Belarusian opposition supporters participate in a rally in opposition to presidential election outcomes, in central Minsk, Belarus on September 13, 2020.
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A minimum of 100,000 Belarusian protesters took to the streets of Minsk on Sunday in one of many greatest demonstrations but in opposition to President Alexander Lukashenko after he claimed a landslide victory in an election his opponents say was rigged.
As public anger continued to construct in opposition to Lukashenko, who has dominated the previous Soviet nation for 26 years, Moscow supplied him help by saying it could 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 stated overseas powers are behind the protests.
An unlimited column protesters marched by the capital Minsk in direction of a authorities district on Sunday, chanting “Lengthy stay Belarus” and “You are a rat,” a taunt that has ceaselessly been used in opposition to Lukashenko throughout demonstrations.
They got here to a halt and chanted “fascists” as a whole lot of riot police with shields blocked off the highway. In the meantime within the metropolis of Brest, police used water cannons on protesters, in keeping with the Nexta Dwell channel.
Police stated they’d detained over 400 folks in Minsk alone. A Reuters witness stated that detentions had been persevering with on Sunday night.
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 Sq. and Independence Sq. — frequent 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 stated later one shot was 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 neighbor and conventional ally, has stepped up help, providing to doubtlessly restructure Belarusian debt, and offering banking liquidity. It has additionally stated Russian riot police might be made out there if wanted.
On Sunday, Russia’s protection ministry stated it could 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 troublesome for Putin to again him brazenly.
“We’ve got to indicate with this march that he (Lukashenko) does not management the nation, that he’s not ready to talk on behalf of Belarusians,” stated Gennady, 35, a logistics employee who declined to provide his surname.