Date: 14 September 2020

Another Sunday of mass protests

The Belarusian Ministry of Internal Affairs informed in the evening of September 13 that several hundred people were detained on that day, including over 400 in Minsk. The largest protest took place in the capital. About 150,000 people took to the streets. In Minsk the militia and army forces were reinforced and special equipment was delivered. The Ministry of Internal Affairs confirmed that a member of militia in the capital city gave a warning shot in the air. This was supposed to happen at the Prospectus of the Winners, when a crowd of protesters wanted to free a few detained people from the hands of the militia. This is not the only sign of an increased tension between the protesters and the authorities, which have been gradually increasing the brutality of actions for a long time. In Brest, where about 1,000 people protested, a water cannon was used to disperse the crowd. In Novopolotsk three militia vehicles were damaged during the pacification of the protest, while in Minsk, in a district inhabited by the high members of the authorities, when a crowd of several thousand people approached the house of the head of the Central Election Commission, the militia used stun grenades. Furthermore, on Sunday, the street protests took place in Gomel, Grodno, Mogilev, Pinsk and Vitebsk. On September 13 the regime struck the strike committee in Belaruskali – two of its members were arrested in Salihorsk. Sunday’s protests showed that the level of anti-government mobilization continues, despite repressions of the authorities and the weeks that have passed since the rigged elections. The high turnout at the protests this Sunday certainly did not strengthen Lukashenko’s position before his visit to Sochi and the meeting with Vladimir Putin, scheduled for Monday.

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