Violent police in the balaclavas severely shut down about 250 protesters as tens of thousands of people gathered in protest the day before talks between President Alexander Lukashenko and his top counterpart, Russia’s Vladimir Putin.
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Masked agents dressed in the same clothes and naked were snatched from the streets during a rally for the “Warriors”, often pushing or punching them, a video posted by Belarusian news agency Tut.by has been shown.
An estimated 250 people have been arrested in various districts of the capital the Interior Ministry said in a statement adding that those arrested had carried attact flags and placards.
stations of the metropolitan area were closed
The availability of mobile internet was limited and the stations of the metropolitan area were closed, with authorities delivering police vans, military vehicles and barbed wire to the center before the protest.
Despite the violent detention, tens of thousands of protesters gathered in the city’s main new capital, an AFP reporter said. I came out and got freedom and I will protest until we win it in peaceful ways. Oleg Zimin, a 60-year-old protester told AFP. The people of Belarus have been protesting against Lukashenko’s re-election for a month, with more than 100,000 people taking to the streets of Minsk for four consecutive weekends.Opposition groups called for a boycott of the protest, saying We will not allow him to sell the land before Lukashenko’s first face-to-face meeting with Putin since the protests began, which are expected to take place in Russia on Monday.
Analysts say Putin may want to use Lukashenko’s political threats to give him permission, but any agreements that undermine Belarussian sovereignty and independence may have angered Belarussian protesters.
Presidential candidate Svetlana Tikhanovskaya, a group of protesters who claimed to have received a vote on August 9 but was forced to leave the country, paid tribute to the protesters before the march.
Last month we became really heroic people, said Tikhanovskaya, a political activist until the election, commenting on the video. Unprecedented protests came after Lukashenko, who has ruled the former Soviet Union for 26 years, demanded a re-election of 80 percent.