The U.S. has imposed sanctions against eight Belarusian officials, including a number of law enforcement officers, said the U.S. Treasury website.
They include Secretary of the Central Election Commission of Belarus Elena Dmukhailo, Interior Minister Yuri Karaev, and his deputy – commander of the internal troop’s Yuri Nazarenko.
The list also includes deputy interior ministers Khazalbek Atabekov and Alexander Barsoukov, the head of the Moscow OMON Dmitry Balaba, deputy chairman of the CEC Vadim Ipatov, and the head of the Minsk city executive committee’s internal affairs department Ivan Kubrakov.
Earlier, the summit of the EU Heads of State made a political decision to approve the list for sanctions, which includes about 40 people in Belarus. In this regard, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Belarus said that Minsk would introduce a retaliatory list of sanctions starting from Friday, but will not publish it “in accordance with established civilized diplomatic practice.
Mass opposition protests began across Belarus on August 9, after the presidential election, which was won for the sixth time by Alexander Lukashenko – according to the CEC, he received 80.1% of the vote. During the first days of the protests, the law enforcement agencies suppressed the protesters who disagreed with the results, using tear gas, water cannons, light-noise grenades, and rubber bullets. According to official data, over 6.7 thousand people were detained during the first days. As the Interior Ministry reported, hundreds of people were injured in the riots, including over 130 law enforcement officers. The authorities officially confirmed the deaths of three protesters.
The protests are still ongoing, with the largest taking place over the weekend. There are also events for supporters of Lukashenko, whose inauguration took place on 23 September.