Lukashenko Claims Allies Threw Opposition Figure Kolesnikova Out of Car at Ukrainian Border

© AFP 2022 / SERGEI GAPONIn this file photo taken on August 24, 2020 opposition figure Maria Kolesnikova, a member of the Coordination Council formed by the opposition to oversee efforts for a peaceful transition of power, attends a press conference on the 16th day of protests over disputed presidential elections results in Minsk. - Kolesnikova's office said witnesses described her being snatched off the street in the capital Minsk on September 7, 2020 morning by unidentified men in black who bundled her into a minibus marked "Communications". Belarusian border guards said she had been detained while trying to cross the Ukrainian border, but Kiev said she was being held after resisting a forced deportation.
In this file photo taken on August 24, 2020 opposition figure Maria Kolesnikova, a member of the Coordination Council formed by the opposition to oversee efforts for a peaceful transition of power, attends a press conference on the 16th day of protests over disputed presidential elections results in Minsk. - Kolesnikova's office said witnesses described her being snatched off the street in the capital Minsk on September 7, 2020 morning by unidentified men in black who bundled her into a minibus marked Communications. Belarusian border guards said she had been detained while trying to cross the Ukrainian border, but Kiev said she was being held after resisting a forced deportation.  - Sputnik International
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MINSK (Sputnik) - Maria Kolesnikova, a senior member of the coordination council of the Belarusian opposition, was thrown out of a car at the Ukrainian border by her own allies, Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko said in an interview with Russian broadcasters.
"There is heightened security at the border, so there is patrol out there. Naturally, they were stopped. They sped up the car. She seems to have been thrown out of the moving car," Lukashenko said.

According to the president, the border service then detained Kolesnikova.

"And the others went across the border, through the Ukrainian checkpoint. As far as I know Ukraine detained them. And we are in talks with them [Ukraine] to have them returned." Lukashenko said.

A member of the opposition council, Pavel Latushko, has said that there was an attempt to smuggle Kolesnikova to Ukraine by force, but she tore her passport to avoid it.

Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko. File photo. - Sputnik International
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The Belarusian border service revealed that Kolesnikova, Anton Rodnenkov, and Ivan Kravtsov went through the checkpoint in Belarus and headed toward Ukraine. Lukashenko also said that Kolesnikova and two other opposition figures were let through by the Belarusian border and customs service.

Belarus has seen numerous protests since 9 August, when the presidential election was held. According to the Central Election Commission, Lukashenko was re-elected with 80.1 percent. The opposition refused to recognize the results of the vote. In the first few days, the law enforcement quelled the protests using tear gas, water cannons, rubber bullets, but then the police stopped using force. official data suggests more than 6,700 people were detained at the very beginning of the unrest. The Interior Ministry said hundreds were injured in the protests, including more than 130 law enforcement officers. Three protesters were confirmed to have died.

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