Belarus Election Protests 2020

Regional News • Europe
Lukashenko threatens protesters with violence
Protest against Alexander Lukashenko in Minsk on Oct 4, 2020
Protest against Alexander Lukashenko in Minsk on Oct 4, 2020 Credit: Palsciuk (Creative Commons Attribution ShareAlike 4.0)

Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko has threatened demonstrators stating that "if someone touches a military man, he must at least leave without hands". Since Monday, the opposition has been trying to force Lukashenko to resign from office by calling for general strikes.

Regional News • Europe
Airport workers in Germany refuse to service Lukashenko's plane
Airport workers in Germany refuse to service Lukashenko's plane
Credit: unsplash.com / Tango Tsuttie

Airport service workers from Lufthansa Technik have refused to service a Boing 737 plane that belongs to the self-proclaimed president of Belarus Alexander Lukashenko. They stated that "We, Lufthansa Technik’s activists, do not forget the long tradition of international solidarity and stand side by side with Belarusian workers" and added that "the same Lukashenko that gave the order to shoot at demonstrators in Belarus".

Regional News • Europe
European Union negotiates over new sanctions against Russia over Navalny poisoning

At a meeting in Luxembourg on Monday, the foreign ministers agreed to begin the necessary preparations, as the German Press Agency learned from several diplomats.

Austria's foreign minister Alexander Schallenberg (ÖVP) confirmed on Monday that there was a "fundamental consensus" among EU countries to impose "sanctions against individuals directly connected with these chemical weapons" in the Navalny case. No details on possible concrete measures have been given so far. According to Finnish Foreign Minister Pekka Haavisto, the preparation of a sanctions list could take several more weeks.

Regional News • Europe • Russia
Belarusian police announce use of deadly weapons against opposition demonstrators
Belarusian police announce use of deadly weapons against opposition demonstrators
Credit: Homoatrox / Wikimedia Commons (Creative Commons Attribution ShareAlike 3.0)

With the re-election of President Lukashenko, who has been ruling Belarus for 26 years, a protest movement has started. It accuses the head of state of election fraud. The state security forces are trying to stem the demonstrations that have been going on since then by violent means. For the first time, the Belarusian police announced the use of deadly weapons.

Regional News • Europe
Cyprus withdraws veto on sanctions for Belarus

Cyprus has withdrawn its veto against the sanctions at the EU summit in Brussels in the night to Friday. According to Council leader Charles Michel, they should come into force immediately.

With the sanctions, the EU wants to put additional pressure on the leadership in Belarus and send a signal of solidarity with the people living there. In the former Soviet republic there have been protests and strikes against Lukashenko, who has been in power for 26 years, since the presidential election on August 9.

Regional News • Europe
Foreign journalists' accreditations revoked in Belarus
Foreign journalists' accreditations revoked in Belarus
Credit: unsplash.com / Matt Chesin

The Foreign Ministry in Belarus stated on Friday that all existing press accreditations of foreign journalists were cancelled. Starting Monday, Journalists are supposed to reapply for accreditation under a new, "streamlined" system.

Belarusian government focus on foreign media organizations follows weeks of critical news coverage of the controversial presidential elections and the disproportionate crackdowns on demonstrations against the longstanding Belarusian president, Alexander Lukashenko.

"The only possible explanation is that the Belarusian government fears independent media and is using every possible trick to prevent independent reporting," states Deutsche Welle's Editor-in-Chief, Manuela Kasper-Claridge.

Regional News • Europe
Lukashenko has been sworn in as Belarusian president
Modification: Added background
Modification: Added background Credit: Serge Serebro, Vitebsk Popular News / Wikimedia Commons

Without previous announcement Alexander Lukashenko has been sworn in as president of Belarus for a sixth term.

Thousands of people have moved to protest the move and people have been detained by Belarusian security forces. In addition water cannons have been used in order to disperse the protesting crowds.

Regional News • Europe
Vladimir Putin promises a €1.26 billion loan to Belarus at Lukashenko meeting
Vladimir Putin promises a €1.26 billion loan to Belarus at Lukashenko meeting
Credit: Kremlin

During a visit of Alexandar Lukashenko to Sochi, Russian President Vladimir Putin said Moscow would grant a loan worth €1.26 billion to Belarus. Putin also supported Lukashenko's initiative to reform Belarus's constitution.

Putin told Lukashenko, at the joint press conference: "I am sure that, considering your political experience, the work in this direction would be organised on the highest possible level."

Russia announced they would also continue the pre-planned joint military drills. At the same time, Putin emphasised that Russian soldiers would "return to their permanent deployment locations" after the routine ends.

Regional News • Europe
Belarus: At least 100,000 rally against Lukashenko in Minsk
Protest rally against Lukashenko, 13 September 2020. Minsk, Belarus
Protest rally against Lukashenko, 13 September 2020. Minsk, Belarus Credit: Homoatrox (Creative Commons Attribution ShareAlike 3.0)

For the fifth weekend in a row, protesters took the streets in Belarus against President Alexander Lukashenko under the slogan "We won’t let him sell the country." According to news agencies, at least 100,000 people joined the rally in Minsk, with Police claiming they had detained over 400 people in the city.

The Russian Government has stepped up support, offering to potentially restructure Belarusian debt, and providing banking liquidity. It has also said Russian riot police could be made available if needed.

Lukashenko will meet Vladimir Putin Monday in the Russian resort of Sochi. It will be their first face-to-face encounter since Belarus’s presidential election on August 9.

Regional News • Europe
Belarus: Witnesses report that opposition politician Maria Kolesnikova has been detained by masked men
Adaption: Added background and blur
Adaption: Added background and blur Credit: Maria Kolesnikova (Creative Commons Attribution 2.5)

A prominent opponent of President Alexander Lukashenko has allegedly been seized from the streets of Minsk by masked men in black and taken away in a van.

Regional News • Europe
Belarus: 100,000 protest against Lukaschenko
Representative image from Belarus protests 16.08.2020
Representative image from Belarus protests 16.08.2020 Credit: Максим Шикунец (Creative Commons Attribution ShareAlike 4.0)

The Belarusian police have at least arrested 100 people that protested against the president of Belarus, Alexander Lukaschenko. Across the country, tens of thousands of people have gotten to the streets despite warnings by Lukaschenko to join the opposition's pro-democracy protests.

The opposition leader Swetlana Tichanowskaja had called for a "march of unity".

Regional News • Europe
Belarus: Anti-Lukashenko protests resume
Protest rally against Lukashenko ("Women's march"), 29 August 2020. Minsk, Belarus
Protest rally against Lukashenko ("Women's march"), 29 August 2020. Minsk, Belarus Credit: Homoatrox / Wikimedia Commons (Creative Commons Attribution ShareAlike 3.0)

The anti-Lukashenko protests have brought tens of thousands people to the street. Protestors are met with "far more police than during previous protests", so the BBC. Many public areas such as the Independence Square in Minsk are being cordoned off by police. At least 125 people have been arrested so far.

Regional News • Europe
Belarus: Accreditations from western media journalists removed

Journalists working for western media outlets had their accreditations removed on Saturday in Belarus. This comes a day after a German ARD TV crew was arrested in their hotel and later deported. Journalists affected worked for Reuters, Radio Liberty, AFP, AP and BBC, among others.

Regional News • Europe
Belarus: Putin states Russian police is on standby to enter Belarus
Belarus: Putin states Russian police is on standby to enter Belarus
Credit: http://www.kremlin.ru / Wikimedia Commons (Creative Commons Attribution ShareAlike 4.0)

According to the Russian president Vladimir Putin, he has police on standby that can enter Belarus in case "the situation gets out of control" for the president of Belarus Alexander Lukashenko who faces protests and strikes all around the country because of election manipulation.

Technology • Internet & Web
Belarus shuts down internet again
Belarus shuts down internet again
Credit: Homoatrox / Wikimedia Commons (Creative Commons Attribution ShareAlike 3.0)

With the first outages in early August, Belarus back then went almost entirely offline for 72 hours. On Wednesday August 26, for approximately one hour, Belarus shut down key parts of the capital’s internet once again; allegedly, the order had come directly from official state bodies.

Regional News • Europe
Belarus opens proceedings against opposition Coordination Council
Protest rally against Lukashenko. Minsk, Belarus
Protest rally against Lukashenko. Minsk, Belarus Credit: Homoatrox (Creative Commons Attribution 3.0)

The opposition had founded the Coordinating Council after the controversial presidential election on 9 August to initiate a peaceful transfer of power. According to the opposition politician Svetlana Tikhanovskaya, it is to work for "fair and democratic presidential elections under international observation".

The General Prosecutor's Office in Belarus (Belarus) officially opened proceedings against the opposition Coordination Council on Thursday. In its way, the government has thus responded to an attempt at dialogue by the opposition. The opposition wanted to continue to establish direct contact with the authoritarian President Alexander Lukashenko.

Regional News • Europe
European Union rejects the results of Belarus presidential election
Belarus protesters in Minsk on August 15
Belarus protesters in Minsk on August 15 Credit: Melirius (Creative Commons Attribution ShareAlike 4.0)

The European Union rejected the result of the Belarusian presidential election and planned sanctions on those behind violence against protesters.
The President of the European Council stated: "The members of the European Council condemn the disproportionate and unacceptable violence displayed by the state authorities against peaceful protesters. Violence must be avoided and, all those unlawfully detained must be immediately and unconditionally released. Civil society and opposition actors engaged in discussions of political transition must be protected from arbitrary arrests and violence. The EU expects a complete and transparent investigation into all alleged abuses."
Alexander Lukashenko and Russian officials point to EU "interference" in the Belarus Protests.

Regional News • Europe • Germany
The German government denies recent call between Merkel-Lukashenko happened
President of Belarus Alexander Lukashenko
President of Belarus Alexander Lukashenko Credit: Serge Serebro, Vitebsk Popular News (Creative Commons Attribution ShareAlike 4.0)

Reuters report that a spokesman for the German government denied that any phone call had taken place between Chancellor Angela Merkel and Belarus's Alexander Lukashenko since the August 9 election.

Earlier Monday Interfax news agency reported Alexander Lukashenko said he received a phone call on Sunday from the German Chancellor.

Regional News • Europe
Belarus president Lukashenko stated that "until you kill me, there will be no other elections"

During a speech where Lukashenko addressed workers at a tractor plant stated that "we held elections already. Until you kill me, there will be no other elections".

The Belarusian state TV has aired some footage of the speech which showed workers yelling "go away".

Regional News • Europe
Workers at Belarus state TV turn against Lukashenko
Workers at Belarus state TV turn against Lukashenko
Credit: via Twitter

The workers of the main Belarusian state television channel BT have taken an open position against Alexander Lukashenko by joining the strikes that are ongoing in the country following the elections.

In addition, the television channel OHT has aired a segment that shows Lukashenko as he intends to give a speech in front of workers, but they chant in protest against him.