Belarus's Central Election Commission says preliminary official results from the country's August 9 presidential election show incumbent President Alyaksandr Lukashenka winning with more than 80 percent of the vote. Violent clashes between police and thousands of protesters ensued after the polls closed. Challenger Svyatlana Tsikhanouskaya has refused to recognize the preliminary results, but has called on supporters to refrain from violence.
When DJs started playing a Soviet-era protest song, We Want Changes, at an open-air event in Belarus two days before Sunday’s election, a man in a dark suit pulled the plug on the sound system, and the two DJs were detained.
A man who was filmed assaulting an RFE/RL correspondent at a rally for Bulgaria’s ruling GERB party in Sofia has been charged with hooliganism and detained after admitting to being a paid provocateur.
After being flooded for decades, the Russian town of Mologa is reemerging from the waters of a hydroelectric dam's reservoir.
The makers of the new Kyrgyz movie Motherland say they were denied a distribution license after a film commission objected to scenes showing corrupt government officials.
Belarus’s Interior Ministry reported nearly 3,000 people detained overnight on August 10, when thousands of people took to the streets when the polls closed. The Ministry said that more than 50 citizens and 39 police officers were injured in the clashes. Dozens have been hospitalized. Rights groups are claiming two fatalities. (in Russian, Current Time TV)
The future of the country and its authoritarian leader are murky. RFE/RL looks at some of the key factors during the vote and the possible fallout for Belarus, Lukashenka, and his relations with Russia and the West.
"The geography, the significance, the symbolism of Belarus means that what happens there means a lot more for those in charge in the Kremlin" than other places,” said former British Ambassador to Belarus Nigel Gould-Davies. The Carnegie Moscow Center’s Dmitri Trenin has declared “an end to special relations between Minsk and Moscow." Current Time’s Kiryl Sukhotski and RFE/RL’s Steve Gutterman discuss why this vote was like no other, and how Russia might react, in this podcast.
President Alyaksandr Lukashenka told state media on August 10 that protests surrounding the elections were controlled by foreign forces, including by “puppet masters” in the Czech Republic. He also said any internet shutdowns in Belarus are “done from abroad, too.” (Russian Service)
The official chart of new coronavirus cases for the western Russian exclave of Kaliningrad looks encouraging. In May and June, between 40 and 50 new cases were being reported daily, while in July and early August, the numbers were between 10 and 20. But some locals have raised the alarm that the rosy picture is being created artificially by a sharp reduction in testing.
Former Armenian Police Chief Vladimir Gasparian on August 8 drove his vehicle in the direction of two RFE/RL reporters, almost running over them, after seeing that they were filming near his house for a report about government plans to dismantle private houses illegally constructed near Lake Sevan. RFE/RL has demanded he be held accountable for endangering the journalists’ lives.
The two-month countdown to Kyrgyzstan’s parliamentary elections has started, so far without front-runners, and with the coronavirus.