All news

Belarus’ government tried to force Maria Kolesnikova to leave Belarus - opposition member

KIEV, September 8. /TASS/. Anton Rodnenkov, a spokesman for the Coordination Council set up by the Belarusian opposition, said that the Belarusian special forces had attempted to force opposition member Maria Kolesnikova to leave the country.

"The main goal of their special operation was to transport [Maria] Kolesnikova abroad. We were an instrument in this process," he said during a press conference in Kiev. However, he said that the operation had failed.

"We heard [on the border] that Maria Kolesnikova was led by force," he stated. Rodnenkov added that Kolesnikova had torn up her passport and left the area of the border. Despite the fact that she was resisting, "she was pushed inside" a car, which was then shut, the spokesman said. "She could not get out, she was screaming that she would not leave. When she was in the car and saw her passport in the front, she got hold of it immediately and tore it up in small pieces. She then took those pieces, crumpled them up and threw them out of the window," Rodnenkov said.

"I think that Maria Kolesnikova will not leave Belarus under any circumstances, she feels her responsibility before society," he added.

Earlier on Tuesday, the Ukrainian border service informed that members of the Belarusian opposition Anton Rodnenkov and Ivan Kravtsov had arrived on Ukrainian territory. According to Ukrainian Deputy Foreign Minister Anton Gerashchenko, they were expelled from Belarus by force. Meanwhile, it is reported that another opposition member Maria Kolesnikova did not arrive at the border crossing. State TV channel Belarus-1 informed that she had been detained during an attempt to cross the border illegally. However, according to the Belarusian state border committee, Kolesnikova was going through border control with Rodnenkov and Kravtsov in the early hours of Tuesday.