Many in the audience and the human rights team Viasna estimated as numbering over 150,000, carried placards critical of Russia, representing concerns regarding President Alexander Lukashenko’s proposed assembly on Monday with Russian President Vladimir Putin.
It’d be their first face-to-face contact since the unrest broke out in Belarus following the Aug. 9 presidential elections that officials state lent Lukashenko the sixth semester with 80% support.
The states have a marriage agreement envisaging close political, military, and economic ties, though Lukashenko has repeatedly voiced concerns that Putin wants Russia to consume Belarus entirely.
Some observers think Lukashenko is moving into the assembly at a weak position, which Putin could capitalize on this to attempt to ease him from power.
“Lukashenko hasn’t managed to reveal Putin that he’s in charge of the problem and has put out the fire of demonstration, and this might induce the Kremlin to seek out an alternate situation and offender,” independent political analyst Valery Karbalevich told The Associated Press.
Lukashenko has dominated the Eastern European country of 9.5 million individuals with an iron fist since 1994, aggressively repressing the opposition and the press. However, the protesters’ conclusion seems powerful this moment, despite everyday detentions and reports of police beatings and abuse.
The Interior Ministry said over 400 individuals were arrested Sunday at Minsk. The ministry also reported that demonstrations happened in 16 other towns, such as Brest, in which police used water cannon from a crowd of a few thousand.
“The origin of electricity in Belarus is that the people, not Lukashenko and the Kremlin,” read placards carried by a few marchers at Minsk. “Tell me who your friends are and I shall say that who you are,” read the following which bore photographs of Lukashenko and Putin.
Authorities on Sunday setup rows of barbed wire and prisoner transfer automobiles and deployed tens of thousands of servicemen to block the city center from demonstrators, however, protesters came together beyond the middle and flew toward the presidential house to the town’s outskirts.
Lukashenko, a former collective farm manager, has denied some concessions or mediation efforts and has accused Belarus’ western neighbors of trying to overthrow his administration. In 1 series of competitive defiance, he had been seen striding with an automatic gun across the grounds of his residence.