Moscow, September 13
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 provided him help by saying it will ship paratroopers to Belarus for “Slavic Brotherhood” joint drills.
A wave of protests has swept Belarus because the August 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 overseas powers are behind the protests.
An enormous column of protesters marched by the capital Minsk in the 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 street. Meanwhile within the metropolis of Brest, police used water cannons on protesters, in accordance with the Nexta Live channel.
Police mentioned they’d detained about 250 individuals in Minsk.
The ambiance 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 — widespread focus factors of anti-government rallies.
The Interfax Russian information company reported that pictures 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 pictures have 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 accessible 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 operating until September 25, the TASS state information company reported.
On the streets of Minsk, some critics of Lukashenko expressed hope that the sheer dimension 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. Reuters