Belarus Protests: Maria Kolesnikova ‘Detained At Ukraine Border’

A Belarus opposition leader has reportedly been detained at the border with Ukraine the day after her disappearance.

State media report that Maria Kolesnikova was held at the border early this morning.

It comes the day after witnesses reportedly saw masked man bundle her into a minibus.

She is one of three women who joined forces to challenge President Alexander Lukashenko in August’s election.

Mass protests followed his re-election amid allegations of vote-rigging. Authorities said more than 600 people were arrested on Sunday on the fourth consecutive weekend of anti-government demonstrations.

Mr Lukashenko has ruled his country since 1994. He has accused Western powers of interference.

But he has been supported by President Vladimir Putin of Russia and is expected to visit Moscow “in the coming days”.

The EU demanded the release of all political prisoners on Monday and said it was planning to impose sanctions.

There are conflicting reports about the opposition figure’s whereabouts.

State television reported that Ms Kolesnikova was taken out of a car trying to cross the border into Ukraine early on Tuesday. Two other opposition members, Anton Rodnenkov and Ivan Kravtsov, crossed the border.

And sources in the Ukrainian border service have confirmed that only the two men had arrived, and that both had been detained while their fate was decided.

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