28 October 2020, Wednesday, 23:25
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Yelena The Brave

Yelena The Brave

How the basketball star has become one of the most active participants of the Belarusian revolution.

Basketball player Yelena Leuchanka, who is still considered one of the best centers in the world, was detained at the National Airport on Wednesday morning. The woman intended to go abroad for treatment and rehabilitation - basketball fans are well aware of Yelena's numerous injuries. However, she is not destined to get to foreign doctors in the next two weeks. Right at the airport, Leuchanka was detained and taken to the Leninski district police department of Minsk, and then sent to the detention center on Akrestsin Street. The trial was appointed unexpectedly quickly - it began already at midday. The administrative case was considered by the judge of the Leninski district court Maryna Zapasnik, Tribuna writes.

The verdict was announced at 14:15. Leuchanka was sentenced to 15 days of arrest.

On Wednesday morning, security officials in masks were noticed near the house of the basketball star’s friend - volleyball player Artur Udris. They failed to detain the athlete, since he was not in the apartment.


It is likely that such “timely” detention is a revenge for Leuchanka's statements, which are fundamentally different from the official position of the authorities. Yelena is also one of the participants in the independent movement of athletes SOS_BY, which condemned violence from the security forces,and spoke out for fair elections, and recently prepared a sanctions list of athletes and functionaries.

Spoke up for fair elections long before August 9

When Viktar Babaryka, one of the potential presidential candidates, was detained on June 18, Leuchanka became virtually the first athlete to question the honesty of the future vote count on August 9.

“I am for fair elections! Return this opportunity to us!” Leuchanka posted a story on Instagram.

Called on the world community to stop violence in Belarus

A few days after the elections, the basketball celebrity reacted to a video showing the death of protester Aliaksandr Taraikouski. The man died during protests in Minsk.

“Seeing these videos, I feel sick of the lawlessness that has taken place and is happening in my country! How dare you shoot your people ?! How can you beat and humiliate them, as in the Gestapo days?! How can you ignore what is being done to the people, and not give any information about this on national television? How many more lies are you capable of telling?!

I call on the international community to help stop violence (physical and moral) in Belarus and give us the right (according to the Constitution of the Republic of Belarus) to vote in fair elections!” Leuchanka posted on her Instagram.

Compared Belarus with North Korea

In one of the many interviews after the elections, Yelena talked about the people who take to the streets in support of Lukashenka. The athlete did not understand where they were before the elections, and wondered what this electorate stood for.

“Let everyone decide for themselves what they want this world to be. Are they for the peace in North Korea? There is no war, there is peace. Or for a world where human rights are not violated? Where there is freedom of speech, thinking? Where there are no lies, beating of your children, violence, psychological pressure, manipulation, fear?” the basketball star asked.

Later, the center compared the order of the Minister of Sports Siarhei Kavalchuk with North Korea.

“Don't be afraid, it's a banal arbitrariness.” The Ministry of Sports took up the ideology - the athletes are shocked, the lawyer talks about lawlessness

“Our officials like to repeat that sport is beyond politics, but in this case, we actually observe the violation of human rights. They try to control and frighten athletes as much as possible. In the 21st century, it is impossible to apply such methods in the center of Europe and move on with such a system. One gets the feeling that we are getting closer to North Korea: don't say this, don't do this. How come?” the athlete wondered.

Spoke about the horrors of the Akrestrsin Street detention center

In the first days after the elections, Leuchanka found herself under the walls of the prison in Akrestsin Street, where she wanted to help. The basketball player talked with the relatives of the detainees and volunteers. According to her, it was psychologically difficult to be in the park near the Center for Isolation of Law-Breakers - the athlete was emotionally exhausted. Most of all she was struck by the girls, whom they soon began to release from the dungeons.

“I felt acute pain in my chest when the girls went out without underwear. There was the top, but nothing below. How is this even possible? What is there to talk about? It hurts me to hear this, I feel such pain for these people! I am mentally and emotionally with them. May God grant them recovery and health, strength,” Leuchanka was shocked.

Supported striking workers

After August 9, the Hrodna Azot enterprise became one of the locomotives of the protest in the city. Factory workers actively participated in street protests and planned to organize a large-scale strike. When on August 25, 28 workers were detained near the enterprise, who were going after the end of the shift to the center of Hrodna, Leuchanka spoke in their support. The basketball player recalled that once Hrodna Azot was a sponsor of the women's national basketball team of Belarus.

“Once you supported our team. Today I want to support you! Now I am with you! Thank you!” Yelena wrote.

A little later, the center again raised the topic of workers. Before the march on September 16, Leuchanka urged factory workers to take to the streets of their cities.

“Factory workers, we are with you! Yes, we have different working conditions, different professions and different experiences of facing injustice and cruelty. But the goal is one! Our solidarity is stronger than any metal! September 16 is the Day of Solidarity. Let's support employees of state enterprises! “ Leuchanka wrote on Facebook.

Called the work of security officials an outrage

The basketball player was angered by the work of security officials at public events - without uniform, without introducing themselves, and in vehicles without numbers.

“Cars without numbers just grab people and take them away. Walking the streets in groups is a violation of the law (of some kind). Cars without license plates, driving around the city, is the norm. When will this outrage stop?” Leuchanka shared her thoughts on Instagram.

Doubted Lukashenka's male actions

Leuchanka's reaction was provoked by Lukashenka's repeated statements about Belarusian women, who, according to him, are unable to rule the country. When asked if he could be called “batka” (the father), the national team player answered.

“As I see, this man has long ceased to demonstrate any manly actions. Even based on the fact that he himself has children. The starting point is not August 9. Beating, arrests, humiliation began long before that. Peaceful standing in the line of solidarity, joining a bike ride - all this is a priori a criminal act. And what happened on the election day and after, everyone was completely shocked by this. How can a man who has sons of his own give criminal orders against other children? What kind of a manly dignity are we talking about?” Leuchanka asked.