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Belarus: A Tense-Filled Nation

Recent news of Nobel Peace Prize winner Ales Bialiatski’s sentence to ten years in jail in Belarus has made headlines. Human Rights activists have called it wrong for silencing those calling out injustice and oppression. 


This is just one of several recent news surrounding Belarus and how tense the country is currently.


Belarus has been a long-time ally of Russia. So when the conflict first started last year, the country allowed Russian soldiers to invade from its borders into Ukraine while not sending its soldiers to fight. This sparked major outrage and led to high tensions between NATO and Belarus that continue to exist in the present.


However, despite Belarus continuing to support Russia, the country has been dealing with a lot of tension within its borders both in the government and among Belarusian citizens.


The Hill reported that Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko flew to China to meet with Chinese President Xi Jinping where both called for a ceasefire to the conflict and negotiations to be held to help settle this.


However, Belarus has also been increasing tension with neighboring Poland with both countries taking a series of actions that have led to more pressure between NATO and Russia. 


At the same time, anti-government activists have been becoming bolder in taking action against the Belarusian government. This has been shown back on February 26 as The EurAsian Times wrote that anti-government activists conducted a drone attack on a Russian jet to show that not everyone fully supports the government and its actions relating to the conflict. 


While the plane has been shown to not sustain much damage, the activists released video footage of a surveillance drone and tested it to infiltrate the air base, landing on top of the Russian jet with no problem and flying away afterward.


According to Popular Mechanics, the activists performed several reconnaissance operations over the air base with one of those times being what the video footage showed. The activist group BYPOL posted a message on Telegram stating, “During one of those successful operations, the drone not only flew into the protected area of the specified airfield, flew near the Russian military aircraft AWACS A-50U, but even landed on its radar station (‘dish’).


Finally, after the sentence came out for Ales Bialiatski, exiled Belarusian opposition leader Sviatlana Tsikhanouskaya called to support Ales to be let go with a tweet.


I call on the international community to join the campaign of solidarity with human rights defender Ales Bialiatski — #freeales. Please support us by organizing events & making statements. The regime wants to silence Ales, so we have to make sure his name is heard even louder!


All of these events and actions show that Belarus is faced with increasing pressure from powerful countries, those within government, and among its people on what stance the country should stand in.

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