolong his own power and to restrain or eliminate rivals -- in some cases literally, according to those who believe he was behind the unsolved disappearances of several opponents.
- Treasury, State Department Slap Sanctions on Belarus VOA 23 Dec 2020 -- The U.S. departments of Treasury and State on Wednesday announced sanctions and visa restrictions on dozens of Belarusian citizens and several entities for their alleged roles in what the U.S. calls a fraudulent Aug. 9 election and the violent crackdowns on pro-democracy protesters that followed.
- U.S. Puts Sanctions On Belarusian Police, Official Over Crackdown RFE/RL 23 Dec 2020 -- The United States has imposed sanctions on Belarusian police units and a senior security official in Minsk over their violent crackdown on mass demonstrations against the contested reelection of strongman Alyaksandr Lukashenka.
- Imposing Sanctions and Visa Restrictions on Additional Individuals and Entities Undermining Belarusian Democracy US Dept. of State 23 Dec 2020 -- Today, the United States is taking action against individuals and entities involved in efforts to undermine Belarusian democracy. Specifically, the U.S. Departments of State and of Treasury have exercised their respective authorities against 40 individuals and four entities involved in electoral fraud and human rights abuses surrounding the fraudulent election in Belarus in August, and the authorities' subsequent, brutal crackdown.
- Treasury Sanctions Additional Belarusian Regime Actors for Undermining Democracy US Treasury 23 Dec 2020 -- Today, the U.S. Department of the Treasury's Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) designated one individual and four entities for their roles in the fraudulent August 9, 2020, presidential election in Belarus and the subsequent violent crackdown on peaceful pro-democracy protests.
- U.S. Senate Approves Law Expanding Scope Of Sanctions To Use Against Belarus RFE/RL 22 Dec 2020 -- The U.S. Senate has approved the Belarus Democracy, Human Rights, and Sovereignty Act, expanding the scope of who can be subjected to U.S. sanctions and providing support to independent media.
- Belarus First Country Outside Russia to Register Sputnik V Vaccine Against COVID-19 Sputnik 21 Dec 2020 -- Belarus has become the first foreign country to register Russia's Sputnik V vaccine against the coronavirus, the Russian Direct Investment Fund (RDIF) said Monday.
- More Than 150 Anti-Lukashenka Demonstrators Detained In Belarus RFE/RL 20 Dec 2020 -- A Belarusian human rights group says security forces have detained more than people during protests calling on strongman Alyaksandr Lukashenka to step down.
- Protests Continue In Belarus Demanding End To Authoritarian Lukashenka Rule RFE/RL 19 Dec 2020 -- People marched and rallied in Minsk and elsewhere in Belarus on December 19 as demonstrations demanding that Alyaksandr Lukashenka step down entered day 133.
- Russian, Belarusian Officials Agree On New Level Of Cross-Border Security Cooperation RFE/RL 18 Dec 2020 -- Russian and Belarusian authorities last month signed a new cooperation agreement that allows for police and security operations in Belarus by troops from the Russian National Guard (Rosgvardia), which is controlled directly by the Kremlin, according to a copy of the deal just made public.
- EU Officially Slaps More Economic Sanctions On Belarus Over Crackdown RFE/RL 17 Dec 2020 -- The European Union on December 17 imposed a third round of economic sanctions on dozens of Belarusian individuals and entities over their suspected involvement in a crackdown on ongoing pro-democracy protests.
- U.S. Senate Unanimously Approves New Ambassador To Belarus RFE/RL 16 Dec 2020 -- The U.S. Senate has unanimously approved the appointment of Julie Fisher, deputy assistant secretary for Western Europe and the European Union, as the new ambassador to Belarus.
- EU Agrees On New Belarus Sanctions As Tsikhanouskaya Accepts Sakharov Prize RFE/RL 16 Dec 2020 -- EU ambassadors have agreed on a package of economic sanctions on Belarus over its crackdown on opposition protesters, targeting 29 individuals and seven firms or organizations, diplomats say.
- Deputy Secretary Biegun's Conversation with Belarusian Opposition Leader Sviatlana Tsikhanouskaya US Dept. of State 15 Dec 2020
- More Than 100 Detained In Minsk At Anti-Lukashenka Retirees' Rally RFE/RL 14 Dec 2020 -- A Belarusian human rights group says more than 100 people were detained in Minsk during the weekly rally of retirees calling on strongman Alyaksandr Lukashenka to step down.
- Tsikhanouskaya Says 'Matter Of Time' Until Lukashenka Forced Out RFE/RL 14 Dec 2020 -- Belarusian opposition leader Svyatlana Tsikhanouskaya says it is only "a matter of time" until authoritarian leader Alyaksandr Lukashenka, who has run the country since 1994, steps aside.
- Scores Detained In Latest Belarus Protests RFE/RL 13 Dec 2020 -- Security forces in Belarus detained scores of people as opposition demonstrators staged scattered marches and rallies in Minsk and other cities on December 13 to pressure strongman leader Alyaksandr Lukashenka to make political concessions.
- Switzerland Puts Sanctions On Belarus's Lukashenka, Officials Over Protest Crackdown RFE/RL 12 Dec 2020 -- Switzerland has become the latest country to freeze the financial assets of Belarusian strongman Alyaksandr Lukashenka.
- Belarus To Close Land Borders Over COVID-19; Opposition Says Move Aimed At Activists RFE/RL 10 Dec 2020 -- Belarus will close several land-border crossings as of December 20 due to the coronavirus pandemic, a move that will limit the movement of people at a time when the country is being rocked by protests over authoritarian Alyaksandr Lukashenka's claim of victory in a disputed presidential election.
- 'Horrible' Homecoming: Husband Of Woman Who Returned To Belarus Slams Her Prison Sentence RFE/RL 10 Dec 2020 -- Natalia Hershe watched transfixed as protests swept her homeland, triggered by Alyaksandr Lukashenka's claim of victory in a presidential election that millions of people in Belarus believe was rigged to hand him a sixth term in the face of mounting opposition to his rule.
- Belarus's Lukashenka Labels IOC A 'Gang' After Olympics Ban RFE/RL 08 Dec 2020 -- Belarusian strongman Alyaksandr Lukashenka has called the International Olympic Committee (IOC) a "gang" after being handed a provisional suspension that could exclude him from the Tokyo Olympics next year amid a violent crackdown against protesters following a disputed presidential election.
- More Detentions Made In Belarus In Latest Crackdown On Postelection Protests RFE/RL 07 Dec 2020 -- Belarusian security forces have detained at least 10 people in the center of the capital, Minsk, where hundreds of demonstrators had gathered for a march demanding the resignation of authoritarian ruler Alyaksandr Lukashenka.
- Belarus Opposition Continues Rallies Despite Harsh Crackdown RFE/RL 06 Dec 2020 -- Belarusian security forces detained more than 300 people across the country on December 6 in the latest of nearly four months of demonstrations calling on authoritarian ruler Alyaksandr Lukashenka to resign.
- Over 300 People Detained During Anti-Government Protests in Minsk, Law Enforcement Agency Says Sputnik 06 Dec 2020 -- More than 300 people were detained during unauthorised protests across the Belarusian capital on Sunday to potentially be faced with administrative charges, the interior directorate of the Minsk City Executive Committee said in a press release.
- Belarus: End ongoing human rights violations, UN rights chief urges UN News 04 Dec 2020 -- The human rights situation in Belarus continues to deteriorate, particularly with respect to peaceful assembly, the UN rights chief said on Friday, urging the government to put an end to ongoing violations and "take steps towards a genuine, respectful and inclusive national dialogue".
- UN Rights Chief Condemns Deteriorating Human Rights in Belarus VOA 04 Dec 2020 -- U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet condemned gross violations of human rights in Belarus on Friday, calling on the government to put an end to the abusive treatment of its people.
- Belarus raises alarm about US, NATO military build-up in region Press TV 03 Dec 2020 -- Belarus' President Alexander Lukashenko says military build-ups by the United States and NATO near the western borders of his country, Russia, and a number of other states in the region is cause for "serious concern."
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