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    The European Union will lose Belarus forever, says the country’s foreign minister. Representative of the Lukashenko regime acknowledges that sanctions could destroy Belarus / REUTERS By Belarus EU sanctions May lose state status. Foreign Minister Volodymyr Mackie, a spokesman for Alexander Lukashenko’s regime, made the remarks in an interview with the television channel Belarus 1. Site Departments. The official says not everyone in the EU agrees to sanctions against Belarus. According to him, “reasonable colleagues” oppose them. “Because in the end no one will win. Belarus risks losing its state if the pressure of sanctions continues. Although we will do everything we can to prevent this from happening, the EU will lose Belarus forever. I think it is not the best. Europe interested,” McKay said. Sanctions against Belarus The other day, the US Treasury Department approved another set of sanctions against Belarus, in particular, against Lukashenko’s son Dmitry Lukashenko and several Belarusian companies. Following Washington, the European Union imposed sanctions. European sanctions targeted 17 Belarusian citizens and 11 companies (including Belarus, Belarus Knopf, Krotnozot and Central Resort Travel Company)....
    Russia has revealed a 'successful' test of its 6,670mph hypersonic Zircon missile fired from a warship in the White Sea. The 'unstoppable' weapon hit a target some 250 miles away from the Admiral Gorshkov frigate, the Moscow defence ministry said on Monday. At the weekend Russia announced it has started serial production of the deadly missile amid acute tensions with the West. The go-ahead for full-scale production at a top-secret plant at Reutovo, near Moscow, came ahead of completion of state tests. Separately, Belarus dictator Alexander Lukashenko has vowed to join forces with Russia in the event of a new war in Europe. Russia has revealed a 'successful' test of its 6,670mph hypersonic Zircon missile fired from a warship in the White Sea (pictured left and right). The 'unstoppable' weapon hit a target some 250 miles away from the Admiral Gorshkov frigate, the Moscow defence ministry said The West realises that if it triggers a conflict on the Russian border, Minsk will not stand aside, he said. 'They understand perfectly well that if they once again start a war in the Donbass...
    The communist dictator of Belarus, Alexander Lukashenko told migrants gathered at the Polish border that his government will do all it can to help them achieve their “dream” of entering the European Union, which he said they have the “right” to do. In a speech given on Friday in front of a group of migrants — many of whom were reportedly tricked by the regime in Belarus into thinking they would be provided with free passage to Germany — Lukashenko vowed to help them break into the EU. “If anybody wants to go west — that is your right. We will not try to catch you, beat you, and hold you behind barbed wire,” Lukashenko said per Germany’s public broadcaster, Deutsche Welle. “We will work with you to achieve your dream,” the leader said to applause from the migrants. The comments are just the latest in a string of bellicose statements from the Belarussian strongman, with Lukashenko all but admitting earlier this month that his forces are likely assisting migrants attempting to breach the European frontier border but that he would not...
    The Biden administration is finally expressing concern over a border crisis, but not the one affecting the U.S. Joe Biden recently stated that the migrant crisis at the Belarusian-Polish border is of “great concern” to his administration, at the same time he has continued to downplay the crisis at the U.S. southern border. “We’ve communicated our concern to Russia, we’ve communicated our concern to Belarus,”Biden told reporters earlier this month. “We think it’s a problem.” Kamala Harris echoed those concerns during a recent trip to Paris, saying that the government in Belarus is engaging in “very troubling activity.” Harris was named border czar in the early months of the administration, and was tasked with discovering the “root causes” of mass migration into the U.S. Just days after Harris’ comments, Department of Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas said during Senate testimony that Harris isn’t actually the border czar, and struggled to explain her role in fixing America’s immigration system. It would seem that Biden and Harris have given more attention to the migrant crisis overseas than the one currently occurring at...
    (CNN)Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko's willful manipulation of migrants, enabling their easy passage to and through his country toward the border of the European Union, is a classic assault on democracy by an autocrat who knows that any attempt to fight back risks undermining the bloc's sacred values.Lukashenko denies the condemnation made by the G7 group of the world's wealthiest democracies that he is orchestrating "irregular migration" in an "aggressive and exploitative" campaign -- just as he rejects the European Union's accusation that his re-election as president last year, his sixth consecutive five-year term, was a sham.Not for nothing is the aging autocrat known outside of Belarus as Europe's last dictator. The victims of the Belarus border crisis were obvious. For Polands government, it was a useful distractionFor much of this month, the world watched as weary migrants, some with small children and mainly from the Middle East, were coaxed and coerced in freezing conditions to a forest border with the EU. Their rising anger at not being allowed to cross erupted at times as they hurled volleys of rocks at...
    Evan Neumann of Mill Valley, California, who fled to Belarus in order to escape criminal charges for his part in the attempted insurrection on Jan 6, 2021, has given an exclusive interview to Russia’s state media outlet RT. In his previous appearance, which was on Belarusian state TV, Neuman inferred that Russia was his preferred destination, and Belarus simply happened to be closer. Now this man—on the run from the American justice system—seems to be courting refuge from President Putin. Neumann is wanted in the United States on six criminal charges related to the Capitol riot, including two felonies for assaulting an officer and participating in civil disorder. The U.S. fugitive’s comments to the notorious state media outlet seem like an attempt to ingratiate himself to the Kremlin and perhaps to land in Moscow at some point in the future. He provided RT with a tasty sound bite that is sure to play well in Russian propaganda circuits: “I don’t understand why Russia is our enemy today.” During his earlier interview with Belarusian TV, Neumann condemned the U.S. sanctions against...
    (CNN)It was clear who the losers were in the dispute between Poland and Belarus. The thousands of migrants who became stranded on the border in freezing conditions had their dreams of a new future in Europe dashed, and some are now being repatriated to their home countries. But for Poland's government, the crisis helped to divert attention from a series of uncomfortable issues.The nationalist Law and Justice party (PiS), which won an outright majority in 2015, has seen its grip on parliamentary power weaken in the years since. It is also roiled in conflict with the European Commission over the rule of law and faces wide opposition, especially in urban areas, to its position on cultural issues.Earlier this month, the death of a pregnant Polish woman reignited debate over the country's near total ban on abortion, with protesters again taking to the streets.Set against this backdrop, the drama that played out on the country's eastern border with Belarus -- while unsolicited by Poland and serious for all involved -- can be seen as a helpful distraction for the ruling PiS....
    KUZNICA, Poland—After a night filled with tear gas, water cannons, and fireworks, Tomas, a tall, fair-haired Polish border guard, looked haggard. “None of us want to be doing this job,” he told The Daily Beast as he stood in a police station in the small Polish border town of Kuznica. His colleague, a short young woman with curly black hair, looks like she hasn't slept in days. “Everyone is exhausted,” she says, as she slumps her head forward. Over the past month, the quaint town—which is home to under 2,000 people—has been thrust into the center of a major geopolitical migrant crisis. Tomas and his colleagues spent the previous evening repelling waves of refugees trying to cross the EU border from Belarus, leading to some violent confrontations. “Today is quiet, but last night was pure chaos,” he said. That Thursday evening, I had been picked up for entering a restricted area in an effort to interview migrants (journalists are barred from a three-kilometer ‘exclusion zone’ by the border). But rather than directing their anger at me, the border police...
    VIDEO2:3002:30John Bolton says U.S. should consider ways to get Belarus' Lukashenko out of powerSquawk Box Europe The U.S. should consider finding Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko a route out of power to prevent Russia from trying to reclaim the former Soviet republic, according to John Bolton, former national security advisor to Donald Trump. One option that should be reviewed, Bolton said, would be for President Joe Biden's administration to find the authoritarian leader "a nice villa on the Riviera." His comments come as the European Union ramps up efforts to impose sanctions against Belarus in response to an escalating migrant crisis on the border with EU member Poland. Thousands of migrants, many from Syria, Yemen and Iraq, have been gathered at the border with Poland in freezing temperatures for several weeks. "I think we've all been making a mistake by focusing on Lukashenko's repression of the opposition's demonstrations [and] their desire for a free representative government in Belarus, not to say that there is anything that justifies what Lukashenko has done," Bolton told CNBC's Julianna Tatelbaum on Wednesday. "The danger is...
    Polish border guards thwarted two 'mass attempts' to cross the border overnight by rock-throwing migrants who tried to storm across a railway track from Belarus.  Video showed guards having laser pointed shone in their eyes and being pelted with stones by a group of around 50 migrants who tried to cross the border at Czeremcha overnight, 70 miles south of where the main camp is located. Dozens of smaller attempts were also made, with the Polish border service saying a total of 161 crossings were stopped with 34 migrants forcibly deported. The situation remained tense early Wednesday with thousands of migrants still camped close to the border at Kuznica - where violent clashes erupted Tuesday - even as others were march off to an unknown location.  It is thought they are being taken to temporary accommodation in warehouses nearby. Thousands more migrants were taken to similar shelters overnight.  Meanwhile Mariusz Blaszczak, the country's defence minister, warned the crisis is likely to continue for months and that Poland must remain vigilant. 'I hope it will not be years,' he added. Two large...
    (CNN)We come from countries thousands of miles apart, but we share one thing in common: In spite of the grave consequences we have faced, we still dare to speak the truth. Alexander Vindman Andrei SannikovAlexander is a whistleblower. He sacrificed his military career when he reported former President Donald Trump's threats to withhold support from Ukraine if Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky did not help him dig up dirt on the Bidens.Andrei is a dissident. He resigned from the Belarusian government in 1996 in protest the rising authoritarianism of President Alexander Lukashenko. In 2010, he dared to run against Lukashenko for President of Belarus. From our experiences, we have learned that when coming to democracy's defense, whistleblowers may pay with their careers, but dissidents often pay with their lives. Read MoreIn Alexander's case, independent media sought out the truth and Congress called on him to testify. While he suffered professional consequences, the government never imprisoned or threatened his life. In Andrei's case, Lukashenko had him detained and tortured. He was beaten, refused medical care and pressured to kill himself. Andrei was...
    (CNN)Poland, Lithuania and Latvia are considering triggering NATO's Article 4 over the crisis unfolding at their borders with Belarus, as thousands of people stuck in freezing conditions continue to try to cross into Europe.Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki told the Polish Press Agency on Sunday that the three countries were in talks on whether to trigger the article, which calls for consultation when "the territorial integrity, political independence or security of any of the parties is threatened."A NATO official said last week that the military alliance was monitoring the escalating situation and that "NATO allies stand in full solidarity with Poland and other allies affected by Belarus' instrumentalization of migrants." The official said Belarus "bears responsibility for the crisis and the Lukashenko regime's use of migrants as a hybrid tactic is inhumane, illegal and unacceptable."Polish border guards used loudspeakers on Monday to warn people at the Kuźnica-Bruzgi crossing that force may be used against them if they don't follow orders. The authorities also deployed a helicopter and a water cannon into the area, although the water cannon has not been...
    MOSCOW (AP) — For most of his 27 years as Belarus’ authoritarian president, Alexander Lukashenko’s repressions and truculent statements frequently offended the West. This year, that belligerence is directly affecting Europe. His government forcefully diverted an airliner flying between Greece and Lithuania that was carrying a political opponent. As the European Union imposed sanctions for that action, Belarus responded by easing its border controls for migrants from the Middle East and Africa, allowing them to head for the EU frontier. That has forced Poland, Latvia and Lithuania to declare a state of emergency in their border zones to halt illegal crossings. Warsaw has sent thousands of riot police and troops to bolster security, leading to tense confrontations. Lukashenko has since raised the stakes by threatening to cut off natural gas shipments from Russia that transit Belarus — a potentially severe blow to Europe as winter settles in. The moves are a dramatic escalation for Lukashenko, who became president in 1994 when Belarus was an obscure country that had existed less than three years. His disdain for democratic norms...
    Border police have been blinded with lasers and strobe lights as they struggle to shore up Europe’s eastern frontier defences against the flow of migrants unleashed by Belarus. Polish authorities say soldiers loyal to Alexander Lukashenko, the despotic ruler of the former Soviet republic, have been arming refugees with tear gas as he steps up his so-called ‘hybrid war’ on Europe. The latest escalation of this crisis started on Friday night as Belarus troops ripped down posts next to barbed-wire barriers that the Polish government has installed along 120 miles of the 250-mile border between the two nations. They released video footage showing border guards targeted by strong lasers and bright strobe lighting. A spokesman for the Polish Border Force said about 100 migrants were armed with tear gas, which was used against their guards. Pictured: A grab from a video showing a green laser is shone through a barbed wire fence Lukashenko told a defence magazine yesterday he wanted to deploy Russian Iskander missile systems – which have a range of 300 miles and can carry conventional or nuclear warheads...
    The Poland-Belarus border crisis is escalating by the day—and while Belarusian dictator Alexander Lukashenko’s tactic of weaponizing migrants has sparked outrage worldwide, some are also pointing fingers at the EU for its treatment of those migrants and its flawed border policy. “What Belarus is doing in terms of weaponizing migrants in this way is a terrible terrible thing, but I don’t know if the right response from Poland in terms of sending back migrants who have already crossed,” said The Daily Beast’s Noor Ibrahim. “That’s because we know what this dictatorship is. We know who Lukashenko is. And someone, at some point, has to step up. Because who are the people who are going to be falling through the cracks here? It’s these migrants.” The AFP’s Dave Clark argued that the ongoing crisis comes after years of the EU “shooting itself in the foot” when it comes to border policy. “It’s good that the European Union is standing up now. We’ve failed for a decade now to develop some kind of common border policy that could absorb what is...
    RAF fighter pilots and heavy US bombers have taken to the skies above the North Sea in a show of strength as tensions in Eastern Europe threaten to spill over.  British Typhoons and F35 Lightning jets teamed up with US B1 and B52 bombers in a joint military exercise dubbed Operation Point Blank this week.  The US air force said the mission showed its 'commitment to work closely with our allies and partners to deter any potential adversary from aggressive actions.'  The exercise came as a pair of Russian nuclear bombers forced the RAF to defend British airspace over the North Sea on Friday.  The Typhoons were scrambled from Lossiemouth, Scotland, and Coningsby, Lincolnshire, along with a refuelling jet from Brize Norton, Oxfordshire as British troops were deployed at the Polish border amid a Kremlin-backed migrant crisis. The two Russian Tu-160 'White Swan' bombers entered 'the UK area of interest,' the MoD confirmed, without giving further details, as photographs show the RAF jets escorting the bombers. The Kremlin warplanes approached Dutch airspace before being intercepted by the RAF and were seen...
    Russian President Vladimir Putin has said today Russia has nothing to do with the migrant crisis on the Belarus-Poland border. 'I want everyone to know. We have nothing to do with it,' he said in an interview with state broadcaster Vesti, after Poland and other Western critics accused Moscow of working with Minsk to send thousands of migrants to the EU border.  Putin said European leaders needed to talk to Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko if they want to resolve the crisis, which has left hundreds of migrants, mainly from the Middle East, trapped on the border. 'As I understand it, Alexander Lukashenko and (German Chancellor Angela) Merkel are ready to talk to each other,' Putin said. 'I hope this will happen in the near future - this is most important.' Russian President Vladimir Putin has said today in an interview with Russian state television (pictured) that Russia has nothing to do with the migrant crisis on the Belarus-Poland border Putin said in the interview (pictured) that European leaders needed to talk to Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko if they want to...
    Russia's Defense Ministry has complained about what it says is 'aggressive U.S. military action' as tension mounts over Ukraine and Putin's planes intercepted American jets over international waters.    The US 6th Fleet took issue with Russia's criticism, and called the interactions with the Kremlin's jets 'safe and professional,' according to Military.com. But the incident provides further cause for concern in European capitals and in DC, as relations between Moscow and the world sink further - driven by Russia's troop movements near Ukraine, and threats by their ally Belarus to shut of natural gas supplies flowing from Russia through Belarus. Vladimir Putin, the only friend of Belarus's dictator, rapped Lukashenko over the knuckles for his threat, insisting that Russia would not allow the gas tap to be turned off. Vladimir Putin, seen on Friday at an Artificial Intelligence conference in Moscow, is presiding over a period of heightened tension with the West President Joe Biden and U.S. officials are increasingly alarmed at Russia's maneuvers in Eastern Europe Putin has also rapped ally Aleksandr Lukashenko, pictured, who is the president of Belarus,...
    For much of this month the eyes of the world have been focused on Glasgow, where world leaders have been wrestling with climate change. Meanwhile, 2000 miles away, and with a lot less fanfare, another global drama has been unfolding. The gathering of thousands of would-be immigrants to the EU on the border between Eastern Europe's last dictatorship, Belarus, and Poland is creating a crisis that, if mishandled, could have consequences every bit as grave as those debated at Cop26 – but far sooner. Yesterday, the temperature rose further when Russian paratroopers started landing in Belarus – just 20 miles from the Polish border. This was the Kremlin showing its backing for its only ally in Europe. On paper it does not look too alarming. Yes, the thought of Russian troops mobilising will always prompt a chill in the West, a legacy of the bad old days of the Cold War. But for most of us, Belarus is a remote outpost and its politics reverberate little beyond its borders. The truth is, however, that the mounting tensions there should be...
    HEMMED in by razor wire at Europe’s latest migrant ground zero, shivering Mahamad Sexo’s hopes of ever reaching Britain appear to be fading. As night falls, and the temperature plunges toward zero, he begs me: “Please help us. We will starve.” 8Desperate migrants at a camp with security forces standing by on Polish-Belarusian borderCredit: Reuters 8Mahamad, 35, reveals how his journey to the UK is stalled after he became a human chess piece in a game of international brinkmanship Despairing Mahamad, 35, from Iraq’s Kurdish minority, reveals how back home there is “no work, no freedom and no hope”. Now his journey to the UK is stalled in a godforsaken pine forest at the Belarus/Poland border, after Mahamad became a human chess piece in a game of international brinkmanship. Like thousands of other migrants, many also Kurds, he was lured to Belarus by President Alexander Lukashenko for an unwitting role in its Russian-backed “hybrid war” with the European Union. Known as Europe’s Last Dictator, Lukashenko’s security goons then pushed a stream of migrants from Belarusian capital Minsk to the EU’s...
    Republican Texas Governor Greg Abbott called out President Joe Biden on Wednesday evening for turning 'a blind eye' to the growing problems on the United States southern border while showing concern for the refugee crisis along the Belarusian-Polish border in Eastern Europe. 'President Biden’s concern for other nations’ borders, while he turns a blind eye to the United States’ borders that he swore to protect and defend, is appalling,' Abbott's Press Secretary Renae Eze told DailyMail.com. 'His reckless open border policies have created an ongoing crisis along our southern border, leading to a 61-year record-high number of illegal immigrants surging into our state.' Nearly 1.7 million people were encountered trying to cross the US southwest border in the 12 month period that ended in October, US Customs and Border Protection announced.  The record-shattering number of migrants has overwhelmed state and local officials who have been pleading for help from the Biden administration and spurred further concern over the spread of COVID-19.   Abbott's press secretary claims the Lone Star state was forced to 'step up' to secure the border while Biden's...
    (CNN)Thousands of people are stranded at the border between Poland and Belarus in terrible conditions, trapped at the center of an intensifying geopolitical dispute.The migrants -- most of whom are from the Middle East and Asia, and who are hoping to travel on from Poland deeper into Europe -- have been gathering on the Belarusian side of the Kuznica border crossing. Authorities closed the crossing on Tuesday, with aerial footage showing large crowds congregating in the area.Here's what you need to know about the crisis that's unfolding on Europe's frontier.Migrants are facing dire conditionsCharities say people stuck in the border area are battling freezing weather and lack food and medical attention, with reports of beatings and grueling conditions continuing to emerge. Read MoreOne Syrian asylum-seeker, who recently arrived in Poland after his third attempt at crossing the border from Belarus, told CNN that on arriving at the border, guards caught him and three others in his group. He was beaten up, and suffered facial injuries, a broken nose and bruised ribs. Polish authorities said seven migrants have been found dead...
    Thousands of migrants have flocked to Belarus’ border with Poland, hoping to get to Western Europe, and many of them are now stranded at the frontier, setting up makeshift camps as Polish security forces watch them from behind a razor-wire fence and prevent them from entering the country. A look at what led to the standoff: WHAT IS BEHIND THE CRISIS? Belarus was rocked by months of massive protests following the August 2020 election that gave authoritarian President Alexander Lukashenko a sixth term in office. The opposition and the West rejected the result as a sham. Belarusian authorities responded to the demonstrations with a fierce crackdown that saw more than 35,000 people arrested and thousands beaten by police. The European Union and the U.S. reacted by imposing sanctions on Lukashenko’s government. Those restrictions were toughened after an incident in May when a passenger jet flying from Greece to Lithuania was diverted by Belarus to Minsk, where authorities arrested dissident journalist Raman Pratasevich. The EU called it air piracy and barred Belarusian carriers from its skies and cut imports of the...
    Governor Ron DeSantis tore into President Joe Biden's 'clandestine' flights reportedly bringing undocumented migrants to Florida and threatened to send those people to Biden's home state of Delaware during a press conference on Wednesday. He also condemned Biden's 'absurd' double standard in raising concern over the recent migrant crisis on the border between Poland and Belarus while staying silent on the US's own southwest border in a separate statement to DailyMail.com.  Reports that migrants are being flown in to Jacksonville, Florida and other US destinations in the middle of the night surfaced last month on the city's local News 4 Jax.   'So, here's what happens with these flights - there's no notification to the state of Florida. They're done mostly in the middle of the night, and it's clandestine, and we really have no say into it,' DeSantis said on Wednesday. The Republican governor warned, 'My view would be, if they're going to come here, you know, we'll provide buses and provide them. I will send them to Delaware.' 'If [Biden's] not going to support the border being secured, then...
    Scott Fairlamb (pictured), 44, of New Jersey was sentenced to 44 months for two counts related to the Capitol riot - one for obstruction of an official proceeding and one for assaulting the police officer An ex-MMA fighter has been sentenced to 41 months in prison for punching an officer during the Capitol riot - the longest sentence a rioter has received yet. Scott Fairlamb, 44, of New Jersey was also the first person sentenced for assaulting a law enforcement officer during the January 6 Capitol riot.    Judge Royce Lamberth's decision was considered a 'canary in the coal mine' by prosecutors who said that Wednesday foreshadowed what more than 120 other defendants face for attacking police that day. 'Had you gone to trial, I don't think there's any jury that could have acquitted you,' the judge said as he announced the sentence.  According to NBC Washington Fairlamb teared up in court at the 11am hearing and apologized for disgracing his family's name after his veteran father proudly served in the US military. A video from January 6 that was used...
    President Joe Biden has condemned Belarus' authoritarian regime for allegedly using migrants as a weapon against the European Union, EU Commission President Ursula von der Leyen said outside the White House on Wednesday.  The European official spoke with reporters after a wide-ranging meeting with Biden and announced that existing sanctions against the Eastern European nation will be stepped up. Among the topics they discussed was Western governments' accusation that Belarusian strongman Lukashenko is luring migrants to his country and sending them to cross into Poland in retaliation for sanctions. She said of Biden, 'We absolutely share the opinion that this is a hybrid attack of an authoritarian regime to try and de-stabilize Democratic neighbors.' 'This will not succeed. We will protect our democracies,' von der Leyen said. Part of their agreement on the matter was to reach out to the countries the refugees are coming from to caution them 'to not fall into the trap of the Lukashenko regime.' She also called for international officials to be allowed 'access' to the migrants, who von der Leyen said were in a 'very,...
    State media in Belarus is reporting that an American citizen on the FBI’s Most Wanted List is seeking political asylum in the country after his involvement in the storming of the U.S. Capitol. Evan Neumann, a 48 year old California man, appeared on a state-run TV network in Belarus over the weekend that, according to translations from multiple outlets, was shown under the title of “Goodbye, America.” In the segment, Neumann is portrayed as a victim of political persecution and a “simple American whose shops were burned by Black Lives Matter activists.” As it so happens, Neumann has been a person of interest to federal investigators for some time, ever since he was caught on video assaulting a police officer and taking part in the violent pro-Donald Trump mob that attacked the Capitol on January 6th. He was placed on the FBI’s Most Wanted List months ago, and he faces charges for assault, violent entry, disorderly conduct on Capitol grounds, and resisting and obstructing law enforcement during civil disorder. Reports about Neumann indicate that he sold his house, travelled...
    An alleged Capitol rioter on the FBI's Most Wanted List has fled to the eastern European country of Belarus, where he is being portrayed on state-run media as a 'simple American' fleeing 'political persecution.' Evan Neumann, 48, was charged in July on six separate criminal charges, including violent entry and disorderly conduct on Capitol grounds, as well as for assaulting, resisting and obstructing law enforcement at the Capitol insurrection on January 6. But shortly after the charges were filed, Neumann sold his house in California's Bay Area, traveled around the country, and eventually fled to Ukraine and then Belarus. He reportedly had to dodge wild hogs, snakes and even the Ukrainian secret service on his way.  The FBI lists him as a 'defendant at large.'  Evan Neumann, 48, appeared on Belarus 1 on Sunday for a sit-down interview for a segment entitled Goodbye, America He spoke to a reporter about how he fled the United States as he faced six charges for his alleged involvement in the January 6 riots How Evan Neumann says he fled prosecution in the United...
    (CNN)A record number of people attempted to cross the border between Poland and Belarus Saturday, amid accusations that Belarus is facilitating migration to the European Union's eastern border.The Polish Border Guard told CNN that Saturday's figure of of 739 attempted crossings was the most so far for a single day. They're the latest in a weeks-long migration crisis at the border, for which Poland imposed a state of emergency last month. Approximately 16,000 attempts to illegally cross the Polish-Belarusian border have been stopped since August, Poland's border agency has said. Of those, 5,000 took place in October. The crossing could become increasingly dangerous as the seasons change. At least four people died on the border between Poland and Belarus in August; three people were found dead on the Polish side of the border after suffering from hypothermia, according to Polish authorities, and a fourth was found dead in Belarus, one meter from the border, Belarusian state agency Belta reported.Many of those arriving at Eastern European borders are from Afghanistan and Iraq. Read MoreTranscript: CNN interview with Belarus leader Alexander LukashenkoRelations...
    The Polish government has sent at least 31,000 text messages to migrants near its border with Belarus telling them to go back to Minsk, stating that the Polish border is closed. The text messages say in English, “The Polish border is closed. The Belarusian authorities lied to you. Go back to Minsk!” and give links to a site in English, French, Arabic, Russian, and Polish stating that migrants who cross the border illegally are subject to imprisonment. The site also warns the migrants that adverse weather conditions at the border could place their safety at risk, particularly if migrants are sleeping outside and without any form of shelter, broadcaster FranceInfo reports. The warning is not without precedent as five migrants have been found dead at the Polish-Belarusian border in recent weeks, with some migrants reportedly freezing to death as nighttime temperatures drop close to freezing. Earlier this month, Poland declared a state of emergency at the border regions with Belarus and has since revealed that some of the migrants crossing illegally from Belarus have had radical Islamic propaganda in their possession....
    Minsk, Belarus (CNN)Alexander Lukashenko must be familiar by now with the sound of people who disagree with him. The Belarusian capital of Minsk was thronged with massive protests before and after the disputed presidential election in August 2020, which was marred by fraud. Lukashenko says he won anyway, but the US, EU and Belarusian opposition challenge that.But when CNN sat down for a rare interview with the man responsible for a brutal crackdown over the last year, he was defiant, alternately denying facts or claiming things were worse in the United States or Britain.Demonstrators carried pre-Soviet white and red Belarus flags last October as they demanded Lukashenko resign after months of mass protests.Challenged on human rights abuses, including attacks on protesters, a bomb threat that forced a plane to land allowing Belarusian authorities to arrest dissidents on board, and what the European Union calls the "weaponization" of migrants, Lukashenko tried to deflect anything negative. JUST WATCHEDHear stories from the border of Europe's last dictatorshipReplayMore Videos ...MUST WATCHHear stories from the border of Europe's last dictatorship 05:59"This is madness," he said...
    Surprise urban military drills in Riga have both angered and amused residents as soldiers fired blank rounds and staged training drills in the in the streets of the Latvian capital. The city was turned into a simulated warzone at the weekend, with heavily armed soldiers firing weapons among startled civilians who appeared to have been given no warning of the drills.  Footage of the exercise did not show any markings or boundaries as civilians picked their way through groups of soldiers shooting rounds at one another, staging combat drills and carrying out building breaches as part of war games being conducted by NATO countries. Though some civilians seemed to be amused and entertained by the drills, the Latvian government has faced criticism after residents said their children were terrified.  It comes as Russia stages huge war games and military raining exercises with Belarus, Armenia, India, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, and Mongolia in nine different locations.  Though many civilians seemed to be amused and entertained by the drills, the Latvian government has faced criticism after residents said their children were terrified Following...
    VLADIMIR Putin has launched massive war games with 200,000 troops spanning 2,000km on Europe's doorstep in a warning to the West. The Zapad-2021 military drills include Belarus and run north to south from the Baltic to Ukraine amid fears of flashpoints along east-west frontiers. 5The Zapad-2021 war games will see 200,000 troops deployed across Russia's 2,000km border with Europe 5The joint military exercises will include Belarus, which was recently hit with EU sanctions 5Troops preparing some of the 80 warplanes and helicopters being used in the drills But Putin’s forces are also staging simultaneous major war games in the Arctic after completing separate large-scale joint exercises in ex-Soviet republics bordering strife-torn Afghanistan on Thursday. The Zapad-2021 exercises - or West-2021, in English - involve a total of 200,000 troops, 80 warplanes and helicopters, plus some 760 pieces of military equipment including 290 tanks, and 240 artillery pieces, multiple launcher rocket systems, and mortars. The joint exercises with landlocked Belarus - which borders three NATO countries -  come amid a significant step towards Russia swallowing up its westerly neighbour after talks between Putin and...
    Belarus has trucked Afghan migrants to the Polish border and forced them to cross at gunpoint as strongman dictator Alexander Lukashenko plays a 'dirty game' to destabilise the EU. Record numbers of refugees have been pouring across the 420-mile EU frontier with Belarus, which includes Latvia and Lithuania, since Brussels imposed sanctions on Minsk in June.  Belarus is accused of keeping the migrants in prison-like hotels before driving them to the border as part of a Kremlin-backed 'hybrid war' to weaken the 27-state bloc.  Thirty-two Afghans have been stranded in no man's land for two weeks near the Polish village of Usnarz Gorny. Translators said they were ferried to the border by Belarusian men in balaclavas in the middle of the night.  'They said they could not resist the guards, who always carried large guns,' Anna Alboth, 37, from the charity Minority Rights Group, told The Times.    Thirty-two Afghan migrants have been stranded in no man's land for two weeks near the Polish village of Usnarz Gorny (pictured: Polish troops watch over a group of migrants camped in the area...
    (CNN)In recent years, Europe's migration troubles have entailed people arriving from the south and east, fleeing conflict and economic deprivation over land routes and in boats often unfit for Mediterranean waters. Linas Kojala But its newest "crisis" is being felt on a different front: European Union member state Lithuania, where in late July the government said more than 2,400 people had crossed illegally in the two months prior. Their transit point, before they enter the EU: Belarus.Read More This latest migration spike has apparently been abetted by the regime of Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko -- an authoritarian known as Europe's last dictator who is in the midst of a crackdown on dissidents in his own country after a disputed election last August. As the West issues sanctions and criticism in response to Belarus's authoritarian crackdown and widespread arrests, it seems Lukashenko is seeking to undermine Europe by using migration as a political weapon.Belarus floods the European Union with migrants, taking a page out of Putins playbook This is a hard lesson for other democracies that might face the same struggle...
    Krystsina Tsimanouskaya said she feared for her safety after criticizing Belarusian Olympic officials Attila Husejnow/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images A Belarusian sprinter says she now wants to compete for Poland after defecting during the Tokyo Olympics. After criticizing her coaches, Krystsina Tsimanouskaya was ordered to return home but refused to board the plane. Tsimanouskaya said she feared imprisonment back home after her falling out with the coaches. Business Insider: A daily selection of curated stories Loading Something is loading. Email address By clicking ‘Sign up’, you agree to receive marketing emails from Insider as well as other partner offers and accept our Terms of Service and Privacy Policy. Belarusian sprinter Krystsina Tsimanouskaya says she wants to compete for Poland after defecting during the Tokyo Olympics. Following her criticism of her coaches, Tsimanouskaya says she was forcibly taken to the airport, but refused to board the plane and was placed under Japanese police protection. She told authorities that she feared being jailed if she returned home to Belarus after the social media criticism of her coaches. On leaving...
    Belarusian militants on Wednesday searched an independent news agency called Belaban and detained its employees. Initially, the raid was carried out at the home of Irfan Levina, editor – in – chief of Belaban, but later in the editorial office, undermining the agency’s news site “Naviny.by”. A search was also conducted at the home of Lewis’ deputy, Alexander Zaitsev, and his mobile phone, computer and other communications equipment were confiscated. Zaitsev said the searches were related to a criminal case initiated “for violating public order.” Naviny.by reports that the former director and accountant of BelaPan was later arrested, but the company’s website was blocked. The Belarusian Journalists Association has demanded the immediate release of detained Belaban employees. “You can disable the independent media, detain their employees and intimidate people. But no one can stop thoughts and ideas,” the organization said in a statement. Belaban is not in the media openly supporting the opposition, but the company publishes important material that cannot be read in publications controlled by the dictatorial regime of Alexander Lukashenko. The news agency’s editorial office has...
    The Lithuanian border guard says 12 members of the Belarusian security forces crossed the border into the Baltic on Tuesday in an emergency operation. According to Lithuanian border guards, they did so when they drove 35 Iraqi immigrants into Lithuania. Reuters reports that Vilnius has announced that he will strengthen border patrols after the incident. Border guards on their social networks Published Scenes from this situation “As seen in the video, the Belarusian border guard (…) pushes a group of illegal immigrants into Lithuania. Then they themselves cross the border line,” Dass quotes, preventing the immigrants from moving forward. The Belarusians left the area a few minutes later. They did so after repeated warnings of border violations, said Rogas Bukinskas, a spokesman for the Lithuanian border guards. Before the Belarusian Border Security Committee Published The video, which filmed the incident from the Belarusian side, alerted Reuters. Members of the Belarusian security forces are not known. “The Lithuanian border guards are using physical force to push refugees into the Republic of Belarus,” the group said, adding that...
    Near Poškonys, Lithuania-Belarus border (CNN)Desperate, frightened and begging for help, they emerge from the darkness: a group of Yazidi migrants, lost in the forests of eastern Europe. It's a surreal sight -- and one that has been repeated over many recent nights. Having survived persecution by ISIS at home in Iraq, here on the Belarus-Lithuania border the Yazidis find themselves caught up in a breathtakingly cynical plot. Belarus's authoritarian leader, Alexander Lukashenko, has been accused of using these desperate souls as pawns in his high-stakes game with the European Union. "Don't send me back to Belarus!" pleads Rimon, one of a group of eight migrants, gripping a Lithuanian border guard's arm in fear. Read MoreThe Iraqis call out to another of their countrymen, Abu Osama -- still wandering through the dark forest with his 10-year-old son -- to submit to the relative safety of arrest. The tearful pair emerge through the trees, the son wailing in fear and the father throwing himself to the ground and crying out "Allah!" In the sky above a helicopter buzzes; the guards hear on...
    As the United States imposes new sanctions on Belarus -- and its authoritarian president, Alexander Lukashenko -- the country's exiled opposition leader says she is ready for a revolution. "This moment can happen at any second," Sviatlana Tsikhanouskaya told Fox News. "The Soviet Union collapsed in six days. Nobody knows what can be the trigger." Speaking from Lithuania, where she is living in self-imposed exile after running for president last year, Tsikhanouskaya pointed to the recent defection of a Belarusian Olympian as evidence of a broad crackdown on dissent.  BELARUS SPRINTER FEELS SAFE, LOOKS TO FUTURE IN POLAND Sprinter Krystsina Tsimanouskaya fled to Poland after publicly falling out with Belarusian team managers during the Games in Tokyo. She said she was warned she faced an unspecified punishment at home. "The situation with Krystsina shows that nobody is safe," Tsikhanouskaya said. "Even if you are not in politics -- if you have never been in demonstrations or [the] opposition movement -- you are under attack as well. If you dare to say a word against this regime, you for sure will...
    Lukashenko claims that sprinter Krystsina Tsimanouskaya was manipulated into saying that the people accompanying her were KGB officials. Dmitry Astakhov/AFP via Getty Images; Wojtek Radwanski/AFP via Getty Images Belarusian dictator Alexander Lukashenko said the sprinter who fled the Olympics was swayed into accusing her handlers of being KGB agents. Krystsina Tsimanouskaya refused to board a plane at Tokyo's Haneda airport last week, claiming she would face a jail term back in Belarus. She was granted a Polish visa on humanitarian grounds on August 2. 10 Things in Politics: The latest in politics & the economy Loading Something is loading. Email address By clicking ‘Sign up’, you agree to receive marketing emails from Insider as well as other partner offers and accept our Terms of Service and Privacy Policy. Belarusian leader Alexander Lukashenko claimed the Olympic sprinter who fled the Tokyo Games in a dramatic asylum bid was "manipulated" by her Polish "buddies."  Krystsina Tsimanouskaya, 24, refused to board a plane at Tokyo's Haneda airport on August 1 and told the Japanese authorities that she would face jail time...
    The United States announced sanctions on Belarusian personalities, companies and entities on Monday, increasing pressure on the authoritarian regime of Alexander Lukashenko, according to a statement released by the White House. A year after elections considered by the Western powers to be “fraudulent”, in which Lukaschenko obtained his disputed re-election and which were followed by a wave of repression against the opposition, the new executive order toughens the United States sanctions in force since 2006 against the regime, expanding them to several key sectors of the economy of that Russian border country. – Fraud and Human Rights – “Instead of respecting the clear will of the Belarusian people, the Lukashenko regime perpetrated electoral fraud, followed by a brutal campaign of repression to quell dissent,” said US President Joe Biden. “The actions of the Lukashenko regime are an illegal attempt to retain power at all costs,” he said, adding: “We stand alongside the Belarusian people who are bravely vindicating democracy.” A White House official had told . the sanctions and stressed that the sanctions against Lukashenko are justified by his continued...
    The situation of the Belarusian athlete who requested asylum 3:08 (CNN) – Belarusian sprinter Kristina Timanovskaya was scheduled to compete in the women’s 200 meters at the Tokyo Olympics on Monday, hoping her hard work would catapult her to the podium. Instead, he became the center of global attention for his off-track performance.According to Timanovskaya, representatives of the Belarusian national team tried to force her to her home country after she criticized sports authorities in an Instagram post on Friday. The 24-year-old athlete, arguing that she was afraid of being jailed, refused to board the flight from Japan on Monday, and was granted a humanitarian visa from Poland that same day. His post on Instagram was not explicitly political, but Belarusian athletes have faced retaliation, been detained and banned from national teams for criticizing the government after last year’s massive protests against President Alexander Lukashenko. The Belarusian National Olympic Committee has said that Timanovskaya was withdrawn from the Games due to her “emotional and psychological state”. CNN spoke with Timanovskaya about how their week unfolded. Timanovskaya enters the...
    The International Olympic Committee (IOC) decided today to expel two coaches of the Belarus team from the Tokyo Games for their role in the attempt to forced repatriation of sprinter Krystsina Tsimanouskaya. The IOC has decided to sanction technicians in this way Artur Shimak and Yury Maisevich, after creating a disciplinary commission to “clarify the circumstances surrounding the incident,” as announced in a statement this Friday. “For the well-being of the athletes of the Belarusian National Olympic Committee who are still in Tokyo and as an interim measure, the IOC has canceled and withdrawn the accreditations of the two coaches on the day before.”, noted the international body. The two coaches were asked to leave the Olympic Village immediately and did so, according to the IOC, which added that they will both be offered “an opportunity to explain themselves.” Tsimanouskaya landed last Wednesday in Warsaw, after Poland was granted humanitarian asylum after he asked for help from the Japanese police while members of her national committee tried to force her to return to her country, which the athlete called an...
    The Belarusian sprinter who was almost kidnapped from the Tokyo Olympics by her own trainers has arrived in Poland where she hopes to start a new life out of reach of dictator Alexander Lukashenko's regime.  Krystsina Tsimanouskaya, 24, landed in Warsaw at 8.11pm local time Wednesday, having flown from Tokyo via a last-minute detour to Austria - an attempt to stop Lukashenko diverting her flight, as he did with a Ryanair plane earlier this year.    Tsimanouskaya fled her home country when the regime targeted her for criticising Olympic coaches when they entered her into a race she had not trained for.  She said trainers then tried to bundle her on to a flight back home after receiving an order 'from above' - warning that an unspecified 'punishment' awaited her. But she escaped by handing herself over to police at Tokyo airport before Poland - already home to a number of Belarusian dissidents who have fled a crackdown by Lukashenko - agreed to grant her asylum.  Beaming on arrival in Warsaw, Tsimanouskaya was greeted by Polish officials and Pavel Latushko -...
    Activists hold portraits of Belarusian opposition activist and Head of the Belarusian House in Ukraine Vitaly Shishov during a protest in his memory outside the Belarus Embassy in Kiev, August 03, 2021. Pavlo Gonchar/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky ordered extra protection for Belarusian dissidents in Ukraine.  He said Belarusians who are targeted for their public political positions "must obtain special and reliable protection." A Belarusian activist was found dead in a park in Kiev on Tuesday, in what police called a "murder disguised as a suicide." Visit Insider's homepage for more stories. Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky ordered extra protection on Wednesday for Belarusian dissidents in Ukraine after a Belarusian activist was found dead in a park in Ukraine on Tuesday.  Vitaly Shishov — leader of Belarusian House in Ukraine, an organization that helps people who left Belarus — went for a jog on Monday and went missing. He was later found hanged in a park in Ukraine's capital Kyiv on Tuesday. Police have opened a murder investigation into the incident, calling it a...
    Vilnius, Lithuania (CNN)Three layers of electrified fence. New security cameras. A military guard and a sign saying "Entry forbidden." Windows with bars and reflective glass, on newly refurbished barrack buildings. All empty, bar the occasional security officer, deep in the forest of authoritarian Belarus. These are the indications, according to videos seen by CNN and witness statements, of a possible prison camp for political dissidents, recently constructed around an hour's drive from the Belarusian capital Minsk, near the settlement of Novokolosovo. It sits on the site of a Soviet-era missile storage facility, which spans over 200 acres. It is unclear how much of the site has been refurbished. Belarus's opposition activists have voiced fears for some time that the authoritarian regime might resort to crude detention camps, if conventional prisons fill up. Concerns are also rising about another wave of crackdowns and arrests in response to demonstrations marking the August 9 anniversary of the disputed presidential election that sparked last year's protest movement. Further unrest may surround a constitutional referendum planned for later this year or early 2022. Franak Viacorka,...
    (CNN)After forcing down a civilian airliner from European skies in May to detain a journalist who was on board, perhaps it was only a matter of time before "Europe's last dictator," Belarus President Alexander Lukashenko, would be thrust back into the international spotlight and once again face fresh condemnation for his abhorrent actions. Michael Bociurkiw The regime's trademark thuggery came into focus over the weekend when Belarusian sprinter Kristina Timanovskaya defected at the Tokyo Olympics after being forcibly scheduled into a race by her country's coaches. Her public protests on social media apparently angered her team's officials and the athlete was ordered back to Minsk but refused to board the flight home, instead opting to request political asylum in a third country. In a complaint filed with an Olympic Sports Court, supporters of the athlete claim that coaching staff told her she was being withdrawn from The Games and sent home because she had posted on Instagram about being forced to run the race in place of a teammate who hadn't taken the required number of anti-doping tests to...
    As Boris Johnson and the elegant figure of Sviatlana Tsikhanouskaya sat down for a private meeting in Downing Street yesterday, they were full of praise for each other. The Prime Minister told the exiled Belarusian opposition leader that the British were ‘very much in support’ of her and her country’s democratic movement. She, meanwhile, expressed gratitude that ‘one of the most powerful countries in the world is supporting Belarus’. Warm words – but empty ones. For nothing could better symbolise the utter contempt in which Belarus’s long-reigning dictator Alexander Lukashenko holds the West – and any moves towards freedom in his country – than the fact that just hours before this warm exchange, the head of a non-profit organisation that helps Belarusians flee persecution was found dead in a park in Kiev, Ukraine’s capital. Pictured: Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko addresses his supporters gathered at Independent Square of Minsk, Belarus When Boris Johnson (right) and Sviatlana Tsikhanouskaya (left) sat down for a private meeting in Downing Street yesterday, they were full of praise for each other Like something out of...
    MOSCOW (AP) — Belarus sprinter tells AP she wants an investigation into who gave the order to withdraw her from Tokyo Olympics. Copyright © 2021 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, written or redistributed.