The authoritarian president of Belarus made a dramatic level to of defiance Sunday in opposition to the huge protests demanding his resignation, toting a rifle and carrying a bulletproof vest as he strode off a helicopter that landed at his station.
The authoritarian president of Belarus made a dramatic level to of defiance Sunday in opposition to the huge protests demanding his resignation, toting a rifle and carrying a bulletproof vest as he strode off a helicopter that landed at his station while demonstrators massed nearby.
On the 15th day of the largest and most constructive protests ever in unprejudiced Belarus, a crowd of about 200,000 rallied in opposition to President Alexander Lukashenko in a sq. in Minsk, the capital. They then marched to at least one other rally and approached the Independence Palace, the president’s working station.
Video from the reveal news agency Belta showed a authorities helicopter landing on the grounds and Lukashenko getting off keeping what looked as if it’d be a Kalashnikov-kind computerized rifle. No ammunition clip changed into visible within the weapon, suggesting that Lukashenko, who cultivates an charisma of machismo, aimed handiest to procure some extent to of aggression.
Protests started Aug. 9 after a presidential election that officials order handed the 65-twelve months-worn Lukashenko his sixth time interval in office with 80 per cent voter approval. Opponents claim the implications are fraudulent.
The dimensions and duration of the protests enjoy been unheard of for Belarus, a aged Soviet republic of 9.5 million those that Lukashenko has ruled harshly for 26 years.
WATCH | Belarus president emerges from helicopter toting a rifle and carrying a bulletproof vest:
As hundreds of of us enjoy flooded the streets of Belarus to command the brand new election, President Alexander Lukashenko flew over the crew in a helicopter and emerged keeping a machine gun. 2: 04
On Sunday afternoon, an opposition rally overflowed Minsk’s sprawling seven-hectare Independence Square. There were no respectable figures on crowd dimension, nonetheless it looked as if it’d be about 200,000 of us or more.
The demonstrators then marched to at least one other sq. about 2.5 kilometres away and approached the perimeters of the presidential station grounds, the place police in plump insurgent tools stood shoulder-to-shoulder, keeping colossal shields.
The protesters dispersed within the evening amid rain.
There were no rapid experiences of arrests. Earlier this month, some 7,000 of us were arrested at protests, many of them badly overwhelmed with golf equipment or wounded by rubber bullets, violence that handiest resulted in public outrage to swell.
Lukashenko appears to be flailing about for a technique to counter the anti-authorities demonstrations.
He has over and over blamed Western interference, claimed the protests were backed by the United States and accuses NATO of creating up troop concentrations in Poland and Lithuania on Belarus’s western border, which the alliance denies.
He additionally claimed that Russian President Vladimir Putin changed into interesting to give safety assistance to his authorities to quell the protests if he asked for it.
‘Lukashenko, your milk has gone bitter’
Lukashenko has continuously repressed opposition all the way thru his time in office — and weariness with his now not easy-line rule, moreover to apprehension over the nation’s deteriorating economic system and Lukashenko’s cavalier dismissal of the coronavirus pandemic, appear to enjoy galvanized opponents.
“Belarus has modified. Lukashenko has been ready to unify all people, from workers to intelligentsia, within the request for change,” said protester Slava Chirkov, who attended Sunday’s demonstration with his wife and son.
They held a ticket declaring “Lukashenko, your milk has gone bitter,” regarding Lukashenko’s aged job because the director of a Soviet-era collective farm.
A in a similar way expansive crowd changed into out for a command every week within the past, and day-to-day demonstrations enjoy taken site on fable of the vote. Plenty of of the nation’s key factories enjoy been hit with command strikes by workers bored stiff with authorities polices.
These strikes now not handiest threaten the already-unwell economic system however level to that opposition to Lukashenko extends beyond trained white-collar circles and into his aged blue-collar nefarious.
“Are you going to work for a dictator? Strike — that is our solution,” Sergei Dilevsky, chief of the strike committee at the Minsk Tractor Works, indubitably one of Belarus’s biggest industrial enterprises, educated protesters at Sunday’s second rally site.
Lukashenko’s main election challenger, Svetlana Tikhanovskaya, fled to Lithuania the day after the election. Plenty of different skill challengers left the nation even before the election.
An opposition Co-ordination Council changed into created closing week to create a technique for a transition of vitality, however authorities in Belarus enjoy opened a felony probe into its formation.
Moreover Sunday, more than 50,000 Lithuanians joined arms in a human chain stretching 30 kilometres from the capital of Vilnius to the Belarus border to particular cohesion with the protesters.