On Saturday, demand for large-scale peaceful rallies in Belarus was launched in the wake of a growing mobilization against President Lukashenko. It condemned an attack and the latter spoke with its Russian counterpart Vladimir Poutine.
The mobilization against the re-election of President Alexander Lukashenko is gaining momentum in Belarus. Several thousand people gathered on Saturday, August 15, following calls for large peaceful meetings that were launched for the weekend of August 15, despite a brutal intrusion by the police.
The call comes from the main opposition candidate in the presidential election, Svetlana Tikhanovskaïa, who has been a refugee in Lithuania for four days. In Minsk, the Belarusian capital, protesters also called to meet on Saturday on the side of the funeral of a protester.
Thousands gathered around Pushkinskaya metro station, west of central Minsk, to pay tribute to a protester who was killed nearby during a demonstration last Monday. Police in riot gear stormed a rally on Friday, removing hundreds of protesters by truck. Police in riot gear stormed a rally on Friday, removing hundreds of protesters by truck.
Human chains against violence and fraud
In response to the violence, the European Union on Friday agreed that sanctions against Belarusian officials were linked to repression or electoral fraud. Sanctions that intervene while the mobilization has spread with human chains against violence and fraud, while emblematic factory workers have initiated solidarity measures and walkouts.
On Friday night, thousands of people gathered in front of the government square and laid flowers at the feet of the young conscripts who were deployed there. Other gatherings took place in several cities.
Unlike the demonstrations at the beginning of the week, which were violently suppressed, the measures on Thursday and Friday went smoothly. Authorities have also announced that more than 2,000 of the 6,700 people arrested during the protests were released.
“Problems” will soon be solved according to the Kremlin
Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko met with Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin on Saturday. “Aggression is being carried out against Belarus […] And this is not just a threat to Belarus, he said before their meeting.
“The presidents discussed the current situation inside and outside Belarus,” Belta reported shortly after the meeting between Lukashenko and Putin.
In a statement quoted by Russian news agencies, the Kremlin said the two heads of state had expressed confidence that the “problems” would soon be resolved. “Destructive forces must not undermine cooperation between Belarus and Russia,” commented the Russian Presidency, fearing that the same scenario would recur in its ally as in Ukraine in 2014.