Belarusian opposition leader arrested after refusing to leave country

The Belarusian opposition leader Maria Kolesnikova is stuck at the border between Belarus and Ukraine. Customs reported earlier that she had left the country and arrived in Ukraine.

The Belarusian regime would like to expel Kolesnikova, Anton Rodnenkov and Ivan Kravtsov from the country. They are members of the Coordination Council, which unites the opposition to President Lukashenko. Rodnenkov and Kravtsov are now in Ukraine.

Kolesnikova refused to leave Belarus at the border. The Russian press agency Interfax reports that she tore up her passport, preventing her from entering Ukraine. She was then arrested by the Belarusian border police.

President Lukashenko says in an interview with Russian state media that Kolesnikova tried to escape, and that she was rightly arrested. He states that Kravtsov and Rodnenko threw her out of the car at the border.

In the same interview Lukashenko made another remarkable statement:

Yesterday it seemed that Kolesnikova had been kidnapped in Minsk by masked men and taken away in a van. Since then nothing had been heard from her. Her family reported her missing. Rodnenkov and Kravtsov also went missing.