Ukraine's Foreign Ministry has said a Ukrainian news photographer was beaten and nine citizens of Ukraine were detained amid protests in Belarus.
"As the Ukrainian Embassy in Belarus informed, it was known of 09:00 on August 12 that a Ukrainian news photographer working for the Associated Press had been beaten. He was hospitalized minor injuries. He hasn't applied to the embassy," the ministry said in response to a request from Suspilne Media.
The embassy also reportedly received a message about the detention of nine Ukrainian citizens in Vitebsk over "administrative offenses." But those Ukrainians were released from custody the next day.
The embassy continues checking and monitoring the situation and will update on new developments.
Belarus protests: background
- On August 9, Belarus held a presidential election.
- That country's Central Election Commission announced preliminary election results. In particular, 80.23% of voters supported incumbent President Alexander Lukashenko, 9.9% voted for Svetlana Tikhanovskaya, 1.68% for Anna Kanopatskaya, 1.13% for Sergei Cherechnya, and 1.04% for Andrey Dmitriev. Some 6.02% voted against all candidates.
- On the evening of August 9, thousands of Belarusian citizens took to the streets. Clashes with security officials ensued shortly. In Minsk, law enforcement officers fired rubber bullets in a crackdown on protests.
- Presidential candidate Tikhanovskaya refused to lead street protests and left Belarus. According to her press secretary, the politician would not want to end up behind bars like her husband, Sergei Tikhanovsky.
- Tikhanovskaya announced that she considers herself the winner of the presidential elections and called on her rival, incumbent President Alexander Lukashenko, to negotiate.
- Protests in Minsk and other Belarusian cities have been going on for three days. Hundreds of casualties have been reported.
- Belarus' Ministry of Internal Affairs has confirmed that one of the protesters had died.