Mass protests following the rigged presidential election turned out to be the largest opposition movement against the authorities in the history of independent Belarus. Although Alexander Lukashenko continues to hold the reins of government, he lost legitimization and the majority of Belarusians are against him.
Over 300 demonstrators were detained in Minsk, Brest, Grodno, Mogilev and Lida on Monday. If the opposition hoped that the strike would turn into a real general strike on its first day, it was wrong.
Although clock is ticking for Lukashenko as there are only two days left behind People’s Ultimatum, the dictator plays unbothered visiting the Slutsk region visit fields, farms and pursue the planned “tastings.”
Minsk’s Director for Metropolitan Security signed an order from the government requesting nearly all of the city to be closed. This means that all metro stations will be out of service on October 25, the day People’s Ultimatum ends.
Lukashenko puts everything at stake and plans to organise a mega rally against the opposition in Minsk. According to the reports, regional authorities have received an order which obliged them to provide a certain number of participants to the rally.
On Tuesday, Sviatlana Tsikhanouskaya called on the law enforcement to switch sides and join the protesters by the end of the week. The informal leader of the opposition promised the officers that they would avoid being vetted after the overthrow of Lukashenko.
On October 19, Minsk hosted two pensioners’ protests: supporters and opponents of the regime. The opposition’s demonstration was several times bigger than the pro-government one. Both protests took place in the same location – on Independence Square.
At least 30,000 people participated in Sunday’s opposition march in Minsk. Moreover, demonstrations took place in other cities of Belarus.
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Belarus’ Ministry of Internal Affairs announced that security forces are prepared to use special gear and military weapons against the protestors.
In search of an end-to-end encrypted platform to organise peaceful protests and rallies, the people of Belarus have turned towards an instant messaging app called Telegram.
On Wednesday 14 October, Belarusian Deputy Foreign Minister met with Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of Russia in Minsk. The main points on their agenda were the plans for the development of Russia-Belarus cooperation.
On Tuesday, October 13, Sviatlana Tsikhanouskaya announced that she would stage a national strike if Alexander Lukashenko does not meet the following three demands of the opposition by October 25: end violence against protesters, release all political prisoners and announce his resignation from office of the president.
On Monday evening the supporters of the opposition attended protest actions in various districts of Minsk. They blocked the passage and erected barricades.
More than 400 people were detained on Sunday during the protests in various cities of Belarus. There are over 40 journalists among them.