Belarus security services detained at least 450 protesters in the wake of rallies across the country against the strong-armed measures of President Alexander Lukashenko.
President Alexander Lukashenko may face further isolation after a Belarusian court sentenced a former presidential candidate to five years in prison and put his wife on probation. Moscow may help economically, but on tough terms.
A terrorist attack in Belarus last week and dire warnings aimed at the opposition by President Lukashenko prompted many Belarussians to exchange currency and stockpile supplies.
While much of the world is questioning investment in nuclear power amid Japan's crisis, Russia announced it will build a reactor in Belarus, where large areas remain closed off due to the Chernobyl meltdown.
Belarus President Alexander Lukashenko's crackdown on the opposition has prompted the EU to consider sanctions. But some members say that could backfire.
Belarus leader Alexander Lukashenko won a fourth term by a significant majority, but large protests by the opposition and a harsh police response signal this could be a difficult term.