A high-profile political analyst and strategist who has advised presidential candidates in US, Russia and Ukraine has been detained in Belarus ahead of a tense election.
“I have been arrested”, - wrote Shkliarov in Telegram without providing further details.
The 44-year-old was born in the Belarusian city of Gomel but is based in Washington DC. He has worked on both Barack Obama’s and Bernie Sanders’s presidential campaigns.
Belarusian television said Shkliarov had advised Sergei Tikhanovsky, one of strongman leader Alexander Lukashenko’s would-be rivals, who is now in jail.
The arrest of Tikhanovsky, a popular 41-year-old YouTube blogger, prevented him from submitting his own presidential bid in time. In a surprise move, his 37-year-old wife Svetlana stepped in and was allowed to register as a candidate.
Shkliarov was detained after the KGB security service announced it had arrested 32 Russian mercenaries allegedly plotting to destabilise the country ahead of the presidential election.