Alexander Lukashenko, president of Belarus
Alexander Lukashenko, president of BelarusiStock

Belarus President Aleksandr Lukashenko has allowed his soldiers to use live fire on civilians, according to the Belaruski Hajun website.

Additionally, by presidential order, soldiers who kill or injure civilians in such circumstances will not be penalized.

As early as 2020, reports surfaced of excessive use of force by Belarusian authorities, when Lukashenko lost the elections, falsified their results, and imprisoned the opposition leader.

An officer was put on trial after firing at and killing one of the many citizens who protested against Lukashenko. The new order is expected to exonerate him, along with several others who have acted violently over the years.

Since 2020, there have been reports of the country becoming more authoritarian, with independent media outlets being closed and journalists incarcerated.

One incident over the past years saw Belarusian authorities demand a Ryanair flight in Belarusian airspace land.

The order came after Minsk learned that a journalist who opposed the regime was on board. The plane was radioed to make an emergency landing due to a suspected Hamas IED.

When the plane landed, security forces entered the plane and released it only after arresting the journalist and two other opponents of the regime.