Some days ago, the leader of UCP party in Belarus Mikalai Kazlou was once again detained in Belarus. This time the former UCP vice chair Antanina Kavaliova and the regional chair of UCP in the Minsk region Aksana Alyakseeva, were detained together with him.
This follows months of increased repression and brutal handling of the democratic forces in the country, a development that has increased severely since the Russian invasion of Ukraine in February.
The UCP Political Council considers the detentions and arrests “a gross violation of the current constitution and calls this a campaign to intimidate party members and supporters” in the oldest dictatorship in Europe.
Furthermore, the UCP political council calls on the sister parties from EPP to campaign in solidarity with the detained, arrested and convicted leaders and activists of the UCP.
Yesterday, the ambassador of Ukraine in Sweden, Mr. Andrii Plakhotniuk, was awarded the Royal Order of the Polar Star. In a decree issued by His Majesty The King, Plakhotniuk was appointed Commander 1st Class of the order. It is common that an ambassador receives the order from the King at the end of the diplomatic tenure in Stockholm. However, by awarding the Ukrainian ambassador the royal order at this point, Sweden shows in a unique move its support for the Ukrainian fight for peace and freedom. The order was handed to Andrii Plakhotniuk by the foreign minister in a small ceremony at the ministry of foreign affairs.
Ilya Yashin, former leader of the Russian liberal party PARNAS, has reportedly been detained in Russia. The party PARNAS, now led by former Russian prime minister Michail Kasyanov, is considered one of the most stable actors within the liberal opposition movement in Russia.
One of his aides said that he was charged with disobeying police and insulting them while being detained. However, no explanation has been made on why he was approached by the police in a Moscow park in the first place. He now faces 15 days in Russian prison.
This week, the lawyers of Russian opposition leader Alexey Navalny were denied meeting him as as planned since long. Upon their arrival to the penal colony where Navalny has been held for months, Russian authorities explained to the lawyers that Navalny simply was not there, since he had been transferred to a new maximum-security prison.
Questions regarding his whereabouts and health remain unanswered.
In March, Navalny was sentenced to nine years in prison. He was convicted on charges of fraud in a trial that was entirely politically motivated and orchestrated from the Kremlin.
Early on April 25, as Easter was celebrated in Moldova, several explosions were heard in the separatist region of Transnistria. According to officials in the separatist region, the explosions were heard at the state security ministry building.
Moldovan president Maia Sandu has convened a meeting of Moldova’s supreme security council after the explosions. They have raised great concern in the country, as the United States previously has warned for several false-flag operations in Moldova.
In a statement released by the Moldovan foreign ministry, the government of Moldova stated ”The aim of today’s incident is to create pretexts for straining the security situation in the Transnistrian region.”
Russian opposition leader, and longtime partner of the Jarl Hjalmarson Foundation, Vladimir Kara-Murza is facing a trial in mid-June as Russian authorities have declared him a foreign agent.
Kara-Murza, who worked closely with Russian opposition leader Boris Nemtsov until his assassination 2015 and has survived two poisoning attempts himself since then, was detained last week and sentenced to 15 days in jail for disobeying police orders. Russian courts have now stated that they intend to prosecute him in mid-June for allegedly spreading false information. The Jarl Hjalmarson Foundation calls for his immediate release.
International media reports that Russian opposition politician, academic and long time partner of the Jarl Hjalmarson Foundation, Vladmir Kara-Murza, has been detained outside his home in Moscow. The detention of Kara-Murza happened immediately after he publically called the Putin regime a “regime of murderers”. Kara-Murza has previously survived two poisoning attempts.
The chairman of the Jarl Hjalmarson Foundation, Peter Egardt, has issued the following statement:
“I call for the immediate release of Vladimir Kara-Murza, and all other political activists that have been jailed by the Kremlin as they have protested the illegal war in Ukraine. The detention of Kara-Murza shows that the Kremlin is afraid of free speech, the opposition and ultimately the people’s longing for democracy and freedom in Russia”.
After his return to Russia last year, and the subsequent arrest by Russian authorities, opposition leader Alexey Navalny is now facing yet another trial.
Navalny is now accused of embezzling money from his anti corruption foundation, which has been labeled an extremist and terrorist organisation and banned in Russia. He might face up to 10 years in prison, and has called the allegations politically motivated and false. The EU and U.S. have called for his immediate release.
Maria Pevchikh, journalist and longtime aide to Navalny, has said that the Russian authorities scheduled his trial to mid-February with purpose. Now it takes place at the same time as the deepening crisis in Ukraine, hence avoiding international dismay and condemnations.