Ukraine has barred Yury Vaskrasenski from entering its territory. The activist, who used to be a member of might-have been presidential candidate Viktar Babaryka’s election team, gained notoriety for changing sides and becoming an ardent adherer of Alyaksandr Lukashenka.
“Yury Vaskrasenski is a threat to Ukraine’s national security. On the night into Friday he was diverted at the border when he was going to Kyiv. [He has got] an entry ban until the year of 2024,” state-run Belarusian agency ATN reports.
In the course of the 2020 election campaign Yury Vaskrasenski contributed to the activity of the initiative group for collecting signatures for Viktar Babaryka (the latter was sentenced to 14 years of imprisonment in 2021). On 12 August 2020, Vaskrasenski was charged with ‘organising mass riots’ and placed in the KGB pre-trial detention centre ‘Amerykanka’. The Belarusian human rights community recognised him as a political prisoner. When behin behind bars, Vaskrasenski agreed to collaborate with the authorities and granted a propagandist interview to state-controlled TV station ONT, in which he blasted the Belarusian opposition. He was released from custody the next day after Alyaksandr Lukashenka’s visit to the KGB prison.
Upon the release, Vaskrasenski began to vocally support Lukashenka’s political course and justify the reprisals. He was included in the constitutional commission; he started writing letters to political prisoners, urging them to ask Lukashenka for clemency. The regime has been using Vaskrasenski as an example of a civic leader whose activity is ‘constructive’. However, he still remains a defendant in the criminal case.