Russia knows that, With T-Shirts against Lukashenko's re-election

in Front of the Loading Symbal (icon) in the Belarusian capital, Minsk, to heat dozens of people standing in a queue in the summer. Symbal sold clothing with tr

Russia knows that, With T-Shirts against Lukashenko's re-election

in Front of the Loading Symbal (icon) in the Belarusian capital, Minsk, to heat dozens of people standing in a queue in the summer. Symbal sold clothing with traditional embroidery patterns or stickers with national symbols. "This is solidarity," says a young man waiting with his friends for an hour on the inlet. "We came to support the Store and don't even know yet what we will buy."

Symbol of resistance against Lukashenko

The young people followed a call to the owner, the want to close Symbal temporarily, because they are exposed to a growing pressure from the authorities, such as the tax office. The shutter-release button, believes shop-in-chief Pavel Belous, was a T-Shirt, which can be understood as a criticism of the President. It Psychose3%", a word game values" from a quote of Alexander Lukashenko, criticized the global response to the Coronavirus as "psychosis", and his allegedly low survey. "Sascha three percent" - that is, in the vernacular of the new nickname of the heads of state are also popular as a Internet Meme. In mid-June, the police arrested a courier in the vicinity of the store and around 400 T-Shirts with this word game confiscated.

As the business at 23. June, the closure, announced, came, spontaneously, more and more people to shop there. Around 20 of them were taken away under various pretexts, say human rights activists. "What happens here now, we have not experienced yet," said Pavel Belous of the DW. "The solidarity is incredible." The danger to be apprehended, not a deterrent, apparently. This is unusual in the authoritarian country.

presidential election in times of Corona-crisis

The little Shop in Minsk is in the Ex-Soviet Republic even became a Symbol of the growing resistance against the President Lukashenko. The 65-year-old ruler has ruled Belarus with an iron Hand since 1994 and would like to at the 9. August will be elected for the sixth Time. This is likely to be more difficult than previously, because many of the otherwise politically passive of 9.5 million Belarusians show up ready to protest against him.

observers explain this with the loss of confidence in the Corona-crisis, which will be played from the President down, the already struggling Belarusian economy, but also with new and fresh candidates to compete in the upcoming presidential election.

Ex-Banker Babariko as a beacon of hope - in custody

As the most important carrier of hope Viktor Babariko, until recently, head of the Belgazprom Bank, a subsidiary of the Russian Bank of the energy giant Gazprom is considered by many apparently. The 56-Year-old announced in may, a surprising political ambitions for the highest office, and rose quickly. The number of signatures collected by his supporters Babriko was in second place behind Lukashenko. The Ex-Banker was allowed to run his election campaign, however, only a few weeks before he died on may 18. June was arrested along with his son and campaign Manager. The white Russian judiciary is investigating him for economic crimes.

In a DW Interview shortly before his arrest, Babariko said he was surprised by the broad support of the people. "We expected support, but not with such a. However, the government has underestimated the great desire of the Belarusians to change," says the Ex-Banker. The company have changed during the Corona-crisis.

How dangerous Babariko for Lukashenko could be, it should be a choice of approved, is unclear. Independent opinion polls in Belarus. Polls in the media are not representative and, most recently, a very low popularity of Lukashenko's measured want to have, have been banned.

another prominent opponent of Lukashenko, the 41-year-old Video Blogger Sergei Tichanowskij, sitting since the end of may in pre-trial detention. The charge: violence against police officers. His initiative group was not previously registered, for him, now wants to run his wife Svetlana Tichanowskaja. Also, some other bloggers have been taken in the past weeks. Amnesty International called for the end of June for their release. 30. June has classified the human rights organization Babariko and Tichanowskij as political prisoners.

protests and police operations in the province of

there are now in Russia, demonstrations whose participants are demanding the release of Babariko, Tichanowskij and other inmates knows that. What is new is that such protest actions, hundreds and sometimes thousands mobilise people. Also unusual is that there is turmoil not only in the capital but also in the province.

An example of this is the city witschi, with around 14,000 inhabitants in the West of Belarus. In mid-June, a few dozen citizens gathered there to collect signatures for Lukashenko's rival candidates, and to demonstrate for the release of the arrested opposition members and activists. The police dispersed the Assembly by force and arrested some of the participants. Two local journalists have transmitted the procedure live on the Internet and were also arrested. A court sentenced the two because of administrative offences, however, to mild penalties.

Lukashenko believes that such an uprising to have prevented, for he makes the forces at home and abroad. Observers suspect that behind the actions of the President of great uncertainty and cannot exclude the possibility that he could make further protests, also knocked down. For Belarus, that would be a relapse in the year 2010. At that time, tens of thousands in Minsk demonstrated against the re-election of Lukashenko. The brutal suppression of the protests led to sanctions of the European Union, which were not repealed until 2016.

author: Roman Goncharenko, Alexandra Boguslawskaja

*The contribution of "white Russia: With T-Shirts against Lukashenko's re-election" published by Deutsche Welle. Contact with the executives here.

Deutsche Welle
Updated Date: 30 June 2020, 17:26

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