The Belarusian authorities have arrested several alleged organizers of the protests called in recent days against the election victory of President Alexander Lukashenko and questioned by opposition candidates about alleged fraud.
One of the prisoners based in the capital, Minsk, had rented a room in a central hotel and coordinated his actions from there, according to the official BelTA news agency, which has provided no further evidence to support the allegations. This suspect controlled three subordinates who, according to this version, had connections to “hundreds” of people.
The Belarusian Committee of Inquiry also reported on Tuesday the arrests of two Russian nationals – Artem Vazhenkov and Igor Rogov – for involvement in unrest. According to BelTA, they are part of the Open Russia organization and entered Belarus to watch the elections without permission.
Citizens mobilizations have been taking place since Sunday when, according to the electoral commission, Lukashenko reaffirmed his position in an election with more than 80 percent of the vote. His main rival, Svetlana Tijanovskaya, has fled amid escalating tensions in Lithuania, although he has asked for silence.
The protests so far have left at least one dead and more than 200 injured. According to the Russian news agency Sputnik, the number of wounded would already rise to over 5,000.