Soldiers, tornadoes, and bulletproof vehicles were deployed throughout downtown Minsk in Belarus ahead of the September 6 protests. However, tens of thousands of people of all backgrounds still took to the streets to protest, according to AFP news agency.
Protesters waved red and white flags, beat drums, blew trumpets, and danced in the protests that followed a wave of protests against President Alexander Lukashenko. Mr. Lukashenko declared victory with 80% of the vote in the election on August 9, but from the opposition, Svetlana Tikhanovskaya, insisted he was the winner.
According to activist groups, about 70 people were arrested during the September 6 protest. Some witnesses reported that police beat the protesters.
During the September 5 protest, the Belarusian Ministry of the Interior announced it had arrested 91 people and announced it would increase security, “taking all necessary measures to suppress and prevent violations of public order. “.
More than 100,000 people took to the streets in the past three weeks and the AFP estimated the number of protesters on September 6 even greater. The protesters insisted they would continue until Lukashenko resigned.
Ms. Tsikhanouskaya earlier said nothing could stop the wave of protests. “The Belarusians have changed, they have awakened and cannot push them back to their old ideas,” she said September 5.
The Belarus situation is of great concern to European countries and leaders in the region have urged Mr. Lukashenko to hold a dialogue with the opposition.
However, President Lukashenko is counting on Russian support. Moscow has previously announced that it would react to any European move to turn the situation around Belarus and affirmed that it would provide military assistance to Lukashenko’s administration if necessary.