Within the Black Sea metropolis of Sochi on Friday night time, Russian president Vladimir Putin gave Belarusian president Alexander Lukashenko his backing and dismissed Western outrage.
Lukashenko advised Putin: “There’s at all times somebody who causes issues for us. You recognize about them, I’ll inform you.”
However beneath the floor, Putin could also be questioning if one in all his most dependable allies has gone too rogue this time.
A well-liked Russian opposition blogger earlier this week launched a petition, urging the Kremlin to carry Sapega residence, spurred by a wave of indignation in Russia.
Messages of assist for the scholar have poured in from uncommon locations: Margarita Simonyan, editor-in-chief of the Kremlin-funded English-language tv information community RT, has lambasted Lukashenko for jailing the Russian lady, saying: “Televised confessions don’t do anybody any credit score.”
In a latest column in Komsomolskaya Pravda, Russia’s ardently pro-Kremlin tabloid, Alexander Kots expressed concern in regards to the confession video because the Lukashenko regime’s key piece of proof towards Sapega, writing: “Minsk hasn’t produced something aside from a brief confession video by the Russian nationwide and I’m not able to take their phrase for it.”
Anna Dudich, Sapega’s mom, penned a plea to the Kremlin urging Russian officers to assist safe the discharge of her daughter, who had solely been seeing Pratasevich for six months.
Remarks launched by the Kremlin after Putin’s summit with Lukashenko made no point out of the Russian prisoner, regardless of a Kremlin spokesman indicating early this week that she can be launched.
“I hope they may realise that she is only a lady,” Dudich stated. “She’s only a 23-year-old and I hope these individuals received’t shatter her complete life like this.”
Sapega’s lawyer was lastly allowed to see her on Friday night. Alexander Filonovich stated the scholar appeared “perky and wholesome” and “hasn’t misplaced her spirits and is hoping for the soonest launch”.
The lawyer was advised she is suspected of an unspecified prison workplace. The precise prices weren’t even revealed at a court docket listening to on Friday when the choose dismissed the defence’s enchantment towards her two-month arrest.
Sapega – described by family and friends as sociable, pleasant and keen on artwork and vogue – was born to Russian dad and mom within the Pacific port metropolis of Vladivostok earlier than shifting to Lida, a Belarusian city close to the Lithuanian border.
Sapega went to college in Lithuanian capital Vilnius, an hour from Lida by bus, and was in a position to see her dad and mom at weekends earlier than the border shut down due to COVID-19 restrictions.
After a two-week vacation in Crete and Athens the scholar and her boyfriend have been coming again to Lithuania the place Sapega was planning to complete her grasp’s dissertation.
The Telegraph, London