Protests took place in the middle of Belarus due to the recent fiasco of riggings in elections. People were furious about how police had handled the matter with violence. Moreover, people were calling the protests the “March for freedom”.
Mr. Lukashenko addressed a small rally calling his political rivals “rats”. He urged his supporters to protect their country’s independence as he thinks it is now vulnerable.
The opponents arranged several rallies after the news came that Russia’s security backing would come if there would be any external military danger for Belarus. Apparently Mr. Lukashenko had discussed the matter two times with Russia’s President Vladimir Putin during the weekend.
Mr. Lukashenko said that he had concerns about the recent NATO military movements in Lithuania and Poland. He criticized West for their intervention.
NATO denied accusations of any military exercises
NATO denied all the accusations of any of such military exercises. They have their four military groups in there after Russia’s annexation of Crimea Hall happened in Ukraine. Germany, the US, Britain, and Canada. This had led those battle groups of NATO.
The protest started in Belarus when Lukashenko got a humongous victory in the election which happened last Sunday. Allegedly, the election was not true and fair as there were accusations of rigging.
According to the Central Election Commission, the lead opposition candidate Svetlana Tikhanovskaya lost the election with 10.12% of the vote while Mr. Lukashenko won with 80.1% vote share. Ms. Tikhanovskaya rejected the presidential election’s result saying that if vote-rigging had not been there, she would have won 60% to 70% vote.
The Russian media have been comparing this situation with the 2014 Ukrainian Revolution. Moreover, Moscow had sent their special forces which did annexation of Crimea during Ukraine’s Revolution in 2014. The military of Russia interfered in eastern Ukraine also at that time. Further, the revolution had a Pro-Western approach.
The protests seem anti-Lukashenko rather than being anti-Russia/pro-Europe movement. There will be anti-Moscow unrest among the people of Belarus if Russia sends its military help to the President. The people there also will feel distant to Russia more than ever if such a thing happens.
Russia keeps influence on Belarus
Moscow wants to keep its influence in Belarus. The main motive of The Kremlin to have a strong relation with Belarus. Vladimir Putin is leveraging this political unrest to achieve a full-fledged Union Territory. However, Moscow is afraid of yet another color Revolution.
The people of Belarus are furious about the violence of the country’s police force. The situation in Minsk is not the same as Kyiv 2014 as Belarus is not the dilemma of picking between the west and east. The factory workers of state who used to be the loyal supporters of Mr. Lukashenko are now against him.
Mr. Lukashenko said Belarus faces threats from outside
The media said there were 31,000 supporters at the government really but the Ministry of Internal Affairs claimed there were around 65,000 people at the pro-government rally.
Mr. Lukashenko said to his supporters that if he would have not run for presidential election then Belarus could have faced severe danger. He claimed that the rallies never mattered to him as he did not feel any need for defending himself.
Mr. Lukashenko said to supporters that they needed to defend their country’s people, their independence and their children, wives, and sisters.
He warned that if opponents were not restrained, they would go out of control. The situation could be the end of the beginning and if people would have to surrender to external forces like other countries if things went like this.
State factory workers protested against Mr. Lukashenko
The state workers faced the fear of losing their jobs if they refused to attend the rallies. State factory workers walked out from for several days and there were many workers who went to the protest march against the President.
The news portal Tut.by said that there were 220,000 protesters came to anti-President gathering nearby the Stela Minsk Hero City World War Two memorial in central Minsk.
Ms. Tikhanovskaya went to Lithuania for the safety of her children. She filed a complaint to election authorities against vote-rigging; they detained her seven hours. The supporters of her answered her call for protest against the President.
Maria Kolesnikova, a former member of Ms. Tikhanovskaya’s team, addressed the crowds. She said to the crowd that they needed to choose between good and bad after that she spoke to the judges and security officials. She expressed her love for the crowd and asked for support. Moreover, the majority is on their side.
Protestors didn’t listen to Brest’s Mayor as he tried to address the crowd. The people showed protests in many cities. The protestors removed the flag of Belarus from the flagpole and placed opposition’s red and white flag there instead.
Ilya Shkurin stepped down from playing for Belarus for anti-government protest
Ilya Shkurin, the famous football player of Belarus has stepped down from playing as to show his protest against Lukashenko. He will not play if Lukashenko continues to be the president and then he did his goal for CSKA Moscow team in the Russian premier League.
Mr. Lukashenko asked Vladimir Putin for help in this unrest
Mr. Lukashenko claims that Russian President Vladimir Putin gave his word to help. Thus, this could mean military assistance against external threats posed to Belarus right now. The two Presidents have spoken on Sunday about the pressure Belarus is facing from outside and the Kremlin is considering the situation as what they could do to help.
Russian President assured Mr. Lukashenko that they would give military support of needed. The United States of America said that they considered the Belarus election was not true and fair. EU foreign authorities to take steps against the officials who are responsible for vote-rigging, violence and misleading election results. They discussed new sanctions on Friday against these officials of Belarus.
Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania concerned about Belarus’s repression
Prime ministers of Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania – the Baltic nations said that they were concerned about the political unrest and violence by the government going on in Belarus.
Latvia and Lithuania were prepared to conciliate between protestors and the government; given the government first stop violence and create a national council consists of civil society members. They warned of Belarusian government didn’t agree then they would go for sanctions.
The leaders said that they would want another election with international observers and rejected the previous election because they thought the election was not free and fair.
Ms. Tikhanovskaya rejected the results publicly and went to Lithuania to her children as they were sent there due to safety reasons.
The security forces arrested 6,700 people due to election unrest and the authorities have also tortured them even.