Unidentified Men Detain Opposition Leader Maria Kolesnikova In Central Minsk

On the morning of 7 September, unidentified men put a member of the Coordination Council on Power Transition in Belarus Maria Kolesnikova in a minibus and drove away in an unknown direction, an eyewtiness told TUT.BY.

According to Anastasia, the incident happened around 10.05 am near the National Art Museum in Minsk. Anastasia was walking along Independence Avenue towards the museum, when she turned around and saw Maria Kolesnikova.

maria kolesnokova detained

“I saw her live before, so I recognized her. I wanted to go up to her, talk, thank her, and then changed my mind, decided that she was already tired. I walked forward, and at some point I thought that I would turn around and show Masha a heart sign. Not far from the museum, I saw a dark minibus with the “Communication” sign on its side and a “Sobol” brand on the back.

I walked forward and heard the sound of a phone falling on the ground, some kind of clomping, turned around and saw that  plainclothesmen in masks were pushing Maria into this minibus, her phone flies off, one of these men picks up the phone, jumps into the minibus and they are leaving,” says Anastasia.

The woman did not dare to film what was happening on her phone, because she was too close to unknown masked people and was afraid that she would be detained too, she explained. Kolesnikova’s phone is available, but she does not pick up the phone.

Spokesman for the Coordination Council Anton Rodnenkov told TUT.BY that at 10.13 am Maria was alone in the city center on business. At 11 am Rodnenkov’s phone became unavailable.

“I don’t know the whereabouts of Maria and Anton and I cannot contact them. I have no contact with a member of the Coordination Council, EPAM Senior Vice President Maxim Bogretsov and Executive Secretary of the Council Ivan Kravtsov,” said Maxim Znak, a member of the Coordination Council.

Later Maxim Bogretsov made contact, he is fine.

The Ministry of Internal Affairs has no information about the detention of the representatives of the Coordination Council, including Kolesnikova, the department told RIA Novosti. Neither, the State Control Committee nor the Investigative Committee are reportedly aware of the detentions.