At least 100,000 Belarusian protesters took to the streets of Minsk on Sunday in one of many greatest demonstrations but towards President Alexander Lukashenko after he claimed a landslide victory in an election his opponents say was rigged.
- Last Updated: September 13, 2020, 9:00 PM IST
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MOSCOW: At least 100,000 Belarusian protesters took to the streets of Minsk on Sunday in one of many greatest demonstrations but towards President Alexander Lukashenko after he claimed a landslide victory in an election his opponents say was rigged.
As public anger continued to construct towards Lukashenko, who has dominated the previous Soviet nation for 26 years, Moscow supplied him help by saying it will ship paratroopers to Belarus for “Slavic Brotherhood” joint drills.
A wave of protests has swept Belarus for the reason that Aug. 9 presidential election, which demonstrators say was really received by Sviatlana Tsikhanouskaya. Key opposition figures have since both been jailed or fled the nation, with Tsikhanouskaya now in Lithuania.
Lukashenko denies the election was rigged and has mentioned international powers are behind the protests.
An enormous column protesters marched by way of the capital Minsk in direction of a authorities district on Sunday, chanting “long live Belarus” and “you’re a rat,” a taunt that has steadily been used towards Lukashenko throughout demonstrations.
They got here to a halt and chanted “fascists” as lots of of riot police with shields blocked off the highway. Meanwhile within the metropolis of Brest, police used water cannons on protesters, based on the Nexta Live channel.
Police mentioned that they had detained about 250 folks in Minsk.
The environment was tense, with a big police presence in components of the capital, and a few central areas sealed off with barbed wire, together with Oktyabrskaya Square and Independence Square – frequent focus factors of anti-government rallies .
The Interfax Russian information company reported that photographs had been fired into the air to warn off protesters in an space of Minsk the place the Belarusian management lives.
An inside ministry official denied that any photographs had been fired within the air.
The unrest comes as Lukashenko, in energy since 1994, prepares to journey to Russia on Monday for talks with President Vladimir Putin.
Moscow, a neighbour and conventional ally, has stepped up help, providing to probably restructure Belarusian debt, and offering banking liquidity. It has additionally mentioned Russian riot police could possibly be made obtainable if wanted.
On Sunday, Russia’s defence ministry mentioned it will ship paratroopers from its elite Pskov division to Belarus for the joint drills beginning on Monday and working until Sept. 25, the TASS state information company reported.
On the streets of Minsk, some critics of Lukashenko expressed hope that the sheer measurement of Sunday’s protests would undermine the Belarusian chief and make it tough for Putin to again him brazenly.
“We have to show with this march that he (Lukashenko) doesn’t control the country, that he is not in a position to speak on behalf of Belarusians,” mentioned Gennady, 35, a logistics employee who declined to offer his surname.
(Writing by Katya Golubkova and Tom Balmforth; Editing by Alexandra Hudson and Pravin Char)
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