Belarus Olympian given Polish visa after refusing 'forced' flight home

A sprinter from Belarus who refused her team's order to fly home early from the Olympics has been granted a humanitarian visa by Poland. Krystina Timanovskaya, 24, is at the Polish embassy in Tokyo after spending the night secured in a hotel under protection from Japanese police. She said she...
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Belarus athlete 'safe and secure' in Tokyo as Poland, Czech offer visas

Belarusian athlete, Krystsina Tsimanouskaya, 24, spent the night in an airport hotel after she went to Japanese police seeking protection late on Sunday. The sprinter, who was due to race in the 200 meter heats at Olympic Stadium on Monday, had her Games cut short when she said she was taken to the airport to board a Turkish Airlines flight.

Poland grants humanitarian visa to Belarus sprinter

Poland has granted a humanitarian visa to Belarusian Olympian Krystsina Tsimanouskaya, who claims she was taken to the Tokyo airport against her will after criticizing Belarusian coaches, Poland's deputy foreign minister confirmed Monday. The latest: An activist group called the Belarusian Sport Solidarity Foundation told AP that it had bought...

Belarus ordered to play World Cup home qualifiers in Russia

NYON, Switzerland (AP) — Belgium and Wales will go to neutral Russia to face Belarus in World Cup qualifying games because of travel sanctions imposed after a commercial passenger flight was diverted to Minsk. UEFA said Saturday the city of Kazan will stage Belarus’ “home” games against Wales on Sept....

Group: Jailed Belarus journalist needs urgent hospital care

KYIV, Ukraine (AP) — The Belarusian Association of Journalists on Thursday called on authorities in Belarus to transfer a jailed journalist to a civilian hospital so he could get treatment for a coronavirus-induced pneumonia he has reportedly developed in detention. The association said it filed a request with the Interior...
Washington Post

Why are so many migrants coming to one of Europe’s smallest countries? Blame Belarus, officials say.

BRUSSELS — Europe’s newest migration crisis is unfolding in one of its most unlikely places. Lithuania, a Baltic nation roughly the size of West Virginia with fewer than 3 million residents, hasn’t been known as a destination for undocumented immigrants: Each year, the country sees roughly 70 people unlawfully cross its border with Belarus.

Belarus and the Ukraine Trap

Belarus is among the most likely places where a war could break out between Russia and the West. News from Belarus has flashed in and out of headlines in the past year. When a wave of protest washed over the country in the summer of 2020, it was a major story. The diversion of an airplane traveling between two E.U. member states, followed by the kidnapping of a Belarusian opposition journalist and his (Russian) girlfriend from this plane, captured the world’s attention for more than a week. Otherwise, this country of almost ten million people tends to get ignored, which is unfortunate. The future of Belarus poses urgent and acutely unpredictable questions for the entire region. Bearing this in mind, Western policymakers should do what they can to articulate a viable policy toward Belarus — before the next round of crises comes. They can begin this difficult job by reviewing the relationship between Belarus and Ukraine.

Concerns mount over Russia-Belarus military exercises

With the quadrennial Zapad military exercises just six weeks away, Russian troops and military equipment have begun arriving in Belarus. The Belarusian Defense Ministry announced on Telegram on July 27 that the latest contingent of Russian soldiers arrived at the Polonka railway station in western Belarus where they were greeted with bread and salt by servicemen from the Belarusian 11th Separate Guards Mechanized Brigade.
Human Rights Watch

Belarus: Unprecedented Raids on Human Rights Defenders

(Berlin) – Belarusian authorities carried out a day of massive, unprecedented raids and detentions against the Belarus human rights community on July 14, 2021, Human Rights Watch said today. Police in at least 10 cities searched homes and offices of the \country’s major human rights organizations and their staff, seizing...
Voice of America

Raids, Arrests Will Not Deter Us, Belarus Media Say

Belarus is purging the space for information, local journalists say, pointing to raids on independent media outlets, arrests including of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty correspondents, and moves to shutter the Belarusian Association of Journalists. Journalists, members of the opposition and activists have been targeted for arrest or harassment since widespread...

Putin hosts leader of Belarus for talks on closer ties

MOSCOW (AP) — The authoritarian leader of Belarus visited Russia on Tuesday for talks with President Vladimir Putin as soaring tensions with the West have boosted his reliance on Moscow’s support. Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko thanked Putin for the “very serious support” Belarus has received from Russia and pledged that...