One of the three women who has come to the fore to galvanise public opposition to the incumbent president was snatched from the streets of Minsk on Monday morning, together with two of her aides, according to a number of local reports.

Maria Kolesnikova’s whereabouts remained unknown late on Monday afternoon.

Gleb German, a media spokesman for another opposition figire, Viktor Barbariko, said: “The most important thing now is to establish a connection with Maria, Ivan and Anton in order to understand that they are okay and why they have been detained.”

The authorities have denied detaining the three.

The Foreign Minister of neighbouring Lithuania tweeted: “The kidnapping of M.Kalesnikava in downtown of #Minsk is a disgrace. Stalinist NKVD methods are being applied in 21st century’s Europe. She must be released immediately.”

PHOTO: Reuters