Protests in Belarus 2020


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Protests in Minsk on October 18, 2020

The 2020 protests in Belarus are the largest mass demonstrations since the Republic of Belarus was proclaimed in 1991. Most of the protests are directed against the politics and presidency of Aljaksandr Lukashenka , who has ruled the country as a dictator for 26 years ; But there were also rallies organized by the state for Lukashenka.

The main reason for the protests was the 2020 presidential election , which ended on August 9, 2020 and which is largely considered to be a sham election internationally because relevant opposing candidates were arrested and election manipulation could be proven.

The mass protests in Belarus had started before the election; After the election, protesters were subjected to repressive police and administrative measures. During the daily protests over 12,000 people were arrested, 250 injured (including children) and three killed. The police sometimes shot demonstrators with live ammunition. Multiple arrests, massive violence and torture have been reported, particularly in the Okrestino prison in Minsk . The Belarusian propaganda spread that the mass protests were controlled by the West, and glossed over the repressive approach of the government bodies strong.

The regime’s approach has received strong international criticism. Since August 13, hundreds of thousands of workers across the country, including those previously considered loyal to the regime, went on a general strike . The most promising opposition candidate, Svyatlana Zichanouskaya , was severely intimidated in the run-up to the election and was forced to leave the country after the election.

The authorities repeatedly took action in a targeted and massive manner against the protest movement, the head of which has meanwhile also organized its own council, the Coordination Council for a peaceful transfer of power, but also against reporting by journalists. The accreditation of numerous journalists was withdrawn, which was criticized internationally as an attack against freedom of the press. The actions of the authorities are also being criticized worldwide.

The largest protests of the Belarusian opposition to date took place in Minsk on Sundays from August 16 to September 20, 2020. The nationwide protests have continued since then. Their particular goal is to end Lukashenka's reign and to enforce democracy and basic human rights in Belarus, which are threatened by the government.

After the election, Russian media workers from Russia Today replaced Belarusian colleagues who had resigned from the state broadcaster Belarus 1 after the election .

Only a few high-ranking members of the Lukashenka government resigned after the election. Among them is the former minister of culture and ex-diplomat Pawel Latuschka , who joined the opposition coordination council. Of the more than 100,000 members of the security forces (as of September) only low-ranking members left the service.

Background, protests before the election

In addition to the repressive measures taken by the government and the apparent fraudulent election, there are numerous other economic and political reasons for the protests. These include the economic dependence on Russia, falling oil prices, a restricted subsidy policy by Russia, which led to a reduction in state revenues, and mismanagement in the corona crisis . Lukashenka has played down the COVID-19 pandemic in Belarus since it began.

Zichanouskaya election event on July 30, 2020

Even before the election there were major mass protests in the country. The authorities tried to ban the demonstrations and rallies by the opposition and sometimes used force against them. Hundreds of participants were arrested. The four most promising candidates who wanted to compete against the incumbent Lukashenka: Mikalaj Statkewitsch , Wiktar Babaryka , Waleryj Zapkala and Sjarhej Zichanouski were not allowed to vote in 2020 and some were arrested, even though they had collected hundreds of thousands of supporters' signatures in advance. Statkewitsch and Zichanouski were arrested in advance and could therefore not submit their candidacy. After Zichanouski's arrest, his wife Svyatlana Zichanouskaya announced that she would run for election. Right from the start, she faced massive repression.

At a rally organized by the government on August 6th, DJs Kiryl Halanau and Uladsislau Sakalouski played the unannounced song We are waiting for changes by Wiktor Zoi , which is considered the unofficial anthem of the 1980s freedom movement. The crowd began to sing along, but security forces stepped in, ended the concert and arrested both DJs. They were sentenced to 10 days in prison on an urgent basis.

The week before the election, Zichanouskaya's campaign manager, Maria Moros, was temporarily arrested. A total of seven of their employees were arrested before the election. According to the Belarusian human rights organization Vyasna , more than 1,300 people were arrested during the election campaign. 25 of them are political prisoners .

The coverage of the election was restricted: More than 100 representatives of international media had not received accreditation. Reporters Without Borders counted at least 40 journalists arrested on the weekend of the election. According to Spiegel , journalists were sometimes unable to report live via video transmission before the election; Telephone connections have also collapsed.

On election day, August 9, opposition Telegram channels reported that YouTube and other websites were barely accessible. Encrypted VPN connections would not work either.

The polling stations were used to cast votes a few days before the election day. Students and state officials were asked to vote before the actual election day. According to critics, this was done to prepare for election fraud .

The opposition called for protests on election day.

On August 4th, the first day of the early election period, independent election observers discovered over 2000 violations of electoral principles: For example, voters were prevented from entering the premises, urns were not sealed and curtains were removed from voting booths. Some election observers were subsequently arrested. In general, observation was severely limited; therefore the OSCE did not even come. Since 1995, the OSCE has not recognized any election in Belarus as free and fair. A leaked video, which allegedly shows the training of election workers , even lists the final results of the election that were determined in advance.

Also due to the exclusion of promising opponents, some commentators considered the election “neither free nor fair” even before election day.

According to by-election polls, incumbent Lukashenka is said to have received 79 percent of the votes, the opposing candidate Zichanouskaya received 6.9. These figures are considered by independent observers and the opposition to be faked and therefore not meaningful.

All four opposition candidates appealed against the results to the Belarusian electoral commission, which was rejected.

After the elections

Protests in Minsk on the night of August 9-10, 2020
Human chains on the roadside show bouquets of flowers on August 14; Cars passing by honk in solidarity

According to local media, parts of the center of the capital Minsk , including Independence Square , were cordoned off on the evening of the election . In addition, stations of the Minsk Metro have been closed. Following the announcement of the preliminary official result, according to which incumbent Lukashenka had won the election by far, mass protests against election fraud broke out in numerous cities in Belarus on election evening. In Minsk, where around 100,000 people took to the streets, the police used stun grenades , among other things , and several people were arrested and injured. Armed soldiers marched up; numerous websites, messenger services and VPN servers were no longer accessible, and street lights were switched off. Over 3,000 people were arrested that night alone, around 1,000 of them in Minsk. Protests took place in around 30 cities across the country.

The day after the election, the incumbent Lukashenka was declared the winner by the election authorities. Zichanouskaja had previously announced on the evening of the election that it would not recognize the election result. She declared herself the election winner and fled to Lithuania on August 11th. She had previously been arrested and allegedly forced to give a video message.

First week (August 9-16)

There have been repeated protests since August 9th. On the night of August 10th, thousands of people again marched through Minsk and other cities. One protester was killed; According to the Interior Ministry, an explosive device is said to have exploded in his hand. However, a video was released on August 15 showing the protester approaching the police with empty hands raised and being shot. Footage shows security forces beating several peaceful people using stun grenades and rubber bullets. A total of around 6,700 demonstrators were arrested by the police and some of them were held in overcrowded prisons under inhumane circumstances; also of torture has been reported. 250 people were so badly injured in the protests that they were hospitalized. In the days after the election, security forces showed their solidarity with the protesters.

On the night of August 12, police officers made isolated use of their firearms, according to the Interior Ministry. Videos can be seen how masked emergency services without identification tags randomly pick up people on the street and beat them with clubs.

On August 12, a 25-year-old man with heart disease died after being arrested. According to his mother, the man was arrested in Homel while he was on the way to see his girlfriend. He did not take part in the protests.

On August 13, a nationwide general strike broke out in several state-owned companies. They protested against the alleged election fraud and demanded an end to the violence and Lukashenka's resignation. During the day, even more people took to the streets in Minsk and other cities than had previously been the case.

Memorial ceremony for the killed protester Aljaksandr Tarajkouski on August 15th

On the night of August 14, the government said it had released around 1,000 detainees who had been arbitrarily arrested on the fringes of demonstrations the previous day; According to reports, there were also numerous bystanders among them. Many of those released reported abuse in the prisons and showed the wounds they had inflicted . Some inmates reported using electric shocks and burning cigarettes as torture methods . Photographs substantiate these claims. According to a testimony, all inmates were beaten; including teenagers aged 13 to 15 . Freed women from a prison in Minsk reported 36 people who had been forced into a four-person cell and were constantly doused with water. On the other hand, they had been denied their right to meet a lawyer on the grounds that they were at risk of infection due to the COVID-19 pandemic . In addition, the women had to undress three times, each time subject to a search.

The Belarus Ministry of Interior denied the mistreatment of prisoners.

Protests in Babruysk on August 16, 2020

Protests broke out on August 16, including in Babrujsk , Baranavichy , Brest , Homel , Mahiljou , Pastawy , Slonim , Waukawysk , Vitebsk and the capital Minsk. Journalists from state television, researchers, business people and two high-ranking diplomats took part in a protest march there against Head of State Lukashenka. It is estimated that around 200,000 demonstrators took part in the protest march. About 3,000 people took part in a demonstration for Lukashenka; Many were reportedly brought to the capital by buses from other cities; some civil servants said they had been forced to pledge allegiance to Lukashenka.

2nd week (17th to 23rd August)

On August 17th there were again protests and strikes against the president. The state television Belarus 1 was also on strike. Lukashenka gave a speech during a factory visit, where he was booed. During his visit to the factory, he ruled out new elections and declared: "You have to kill me if you want new elections".

Lukashenka, who otherwise always rejected new elections, proposed a constitutional amendment for the first time on August 17, which should be brought about by a referendum that would also make new elections possible. However, he also reiterated what he believed to be a victory in the presidential election and rejected reforms due to street pressure.

Prime Minister Raman Haloutschenka resigned on August 17 , but was re-elected on August 19.

First press conference of the Coordination Council on August 18, 2020

On August 18, a committee initiated by the opposition led by Svyatlana Zichanouskaya presented itself to the coordinating council, which is supposed to prepare a peaceful transfer of power. According to a deputy of Zichanouskaja, the peaceful change of power is the only goal of the group. After the release of political prisoners, the group wants to start concrete negotiations on the transfer of power and then disband. The body consists of opposition politicians, chairmen of the strike committees of Belarusian companies and well-known intellectuals like Svetlana Alexievich , winner of the Nobel Prize for Literature .

Also on August 18, Lukashenka had the Belarusian armed forces on the borders with Poland, Ukraine and Lithuania put into combat readiness on the grounds of foreign influence and hold maneuvers.

On August 21, demonstrators formed a human chain about ten kilometers long in front of Okrestino prison , where many of the arrested demonstrators had previously been taken and brutally mistreated; the human chain stretched across the capital Minsk to the memorial for the victims of Stalinism .

On August 22nd, Lukashenka put the military into full combat readiness to "defend the territorial integrity" of the country, according to the state agency Belta . At the same time he accused NATO of the movements of armed forces at the national borders, which they rejected.

Protests in Minsk on August 23, 2020

The protesters did not allow themselves to be deterred by warnings from the Ministry of the Interior from participating in the unauthorized rally in Minsk and other cities on 23 August. In Minsk , for example, despite the tense military situation, further mass protests were carried out and tens of thousands demonstrated, including on Independence Square . In total, over 200,000 people took part in the protests in Minsk alone. When the demonstrators wanted to march past the Palace of Independence , the residence of President Lukashenka, they were blocked by police units. State media then showed how Lukashenka flew out of the city in a helicopter and then returned to the residence, where he got out with a bulletproof vest and a Kalashnikov without a magazine. Previously, he said the demonstrators would "run away like rats". He was accompanied by his 16-year-old son Mikalaj , who appeared in combat suit and also with a rifle. He then thanked the security forces who had allegedly prevented a storm on the residence.

3rd week (August 24th to 30th)

On August 24, the opposition called on workers in state-owned companies to go on further strikes. In response, Lukashenka ordered the governor in Woblasz Hrodna to completely close the factories on strike, threatened his opponents with job loss and announced a tougher course against the opposition. Two leading members of the Coordination Council , Volha Kawalkova and Syarhej Dyleuski , were arrested by the OMON special police.

On August 26, OMON police detained protesters saying a prayer for peace in the Catholic Church of Saints Simon and Helena in Independence Square for 40 minutes by barring the exits.

The OMON special police intervened again during protests on August 27. More than 250 people were arrested, including around 50 journalists.

Withdrawal of media work permits, expulsion of foreign journalists

On August 29th, many journalists from the Western world were deprived of their work permits or accreditation in Belarus. Foreign reporters, including those of Russian nationality who worked for Reuters , Agence France-Presse , RFI , BBC , ARD and Radio Liberty , were also expelled from the country. Many journalists had previously been detained by the police overnight. The Belarusian Association of Journalists also spoke of a massive withdrawal of accreditations for media representatives from Belarus who worked for foreign television or radio stations, newspapers or news agencies. An information security commission made up of representatives of the defense and interior ministries and the Belarusian secret service KGB decided to withdraw the work permit .

Some journalists were expelled and banned from entry for five years.

Many websites reporting on the protests (naviny.by by BelaPAN , nn.by by Nascha Niwa and others) have been blocked by the authorities in Belarus since August 2020.

Protests in Minsk on August 29, 2020

On August 29th, thousands of women organized protests under the name "Grand Parade of Female Peacekeepers". The evening before, women had already formed a human chain in Minsk.

Protests in Minsk on August 30, 2020

More than 100 people were arrested during renewed protests on August 30 in Brest , Hrodna , other cities and the capital Minsk, and the Ministry of the Interior spoke of more than 150 arrests. The OMON police cordoned off Independence Square and several metro stations were closed to complicate the protests; In addition, prisoner transports had already been brought up in advance and the Interior Ministry had warned against participating in the protests. As in the previous week, despite the ban on demonstrations, tens of thousands of people gathered on the street in front of the Palace of Independence , which was again blocked by police officers and water cannons, where some ironically celebrated the president's birthday. Alluding to Lukashenka's abuse of the protesters as "rats", the protesters shouted "Happy birthday, you rat". On the same day, Lukashenka's press secretary sent a photo to a Russian news agency that shows Lukashenka once again standing in front of the residence with a machine gun in hand.

The democracy movement around the opposition Maryja Kalesnikawa announced the establishment of a party for the renewal of the country. It bears the name Rasam or Wmestje (Belarusian or Russian; German: Together) and is independent of the Coordination Council . Its member Lilia Vlasova was arrested after a search of her home, and criminal investigations were initiated against the Coordination Council for alleged threats to national security. A strike at Belaruskali , one of Belarus' most important industrial sites, which had lasted about two weeks , was broken up after officials of the Belarusian State Security Committee put the workers under pressure and threatened them with mass dismissals, said Belaruskali Strike Committee spokesman Gleb Sandras. The strike leader Anatoly Bokun was arrested.

4th week (August 31st to September 6th)

When the Roman Catholic Archbishop of Minsk Tadeusz Kondrusiewicz wanted to return from a pilgrimage to the Black Madonna of Czestochowa on August 31, 2020 , he was refused entry at the border, which led to international protests. He is accused of supporting the protests. Pope Francis then sent Archbishop Paul Gallagher , the Vatican Secretary for Relations with States, to Minsk to show his support.

Hundreds of students protested in Minsk on September 1st. After minors were arrested while trying to form a human chain, another protest was formed. Hundreds of women took part in a protest march.

Volha Kawalkowa , a member of the Coordination Council, was taken to the Polish border and threatened with a long prison sentence if she did not leave the country. So she was forced to leave for Poland, where she gave a press conference.

Protests in Minsk on September 6, 2020

On September 5, around 4,000 demonstrators took part in a protest march in Minsk. According to the Interior Ministry, over 90 people were arrested.

At the end of the first week of September, tens of thousands again protested in Minsk, despite the ban, which is why dozens of them were arrested. As a motto, the protesters had chosen one for all, all for one and called a march of unity. In total, more than 100,000 people took part in the protests, some of which were violently disrupted. In addition to a massive police presence, the regime also deployed armored vehicles, armored personnel carriers and water cannons. On the same day there were hours of mobile internet outages in Minsk. The A1 Telekom Austria Group has therefore reduced the capacity of the mobile Internet on the territory of the capital "by order of authorized state bodies".

In the German Tagesschau a correspondent reported that in smaller or more remote places the police operations against demonstrators on September 6th were noticeably more pronounced than in Minsk.

5th week (7th to 13th September)

On September 7, opposition activist Maryja Kalesnikawa and on September 9, lawyer Maksim Snak , both leading members of the Coordination Council , were arrested.

Protests in Minsk on September 13, 2020

On September 12, women protesting were violently attacked by unidentified masked men. Over 100 people were arrested.

According to the human rights organization Vyasna , up to 150,000 people took part in protests in Minsk on September 13, despite the ban on demonstrations. It was the fifth major Sunday demonstration in a row since the controversial presidential election on August 9, with further demonstrations in Hrodna and Vitebsk . The democracy movement called for a "march of heroes", which should also be dedicated to the imprisoned opposition leader Maryja Kalesnikawa .

A large contingent of police and army was present. The Independence Square and the Palace of the Republic was surrounded by uniformed and sealed off. Metro stations and underpasses were also closed. The mobile internet in Minsk was switched off that day. About 400 people were arrested by the authorities; the police used some brutal measures against demonstrators.

6th week (September 14th to 20th)

Protests in Minsk on September 20, 2020

On the weekend of 19./20. September 2020 there were again protests of the movement in several cities, including Minsk. There were again arrests by the OMON special unit : 415 arrests were made on Saturday during the women's protest march; According to Vyasna , 150 people were arrested on Sunday, including Oleg Moiseyev from the Coordination Council.

In Minsk, Independence Square was cordoned off again and streets were blocked by security forces. According to the dpa, soldiers with assault rifles were standing at the Palace of the Republic. In Brest , police used tear gas after clashes with demonstrators .

7th week (September 21-27)

Police march in Minsk on September 23, 2020

On September 23, Lukashenka was sworn in as president for the sixth time. The ceremony was not announced long in advance, as is usually the case, and it was not broadcast live on state television, apparently to prevent further protests. The capital Minsk was partially cordoned off. Several thousand people demonstrated against the inauguration. The police were brutal and used water cannons and, according to reports, tear gas, which the government denied; several people were injured; According to Vyasna , about 150 people were arrested. The alternative inauguration of the President of the People was planned for Sunday (September 27th).

8th week (September 28th to October 4th)

On Sunday October 4th, over 100,000 people gathered in an unauthorized demonstration in Minsk. A few days earlier, all foreign reporters had their press credentials withdrawn.

9th week (5th to 11th October)

On October 11, the opposition movement again called for a nationwide march of pride . Before that, Lukashenka met surprisingly in the remand prison of the KGB secret service with prisoners of the opposition. At noon, 100,000 demonstrators were expected in Minsk. The authorities used water cannons, stun grenades and arrests to break up the demonstrations. Over 700 people were taken into custody over the weekend over the protests.

Protests in Minsk on October 4, 2020

10th week (October 12th to 18th)

On October 12, the Ministry of the Interior announced that the police had allowed firearms to be used during demonstrations, citing alleged radicalization of the protest.

More than 100 arrests were made during renewed protests, mainly by women and students on Saturday, October 17th. The next day, Sunday, tens of thousands again protested against President Lukashenka, even though the police had threatened the use of firearms. The leadership of the opposition gave Lukashenka a one-week ultimatum and announced another strike and further mass demonstrations if he did not resign. According to the Interior Ministry, 280 people were arrested over the weekend for the protests.

11th week (19th to 25th October)

On October 25, more than 100,000 people gathered in the capital Minsk for a demonstration against the ruler Lukashenka, despite a massive police and military presence. All metro stations were blocked by the state apparatus, and the mobile internet was switched off. In Minsk and other cities, more than 500 people were arrested that day, according to the Belarusian Interior Ministry.

Fatalities

At least six people were killed in connection with the protests. Here are some cases:

Aljaksandr Tarajkouski, 34, was killed on the night of August 10. According to the Belarusian Interior Ministry, an explosive device is said to have exploded in his hand. However, a video was released on August 15 showing that the protester approached the police with empty hands raised and then was shot dead.

On August 12, 2020, the 25-year-old Aljaksandr Wichor with heart disease died after being arrested. According to his mother, the man was arrested in Homel while he was on the way to see his girlfriend. He did not take part in the protests.

The 43-year-old protester Henads Schutau died on August 19 . He was hit in the head with live ammunition on August 11 in the city of Brest .

Older flag of the country as used by the opposition

Symbols

In contrast to the government, which still uses symbols similar to those used in the Soviet era , the opposition uses a version of the Belarusian flag from 1918 and the pahonja , both of which were also in use from 1991 to 1995.

International reactions and reviews

Demonstration by Belarusians in Munich, August 2020

Many Western states expressed concern about developments in the Republic of Belarus and strongly condemned the violence; including all EU member states , the USA, Canada, Switzerland and Great Britain. Luxembourg Foreign Minister Jean Asselborn spoke of " state terrorism ". Chancellor Angela Merkel was shocked by the events. The EU asked for the prisoners to be released. The foreign ministers of the EU member states decided on 14 August 2020 an unscheduled conference sanctions against managers who are responsible for the violence against protesters and for falsifying the election results.

The Russian President Vladimir Putin and China's supreme leader Xi Jinping congratulated Alexander Lukashenko on the other hand to choose from. The well-wishers included Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan , Baschar al-Assad from Syria and Nicolás Maduro from Venezuela.

Amnesty International assessed the frequent mistreatment of those arrested as systematic torture prescribed by the Belarusian leadership.

The Belarusian ambassador to Slovakia, Ihar Lyashchenja , expressed his solidarity with the demonstrations in a video message. He was also shocked by the torture and other use of police force against the demonstrators.

The Lithuanian President Gitanas Nausėda discussed the situation with his counterparts from Poland, Estonia and Latvia. After Lukashenka rejected their offer of mediation, they called for new elections in Belarus.

The German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier called on Lukashenka to renounce violence and to enter into dialogue with the opposition. He said that the military should not sin against their own people. The Lithuanian Foreign Minister repeatedly referred to Lukashenka as a "former president".

On August 17, 2020, EU Council President Charles Michel called a special Belarus summit of European heads of state and government for August 19, 2020 due to the situation. He said that the people of Belarus have the right to choose their future and freely choose their leadership. On August 19, 2020, the member states of the European Union declared that they would not recognize the election result.

Solidarity demonstrations to show support for the opposition in Belarus were also held, for example in Munich and Helsinki . There was also an expression of solidarity in Lithuania on August 23, 2020; so people formed a 34 km long human chain from the Lithuanian capital Vilnius to the Lithuanian-Belarusian border.

On August 28, 2020, the EU foreign ministers agreed on sanctions against supporter Lukashenkas, who threatened countermeasures, due to the election fraud and violence against peaceful demonstrators. The formal decision has yet to follow. Since Lukashenka himself is not affected by the sanctions, the Lithuanian Foreign Minister Linas Antanas Linkevičius called the reaction “symbolic” and “insufficient”. Ukraine, meanwhile, froze all diplomatic contacts with Belarus. After a meeting of the member states, the OSCE called for an end to human rights violations in Belarus.

After the massive withdrawal of accreditations and the arrest of journalists, UK Foreign Minister Dominic Raab spoke on Twitter of an "obvious attempt to disrupt independent and honest reporting." German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas called on the Belarusian government to ensure independent reporting. The country has committed itself to this.

On September 1, 2020, the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights said it had received reports of over 450 documented cases of torture and ill-treatment since the day of the presidential election. At least six people are still missing. The UN Special Rapporteur on Torture Nils Melzer and 14 other UN human rights experts expressed concern about the reports and cases. In a declaration, which was also signed by Anaïs Marin , the UN Special Rapporteur on the human rights situation in Belarus , it is said that the authorities in Belarus must stop all human rights violations immediately. Nobody should be prosecuted for participating peacefully in demonstrations.

On September 9, 2020, the chairman of the conservative EPP group in the European Parliament, Manfred Weber , spoke out in favor of rapid EU sanctions against the leadership in Minsk. The EU must agree on a sanctions list as soon as possible, which also includes President Lukashenka. Weber linked the Belarus issue with the problem of Russia's growing influence: According to Weber , the real question behind the conflict after the controversial presidential election in Belarus is "the Putin system that keeps the entire region in suspense and in hand" and " the question of whether the idea of ​​freedom and democracy spreads further east ”.

At the beginning of October 2020, the EU agreed on sanctions against 40 people accused of fraudulent elections and the crackdown on peaceful protests in Belarus. This does not apply to Aljaksandr Lukashenka . The reason for the exception is that this could complicate diplomatic efforts to resolve the conflict and would deprive the EU of the opportunity to tighten its course again.

The exiles organize aid in Poland, the Polish state enables a “Center for Belarusian Solidarity”.

In October 2020, the European Parliament honored the opposition in Belarus, represented by the Coordination Council, with this year's Sakharov Prize for their commitment to human rights.

Web links

Commons : Belarusian protests, 2020  - collection of pictures, videos and audio files

Individual evidence

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