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Thousands of protesters against Lukashenko’s 80%: What is happening in Belarus?

Author : 112.ua News Agency

Source : 112 Ukraine

Preliminary results of the presidential election have been announced in Belarus, and there were no surprises here. Thousands of protesters took it to the streets. And this, by the way, also did not come as a surprise, given the mood of many voters. What was happening that night and what is happening there now?
17:30, 10 August 2020

Protests after election day in Belarus, Minsk, August 9, 2020
Vasily Fedosenko/Reuters

The Central Election Commission of Belarus has published the preliminary results of the presidential election.

The result is as follows: Alexander Lukashenko - 80.23% of the votes, Sviatlana Tsikhanouskaya - 9.9% of the votes.

They were followed by Anna Kanopatska (1.68%), Andrei Dmitryev (1.04%), Sergey Cherechen  (1.13%). 6.02% of voters voted against everyone.

Thus, the official results recorded an overwhelming victory of the incumbent President of Belarus in the election.

However, many residents of the country, to put it mildly, were not convinced by such results.

The night of protests

More precisely, first, it was in the evening and then at night.

On the evening of August 9, thousands of Belarusians flooded the streets. After a while, journalists began to record the first clashes.

In the center of Minsk, near the Minsk — Hero City Stella, riot police used light and noise grenades and water cannons to disperse the crowd.

Also, according to eyewitnesses, at about 11:10 p.m., one of the police vans, driving at high speed, knocked down several people who were standing on the roadway.

Later it was reported that one of the protesters died, but in fact, Belarusian protester Yevgeniy Zaichkin is alive, and reports on his death turned out untrue.

The protests took place not only Minsk but also a number of other Belarusian cities - Lida, Baranovichi, Grodno, Zhodino, Pinsk and Kobryn.

Here’s how it was:

According to the Ministry of Internal Affairs, 50 citizens and 39 security officers were injured during the protests.

Reaction of Tsikhanouskaya

Sviatlana Tsikhanouskaya, presidential candidate of Belarus in the 2020 election
Vasily Fedosenko/Reuters

Lukashenko's main rival in the last election did not recognize their results. Sviatlana Tsikhanouskaya stated that she considers herself a winner. She added that she was ready to meet with Alexander Lukashenko.

"We do not recognize the election results. We have seen real protocols. We urge those people who believe that their vote was stolen not to remain silent," she said.
The headquarters of the opposition candidate stressed that they were ready for long-term protests.

However

At the same time, Tikhanovskaya stated that she did not know whether she should go to the streets if the protests in Minsk continued.

“Do you want me to go out there? Will it be easier for you? Do you think it will not intensify the confrontation? I do not know how to answer this question. I am with the people, I did not go anywhere,” she said.

Reaction of Lukashenko

President of Belarus Alexander Lukashenko
deita.ru

The current president believes that everyone should step down and calm down.

“The things that I was talking about – everything is proved out. If somebody does not believe then he/she believed now. In other words, somebody tries to put stealthily us this mess. I warned: Maidan will not take place, no matter how somebody wants it. That is why it is necessary to step down and calm down,” Lukashenko said.

He also believes that the protests are run from abroad.

“In general, they are trying to control the process from abroad. I'm not even talking about Poland. Everyone has already settled there and is also starting to pull the strings. I'm not talking about Ukraine (they were coming from there). I'm sure it's not state policy, but there are enough of those Maidan-crazed people I was talking about. There were, unfortunately, a certain flow of people from Russia”.

Reaction of the world

The heads of China, Kazakhstan and Russia have already congratulated Alexander Lukashenko on the victory in the election.

The presidents of Poland and Lithuania have condemned the forcibly disperse of protests and everyone to hold the dialogue.

PM of Poland urged to gather an extra EU summit due to the situation in Belarus.

The official response of Ukraine is absent. However, the number of MPs has already urged not to recognize the results of the presidential elections.

What is next?

The protests may continue today. Particularly, Znak reported that the new protest will be held today in Minsk.

“We will go out until we are killed,” one of Minsk citizens said to the media.

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