- Today's protesters were demanding among other things the resignation of Lukashenko as well as the release of the imprisoned protest leader, the 38-year-old Maria Kolesnikova.
- Kolesnikova was jailed earlier this week after opposing a forced deportation to Ukraine by tearing her passport apart.
- Alexander Lukashenko is scheduled to fly to Russia on Monday to meet with President Vladimir Putin.
Belarusians aren’t giving up just yet. Their rallying call remains one, Lukashenko must go!! For the fifth consecutive Sunday, the streets of Belarus’s major cities have been flooded with a sea of demonstrators in their tens of thousands demanding the resignation of President Alexander Lukashenko.
In the capital Minsk, at least 100,000 people reportedly took part in today’s demonstration with photos and video footage on social media earlier today showing a huge group of protesters on their way to Independence Square in Minsk.
The square has been a focal point for the protest in Belarus. But today, security forces have tried to block access with barbed wires. Defiant Belarus protesters demonstrated despite the crackdown.
Today’s protesters were demanding among other things the resignation of Lukashenko as well as the release of the imprisoned protest leader, the 38-year-old Maria Kolesnikova.
Belarus a Scene of Protests
Belarus has been a scene of protests since the release of the results of the August 9 controversial presidential elections that gave Lukashenko victory with 80 percent of the vote in an election contested by the country’s opposition and the international community leading to the widespread demonstrations demanding that Lukashenko steps down.
Most of the country’s opposition’s front figures are now either detained or staying in exile outside Belarus.
Kolesnikova was jailed earlier this week after opposing a forced deportation to Ukraine by tearing her passport apart.
The security forces in Belarus have been devising various tactics during the demonstrations, which have now lasted for over a month.
Shortly after the controversial presidential election on August 9, police and other forces cracked down on protesters who were beaten – both on the streets and in detention.
Later, the security forces reduced the beatings and concentrated instead on arresting and interrogating the opposition leaders.
Currently, the Belarusian security are back in full force with brutal beatings and arrests as a means of handling the demonstrators. Before today’s demonstrations in Minsk, at least 250 people were arrested, according to the Interior Ministry of Belarus.
Several of the arrests seemed arbitrary and were brutal as exposed by photos and videos show on social media. I is also evident that the arrests in many cases were made by persons wearing elephant hats without uniform or emblems showing where they come from.
Alexander Lukashenko is scheduled to fly to Russia on Monday to meet with President Vladimir Putin.
Putin who is amongst the very few world leaders supporting the autocratic Lukashenko has previously promised to send a police force to Belarus if the situation gets out of control.
Before the presidential election in Belarus, Lukashenko and Putin had a rather strained relationship. Among other , Lukashenko failed to form a unitary state, which he agreed with Russia back in 1999 but they are currently seemingly reading from the same script.