Belarusian opposition leader flees abroad citing safety of her children


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“Children are the main thing in life,” said Tikhanouskaya.

Although Syarhei, her husband, an anti-government blogger, remains in jail in Belarus, she was reunited with her children in Lithuania whom she had earlier moved abroad after receiving anonymous threats about their safety.

FLOWERS

The mood on the streets of Minsk was calmer during the daytime on Tuesday, but a Reuters reporter saw riot police parked outside several factories in Minsk amid calls on anti-Lukashenko social media channels for a general strike.

People laid flowers at the site in central Minsk where the protester died in Monday’s clashes.

Lukashenko has compared the protesters to criminal gangs and dangerous revolutionaries with shadowy foreign backers. State media on Tuesday showed detained young men with their hands behind their backs, calling them “Russian provocateurs.”

Belarus has strained relations with Moscow, though President Vladimir Putin used a congratulatory telegram to nudge Lukashenko to accept closer ties. Lukashenko has long accused Russia of aiming to swallow up his nation of 9.5 million people.

Lithuanian Foreign Minister Linas Linkevicius said Tikhanouskaya had found herself in an impossible situation.

“She apparently faced certain pressure and did not have much choice but to leave the country,” he told a news conference.

“Apparently, the other choice was not compatible with freedom, so she needed to take the offered possibility to leave the country, and used it,” he said.

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