B8 Player LastHero Arrested In Belarus Protests
UPDATE: According to B8, LastHero was apprehended while in a meeting with three of his friends in Victory Square in Minsk at 7:00 p.m. local time. There were supposedly no witnesses or violent acts being committed in the area at the time, but despite this police officers approached LastHero and his companions and took them into custody. With Fishman’s assistance, B8 have since learned that LastHero is indeed detained in Zhodzina, and that one of his friends has since been released. Furthermore, B8 released another statement claiming Oleg is possibly being held in the Minsk City Police Department and that he can be held there for 72 hours without charges. He is supposedly awaiting a court date, which may prolong the situation, although it is not clear what the is being charged with.
Belarusian offlaner and member of Ukrainian Dota 2 team B8 Oleg “LastHero” Demidovich was arrested in Minsk on Tuesday evening, according to Russian shoutcaster Vitalii “v1lat” Volochai — who broke the news on his Twitter account early on Wednesday. The story was then corroborated half an hour later by the B8 organization themselves, also via Twitter.
According to v1lat, LastHero was arrested during the ongoing protests in Belarus against current president and authoritarian ruler Alexander Lukashenko. The protests against Lukashenko’s regime and the elections themselves began on May 24th, 2020, with Minsk as the epicenter of the movement. Belarusian citizens have been out on the streets since then, with the demonstration going on through the lead-up to the presidential elections on August 9th.
LastHero’s teammate and fellow Belarusian Dmitriy “Fishman” Polishchuk tweeted some time before v1lat’s announcement that LastHero is currently detained in Zhodzina, a city located approximately 50 kilometers northeast of Minsk. Currently located in Zhodzina is a detention center operated by the regime.
UPDATE: According to B8, LastHero was apprehended while in a meeting with three of his friends in Victory Square in Minsk at 7pm local time. There were supposedly no witnesses or violent acts being committed in the area at the time, but despite this police officers approached LastHero and his companions and took them into custody. With Fishman’s assistance, B8 have since learned that LastHero is indeed detained in Zhodzina, and that one of his friends has since been released.
Lukashenko has been in power in Belarus for 26 years now, having served as president since 1994 — the year that the position itself was established. As a result of the elections, he was declared president again for a sixth term, which will last until 2025. The elections themselves, however, have been criticized for being rigged, by officials from other countries such as United States Secretary of State Mike Pompeo. International watchdogs and election monitors have also noted that five of the past six elections involving Lukashenko were “not free and fair”, with the only exception being the first one.
On the day of the elections, exit polls indicated that Lukashenko had an overwhelming majority of votes at more than 80 percent, with his opponent Sviatlana Tsikhanouskaya receiving less than 10 percent. Peaceful protests began in the evening of the election day, though the situation turned violent in Minsk in particular. LastHero himself was supposedly at the protests during this time.
B8’s best of three series against Team Empire at the OMEGA League was also postponed on August 11th due to internet issues in Belarus, which may very well have been related to the censorship of the internet in the country in the days surrounding the elections.
As the situation is still ongoing, we will update the news as more information comes in here at Hotspawn.