Foreign news agencies and the Belarusian server Tut.by informed about it. According to the Interior Ministry, security forces detained about two hundred people across the country on Sunday. Opposition leader Sviatlana Cichanouska called Lukashenko’s inauguration this week a farce.
Sunday’s protests took place under the slogan of the National Inauguration of the real president – according to Lukashenko’s opponents, the real head of state is the opposition candidate in the August elections.
In Minsk, the protest procession took place, among other things, along the Mašerava roundabout. According to the AFP agency, about 100,000 people gathered for the demonstration. Some of them chanted “Saint is the president”. People also demonstrated in other Belarusian cities; for example, in Gomel or Mohylov in the east of the country, according to the AFP agency, the police dispersed the protesters with tear gas and flash grenades. According to the DPA, information has also emerged about the deployment of water works.
The motto of today’s demonstrations, which calls Cichanous a true president, is a response to Lukashenko’s recent inauguration. The long-term Belarusian leader took the presidential oath on September 23, although many Belarusians call the result of the August elections falsified and Lukashenko’s election is not recognized by the European Union. The Belarusian opposition considers the Cichanous to be the real winner of the election.
“There are millions of us. And that’s why we will win, “Cichanouská said in a video message from the Lithuanian exile today. She urged protesters to continue their efforts to change the regime in a peaceful way. She called Lukashenko’s inauguration this week an “obvious farce.”
According to the Reuters agency, during today’s protests, many people wore crowns of paper or other materials on their heads. “If all impostors can crown themselves here, why not me?” Sjarhej, 36, who had a crown from one of the famous fast foods on his head, told AFP. “He first rigged the election and then rigged the inauguration,” Alexander, 30, told Reuters in Minsk. “We don’t want to live in a concentration camp,” said another protester, Eleonora, 48.
Interior Ministry spokeswoman Volha Chemodanov told AFP that security forces had detained “about two hundred” people across the country today. According to the Belarusian Interior Ministry, 150 people ended up in custody on Saturday. Authorities said 116 of them would remain in custody pending a trial of a possible violation of the law, the Belarusian server Tut.by wrote today.
Among Saturday’s detainees are mostly women who took part in a women’s protest. According to the media, the protesters were forcibly taken away and forced by members of the security forces to board the minibuses without any signs.
French President Emmanuel Macron expressed opposition to the Lukashenko regime before his visit to Latvia and Lithuania on Monday. “Obviously, Lukashenko must leave,” Le Journal du Dimanche quoted him as saying. “What is happening in Belarus is an example of a crisis of power, an authoritarian power that cannot accept the logic of democracy and is dependent on power,” Macron said. The French president also said he admired the courage of the participants in the Belarusian protests.
In a response published by the Belta agency, Lukashenko said that as an experienced politician he wanted to advise the “immature” politician Macron “to look less and instead finally start dealing with France’s internal affairs.” If Macron followed his own logic, he would have to resign, according to the Belarusian president, two years ago when supporters of the yellow vest movement took to the streets. “Years pass, the vests are still on the streets and Mr. Macron is surprisingly still in office,” Lukashenko added.