The crowd shouted “Long live Belarus” and “Lukashenko in the crook’s car.” During the demonstration, dubbed a “partisan march,” many protesters were again arrested. According to a spokesperson for the Ministry of the Interior, more than a hundred protesters have been arrested.
The Telegram messaging platform showed photos of many military vehicles, detention vans and water cannons. Security forces had cordoned off the downtown streets with barbed wire and heavy equipment. There were also reports that security forces fired rubber bullets into the air when protesters threw stones.
Threat of violence
It is the tenth protest weekend in a row. Especially the campaigns on Sunday are well attended. Security forces have recently stepped up their crackdown on the protesters. The Interior Ministry openly threatened to use firearms and live live ammunition. However, the opposition always calls for peaceful protests and condemns the violence.
Since the presidential elections on 9 August, things have been troubled in Belarus. The country is in a serious domestic political crisis. After 26 years in power, Lukashenko declared himself the winner again with 80.1 percent of the vote. The opposition, on the other hand, sees civil rights activist Svetlana Tikhanovskaya as the real winner. She has emigrated to Lithuania. Security forces have rounded up more than 13,000 people since the election, including all major opposition leaders who have not left the country.
Also on Saturday hundreds of mainly women and students across the country took to the streets against Lukashenko. According to the Ministry of the Interior, there were almost 60 arrests. According to the Belarusian Association of Journalists, the police also arrested journalists.