Tens of thousands of Belarusians demonstrated in Minsk on Sunday to condemn the re-election of President Alexander Lukashenko and the repression of the opposition.
Tens of thousands of Belarusians demonstrated in Minsk on Sunday to condemn the re-election of President Alexander Lukashenko, who has had a huge protest movement for two weeks, according to AFP reporters.
Waving white and red flags, the colors of the protest, the crowd gathered on Independence Square and the surrounding streets and sang slogans like “freedom!”
Opponents claim 100,000 people
Opposition media and Telegram e-mail accounts reported more than 100,000 protesters in the Belarusian capital for the second Sunday in a row. Collections in several other cities across the country were also reported.
Protesters condemn the re-election of Alexander Lukashenko on August 9, deemed fraudulent, as well as the brutal repression that followed.
“If he really won the election (with 80% of the vote), why are so many people taking to the streets against him?”, Pretends to ask Yevgeny, an 18-year-old protester.
Alexander Lukashenko “wants everyone to spread and live as before (the vote). But it will never be the same again”, Nikita (28) insists.
The army is threatening to intervene
The Ministry of Defense warned that in the event of unrest near memorials and protest sites during World War II over the past two weeks, officials must do “not with the police but with the army.”
The Belarusian president has so far remained upright in his boots and has been able to count on the loyalty of the army, police and secret services, even though he has registered shortcomings in state media and public companies.
Last week in Minsk, about 100,000 people had gathered to demand the resignation of Alexander Lukashenko, who in 26 years in power has never faced such a challenge, in numbers and in duration.
The Belarussian president, who rules his country with an iron fist, has ruled out leaving office, as requested by his main rival in the August 9 meeting, Svetlana Tikhanovskaïa. Shortly after the election, the latter went into exile in Lithuania, under threat from her relatives.
For Moscow, the situation is stabilizing
Russia believes that constitutional reforms in Belarus would be a lasting solution to the political crisis, Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said on Sunday, quoted by Russian news agencies. According to the head of diplomacy, the situation in the country is stabilizing.
Sergey Lavrov, who accuses opponents in exile of trying to provoke “a bloodbath”, believes it is impossible to prove that Alexander Lukachenko did not win the presidential election.