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A new interior minister involved in the repression of protests after the presidential elections in August, and three senior police officers in charge of security in the capital and in border regions with Poland Y Lithuania, countries perceived as enemies by the regime Belarus. After 12 weeks of demonstrations Y strikes, President Aleksándr Lukashenko elevated to key positions in the state organization chart characters of guaranteed fidelity, all of them affected by the sanctions decreed by the European Union.

Ivan Kubrakov, chief of the police in Minsk, the capital, during the tense summer weeks after the contested elections, has been placed in charge of the Interior. The outgoing holder, Yuri Karayev, is one of the three “inspectors” who will direct security in key locations, in his case in Grodno, near the Lithuanian and Polish demarcation. Valery Vakulchik, who was in charge of the KGB – the security services, which in Belarus have kept the name inherited from the Soviet era – will be the security viceroy in Brest, along with Poland, while Aleksándr Barsukov, you will face similar tasks in Minsk, the main city of the country.

“Safety and well-being”

“The security and well-being of the country depends on your effective work as never before,” the Belarusian head of state ordered them this Friday. As a first measure, the authorities have closed the country’s borders, except the one that separates them from Russia, citing health arguments related to the covid-19.

All this happens while a nationwide general strike summoned by the opposition leader Svetlana Tikhanóvskaya, refugee abroad. Although the strike has not been massively supported in the country’s public companies, it has spread to the country’s universities, raising the Lukashenko’s wrath. As a measure of retaliation against young people, the president has ordered the Government to prevent the recognition of study diplomas studied abroad. “Some want to study abroad; the Poles, Lithuanians and others invite them; no problem, we will give them a ticket tomorrow, to leave,” he invited them.

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