US Treasury imposes sanctions against eight Belarusian officials

The United States has imposed sanctions on eight Belarusian citizens.

Among them are Interior Minister Yury Karayeu, Deputy Minister of Internal Affairs Alyaksandr Barsukou, Commander of Internal Troops Yury Nazaranka, his Deputy Khazalbek Atabekov and Commander of the Minsk riot police Dzmitry Balaba, as well as Head of the Internal Affairs Directorate of the Minsk City Executive Committee Ivan Kubrakou.

The secretary of the country’s Central Election Commission, Alena Dzmukhayla and the deputy chairman of the CEC, Vadzim Ipatau, were also included in the list.

Previously, almost all of these people and another three dozen security officials and employees of the Belarusian CEC were included in the EU sanctions list due to their involvement in electoral fraud and the violent suppression of the peaceful protests that followed.

Mass protests began in Belarus after the closure of polling stations on August 9. The protesters were dissatisfied with numerous falsifications and demanded a fair election. At the protest rallies, security officials detained thousands of people, beat them, some people died.

After the elections, Alyaksandr Lukashenka began repressions against the opposition. He forced his rival in the elections Svyatlana Tsikhanouskaya as well as some other opposition activists to leave Belarus. Tsikhanouskaya’s companion Maryia Kalesnikava was taken into custody.

The European Union considers the elections to be rigged and does not recognize Lukashenka as the legitimate president of Belarus. The EU is in dialogue with the Coordination Council of the Belarusian opposition.