Missing leader of the opposition in Belarus detained at Ukraine by Border Forces

One of Belarus’s leading opposition figures Maria Kolesnikova has been detained while trying to cross into Ukraine.

Minsk, Belarus: One of Belarus’s leading opposition figures Maria Kolesnikova has been detained while trying to cross into Ukraine, border officials said Tuesday.

Belarus said Maria Kalesnikava, one of the opposition’s top organizers, was detained at the border with Ukraine after being reported missing on Monday as President Alexander Lukashenko’s regime cracked down on month-long protests.

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Kolesnikova was detained while trying to cross overnight with two other members of the opposition’s Coordination Council who were able to pass through to Ukraine, Anton Bychkovsky, a spokesman of the State Border Committee, told AFP.

Rallies in the country’s capital swelled to about 100,0000 people on Sunday, a month after Lukashenko claimed a landslide victory to extend his 26-year rule for a sixth term.

Several key figures of the opposition were jailed before the election, including ex-banker Viktor Babariko and political blogger Siarhei Tsikhanouski, whose wife Sviatlana Tsikhanouskaya became the leading challenger to Lukashenko and the face of the protests. She is now in exile in Lithuania.