News Alerts

30 Jul 2020 | 04:24 AM UTC

Belarus: Alleged Russian mercenaries detained near Minsk July 28

Belarus News Alert

Authorities detain dozens of alleged Russian mercenaries near Minsk on July 28; maintain a heightened sense of vigilance

TIMEFRAME expected from 7/30/2020, 12:00 AM until 8/9/2020, 11:59 PM (Europe/Minsk). COUNTRY/REGION Belarus

Event

Belarusian authorities announced that 32 Russian mercenaries were arrested at a holiday resort near Minsk on Tuesday, July 28. According to reports, the mercenaries are members of the Russia-based Wagner Group. Another suspect was arrested in the south of the country.

Further security operations are possible in Belarus in the run-up to the presidential election.

Context

President Alexander Lukashenko has allegedly said that mercenaries could try and influence the upcoming August 9 presidential election, although this is not currently clear.

Police have detained several hundred anti-government demonstrators over the past few weeks in efforts to quell anti-government sentiment prior to the election. The majority of Lukashenko's political rivals are either in detention or under investigation. The barring of the two main rivals - Valery Tsepkalo and Viktor Babariko - makes Lukashenko's chances of remaining in power all the more likely; he has been in power for 26 years.

Advice

Individuals in Belarus are advised to monitor developments to the situation, report any suspicious objects or behavior, and adhere to all instructions issued by the local authorities.

 

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