Svetlana Tikhanovskaya tells Newsweek of her opposition fight against Alexander Lukashenko who hinted on Friday he may stand down.
Svetlana Tikhanovskaya told Newsweek she hopes the president-elect "will fulfill his promises" to target the strongman leader Alexander Lukashenko.
The Democrat condemned the "appalling human rights abuses" and called for tougher sanctions against the Lukashenko regime.
"We're mostly concerned that if those criminals understand that no one can find them behind [their] mask, they'll ramp up the violence against protesters tenfold," an activist told Newsweek.
The Belarusian interior ministry said that the protests disputing Alexander Lukashenko's election win will be dispersed with "military weapons."
Lukashenko is hoping the winter will disperse the street protests. But even if he does succeed in clinging on, the country around him has been changed by this past summer—and will keep changing at an unpredictable pace.
The European Union and the U.S. have not accepted Belarus' August election results, as large anti-Lukashenko demonstrations have persisted within the country.
Mystery had surrounded the fate of Maria Kolesnikova, who witnesses had seen being bundled into a car by masked men in Minsk.
Protests have been ongoing since the disputed election in which Alexander Lukashenko claimed victory.
"Two airplanes full of employees were flown in from Russia. They are taking over our responsibilities," Belarus 3 director Alena Martinovskaya said.
The Russian president is weighing up his options as protests and a brutal crackdown continue in neighboring Belarus after the disputed presidential election.
"Russia pointed out that foreign attempts to interfere in the country's domestic affairs were unacceptable," the Kremlin said in a statement.
Tens of thousands of people took to the streets in Minsk on Sunday to demand Lukashenko's resignation.
President Alexander Lukashenko—who has held power for almost three decades—is accused of rigging Sunday's vote to secure a sixth term in office.
The video emerged as protesters and riot police clashed in Belarus' capital Minsk and other cities in the wake of Alexander Lukashenko's presidential election victory.
Belarus's president Alexander Lukashenko has risked his relationship with Putin over the arrest of Russian men he accuses of being sent to destabilize Sunday's election.
Opposition supporters were inspired by the Soviet-era band Kino's song "Changes," which was played at the event in the center of Minsk ahead of Sunday's election.
Belarusian media reports that Maria Moroz, who heads the election campaign of Tikhanovskaya, has been detained.
Svetlana Tikhanovskaya is posing a genuine challenge to Alexander Lukashenko's rule, ahead of an apparent push from Russia to incorporate Belarus.
President Alexander Lukashenko claims the arrested men were going to destabilize next week's ballot, in which he faces a popular opposition candidate.
Belarus says it arrested 33 Russian mercenaries who were sent to "destabilize" the country ahead of elections in which President Alexander Lukashenko is being challenged.
Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko has been in power since 1994, but has accused Russia of trying to undermine him ahead of elections in August.
The Belarusian leader speaks out against Brexit and nationalists within the EU.
"Put to work those who can and should work," the leader repeated in a tense meeting.
The president's 13 annual amateur hockey league is set to finish on Saturday.