Belarus : Lukashenko impassive in the face of thousands of demonstrators - The Point

The crisis worsens each day a little more. This Sunday, 16 August, the belarusian president Alexander Lukashenko has maintained its positions in the face of the

Belarus : Lukashenko impassive in the face of thousands of demonstrators - The Point

The crisis worsens each day a little more. This Sunday, 16 August, the belarusian president Alexander Lukashenko has maintained its positions in the face of the grumbling of the people. He rejected this day calls for new elections and asked his supporters to defend the country, mired in a social crisis. Also, at the same time, tens of thousands of protesters marched against the president and the government in Minsk.

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" Go ! ", chanted the protesters to the attention of the head of State, marching along the Independence avenue during a " walk for Freedom ", said a journalist of the Agence France-Presse. Carrying flowers, dressed in white, the demonstrators were heading to the middle of the chanting and car horns to the monument erected in memory of the victims of the Second world War. The protesters were wearing at the end of arm a huge white flag and red, the colors of the opposition. A few minutes before the start of the march, Alexander Lukashenko, in power for 26 years, made a surprise appearance not far from there, on the Independence square, in front of several thousands of his supporters.

" Dear friends, I called you here not for me to defend it, but because, for the first time in a quarter of a century, you can defend your country and its independence ", he launched, under the ovations. The belarusian president, 65, has responded to the desire of the opposition to organize a new presidential election, after the August 9, which gave the winner but has raised charges of massive fraud. "If we do that, we will depart into a spin and we will come back never," he predicted, in the face of his supporters waving the official flag in both red and green, inherited from the soviet period. Speaking from a podium, surrounded by body guards, Alexander Lukashenko, has denounced the will, according to him, to impose upon the country, " a government from abroad ". Near him stood his youngest son, Nikolai Lukashenko, sometimes presented as his potential successor.

Protest history

The victory of Alexander Lukashenko in the presidential election has been seen as largely rigged, as the mobilization in favour of a rival unexpectedly, Svetlana Tikhanovskaïa, 37 years old, set fire to the Belarus before the vote. This last is now in exile in Lithuania. Members of the elite have joined the protest : journalists of the public television, usually at the orders of the power, researchers and businessmen, but also a former minister of Culture, Pavel Latouchko.

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In the video, the ambassador of belarus in Slovakia, Igor Lechtchenia, said that he was " shocked by the stories of torture and beatings ". The opponent is Svetlana Tikhanovskaïa, which calls for the organization of genuine elections and the release of political prisoners, has announced the creation of a committee to organize the transfer of power. After the election Sunday, the first four nights of protests had been matées by the riot police, killing at least two people dead and dozens injured. Tributes to the protesters killed were held this weekend in Minsk and Gomel.

Since Thursday, in response to the violence, the mobilization extended to : human chains and rallies of the opposition were hatched everywhere in the country, while factory workers iconic have launched solidarity actions. These major events took place without arrests, the belarusian authorities have given signs of retreat after protests in the west, and announced the release of more than 2 000 6 700 people arrested.

Fear of a "help" Russian

Under pressure, the belarusian president has stirred up Saturday, the specter of a Russian intervention, claiming that his counterpart Vladimir Putin assured him during a telephone interview, his " aid " to preserve the security of the republic of Belarus, a former soviet republic. On Sunday, the Kremlin said it was ready to provide military assistance, if necessary, within the framework of the treaty of union between the two countries, and the Organization of the collective security treaty (CSTO), comprised of six former soviet republics.

The leader of belarus was told to do in the face of a " color revolution ", the name given to several uprisings in the former USSR in the last 20 years with " elements of external interference. "Protesters fear the possibility of a Russian intervention, raised by Lukashenko. "If Russia intervenes, it will be even worse ", told Agence France-Presse Olga Nesterouk, a protester. The european Union has ordered sanctions against belarusian officials linked to electoral fraud and repression.

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protesters were released told the Agence France-Presse that conditions of detention atrocious. Deprived of water, beaten or burned with cigarettes, they were being held by the dozen in cells intended for four or six. Minsk has received the support of Moscow, an ally history, despite recurring tensions between the two countries. The head of the belarusian State had accused Russia of wanting to make his country a vassal. Alexander Lukashenko has rejected any mediation from foreign ", referring to a mediation plan proposed by Poland, Lithuania and Latvia.

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Date Of Update: 16 August 2020, 10:33

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