Belarus crisis: EU leaders hold emergency talks

EU leaders are holding emergency talks on the political crisis in Belarus, after 10 days of protests that have shaken Alexander Lukashenko’s 26-year grip on power. In the run-up to the meeting on Wednesday, the Belarusian opposition leader, Svetlana Tikhanovskaya, urged the EU not to recognise Lukashenko as president.   “I call on you not to recognise these fraudulent elections,” she said. “Mr Lukashenko has lost all the legitimacy in the eyes of our nation and the world.” The bloc’s …

Belarusian challenger leaves the country amid protests

MINSK, Belarus — The top opposition candidate in Belarus’ presidential vote, who refused to concede her defeat amid a massive police crackdown on protesters, said Tuesday she has left the country and is now in Lithuania. Looking tired and distressed, Sviatlana Tsikhanouskaya, a former teacher and political novice, apologized to her supporters in a video statement and said it was her own choice to leave the country. “It was a very hard decision to make,” she said. “I know that …

Protester dies in Belarus amid clashes with police over contested election

A protester died amid clashes between police and thousands of people gathered for a second straight night Monday in Belarus after official results from weekend elections — dismissed by the opposition as a sham — gave an overwhelming victory to authoritarian President Alexander Lukashenko. Interior Ministry spokesman Alexander Lastovsky said the victim was part of a crowd of people protesting results of Sunday’s presidential vote. The protester intended to throw an explosive device, but it blew up in his hand …