As mass protests continue to take place in Belarus for a fourth consecutive week, a previously detained MMA fighter has been placed under house arrest.
Heavyweight fighter Alexei Kudin, best known for competing for M-1 Global, was released from custody last week but is forced to remain in his home pending further investigation into his alleged participation in mass protests. He has since commented on the situation in his first public statement since his arrest.
“Friends, I’m fine, as you know, I’m already at home. I can only say one thing! I am a citizen of my country, I represent it in the international sports arena and I sincerely hope that everything that is happening in Belarus will end soon.
“For me, the country is its people and the peaceful sky, I will continue to do everything so that people in sports know about it! I hope that in the near future I will still be able to make my debut in BARE KNUCKLE FC! The investigation is not over yet, now I I am under house arrest, as soon as all the injuries heal, I will return to training. I am grateful to everyone who supported me in this difficult situation.”
Seven days after longtime president Alexander Lukashenko claimed to have secured 80% of the vote in the presidential elections last month, tens of thousands of Belarusians gathered in Minsk to protest the oppressive regime, rigged elections, and scenes of police brutality and torture against thousands detained during the protests. The demonstrations have continued to grow in size, leading to the worst crisis in the dictator’s 26-year reign and signalling the potential collapse of his authoritarian rule.
On Monday, the interior ministry announced that at least 633 people were detained during the most recent round of protests. Troops and water cannons were deployed against citizens who rallied in Minsk and demonstrated against the regime. There have been at least four people killed and hundreds injured in the clashes.