Russia and Serbia to hold military drills in Belarus.
Image Credit: Sergey Venyavsky/AFP/Getty Images
On Tuesday, Belarusian authorities announced that Russian, Serbian and Belarusian forces will hold a joint military drill in Belarus. The military exercise is set to begin on September 10th, and end on September 15th.
Belarus has been plagued with controversy recently, after what many believe a rigged election resulted in a ‘illegitimate victory’ by President Alexander Lukashenko last month. He won 80% of the Sunday vote. The opposition believes that there was a widespread vote rigging. Daily protests in response to this were met by heavily armed police that did not hesitate to beat them. Police used live fire in Brest.
United Nations Human rights chief Michelle Bachelet said that in Belarus there is a ‘trend of massive arrests in clear violation of international human rights standards.’ Two weeks ago the European Union were discussing possible sanctions on Belarus over the election rigging and the massive crackdown on protesters.
Recently, a leading opposition figure Maria Kolesnikova was reported missing. Witnesses saw masked men kidnapping her and take her into a minibus on Monday morning. Her whereabouts are still unknown.
Russia is also facing some controversy due to poisoning of a vocal critic of President Vladimir Putin. Russia is facing possible new sanctions for the poisoning of Alexei Navalny.
Mr. Navalny fell ill on August 20th while on a flight from Tomsk to Moscow. Mr.Navalny supporters believe that the poison was placed in a cup of tea he was drinking in Tomsk airport. On Monday, Mr. Navalny got out of the induced coma and was responding to several stimuli.
Belarus President is attempting to ward off any potential countries from intruding in their politics.