None of the seven members of the top leadership of the opposition’s Coordination Council are operating freely within the country at the moment. Some of these people were arrested, most of them are in exile. The last one – Svetlana Alexievich, awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature, left for Germany.
Traditionally, on Sunday, a weekly culmination of the peaceful protests against the Lukashenko’s regime took place. Several tens of thousands of people took part in the protest in Minsk, fewer than in previous Sunday marches. This march was announced as a symbolic inauguration of Tsikhanouskaya.
In response to the EU’s announcement to impose sanctions on Belarus, the Belarusian Foreign Minister – Vladimir Makei, said that these sanctions would be “nothing but attempts to bring chaos and anarchy to [their] country to make Belarus lose many years of development.”
On September 24, Russia transferred further airborne units to Belarus for Slavic Brotherhood maneuvers. This happened on the day of the unannounced inauguration of President Alexander Lukashenko. The inauguration was kept secret and the state media informed about the swearing in after it happened.
The Viasna Human Rights Center announced that since the beginning of the presidential campaign in Belarus over 250 criminal cases have been initiated against campaign participants and staff in addition to people taking part in post-election protests.
The effects of Lukashenko’s conversation with Putin in Sochi and shortly after Sergey Shoygu’s visit to Minsk are already becoming visible. On Monday, the Belarusian Ministry of Defense informed that about 1,000 Russian soldiers will take part in the second stage of the Slavic Brotherhood maneuvers (September 22-25).
During Sunday’s protests in Belarus more than 200 people were detained overall. Most of them (at least 152) in Minsk, where another protest against rigged election took place – the March of Justice.
On September 18, it turned out that the borders of Belarus with Poland and Lithuania had not been closed, as announced the day before by Lukashenko.
The Human Rights Centre “Viasna” reported on Saturday evening that at least 342 people were detained during the women’s protest in Minsk.
On Thursday, September 17, Aleksander Lukashenko declared that he is closing the borders with Lithuania and Poland. In the case of Ukraine, only enhanced control measures are to be applied.
On Wednesday, after the meeting with the Minister of Defense of Russia – Sergey Shoygu, Lukashenko announced that he approached Russia regarding new types of armaments. This was supposed to take place in a conversation with Putin in Sochi. However, the Kremlin denied Lukashenko’s words the same day.
Tuesday, September 15, was marked by further sentences for weekend detainees as well as new detentions of protesters. According to the independent Human Rights Center “Viasna,” at least 270 sentences were handed down in Belarus on that day.
On Monday, September 14, a meeting between Vladimir Putin and Alexander Lukashenko took place at the Russian President’s residence in Sochi. This is the first foreign visit of the Belarusian president after the August 9 election.
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.
Day 34 & 35 – Detention of journalists, Vatican envoy in Minsk | Meeting of the law enforcement, statement of the Coordination Council
More than 40 people were detained by the militia during Saturday’s protests in which women took part. The officers as well as men in balaclavas and unmarked suits acted violently, some women were badly beaten. Several journalists were also detained.