Belarus – Protests with balloons against Lukashenko


Lukashenko has been demonstrating for weeks

WHAT / dpa

However, there was initially no massive intervention by masked security forces as in previous weeks. The opposition had called for the balloon campaign – also to prevent many arrests before the upcoming New Year celebrations. More than 30,000 people have been in police custody since the protests began more than four months ago. The democracy movement demands Lukashenko’s resignation, but also new elections and the release of all political prisoners.

The security forces have again been in Minsk with a large number. Prison transporters had been seen in pictures. There were also supporters of the authoritarian head of state in the capital. They had greeted the passing police officers, reported the independent news portal

After the controversial presidential election on August 9, after 26 years in power, 66-year-old Lukashenko was declared the winner again with 80.1 percent. The EU no longer recognizes him as president. Svetlana Tichanovskaya sees the democracy movement as the winner. She fled to the EU country Lithuania.

The opposition cited the lifting of the entry ban for Minsk Archbishop Tadeusz Kondrusiewicz as a sign of hope. He celebrated church services in Minsk at Christmas. He was finally back home, the head of the Belarusian Catholics had written in a letter published on Thursday. Pope Francis had advocated his return to Lukashenko. The head of state himself said the state agency Belta said that there were no political reasons for his decision.

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