Belarus

Zhopa

War Hero
Though despite some heroic camerawork looks a bit more like snowflake outrage than a mass popular uprising.
I think, although I am by default very sceptical about these things, this does genuinely seem to be more than that for once. And, significantly, it's not just in the centre of Minsk like previous minor opposition demos, but appears spread throughout the country.

There are a few Telegram channels aggregating the reports but this one (very opposition) has a pretty good collection - Telegram Web

The early scenes of riot police running away or being beaten back have disappeared now they have numbers, water cannon and are firing baton rounds. But protests still seem to be going on in force. Looks like it's going to be a long night in any case.
 

Flight

LE
Book Reviewer
If you look closely at the protestors though they all seem to be millenials...

Who are famously snowflakey.

I know very little about Byelorussian politics, I'm merely judging it on the footage.
 
If you look closely at the protestors though they all seem to be millenials...

Who are famously snowflakey.

I know very little about Byelorussian politics, I'm merely judging it on the footage.
Somehow I very much doubt these millennials would agree with the privileged Western proponents of Leninism, Marxism, Maoism and various other destructive isms and who have never suffered under them.

ETA update from The Moscow Times includes a few pictures and a video clip of protests.
Police, Protesters Violently Clash in Belarus Capital After Vote - The Moscow Times

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Zhopa

War Hero
Thought I'd put this here for historical context. What's happening in Belarus isn't quite the same and yet there are similarities. Totalitarianism is still there in Belarus. Look how far the Czech Republic has come.

The Velvet Revolution | Radio Prague International
November 17 1989
November 17th 1989 set in motion the Velvet Revolution which led to the peaceful overthrow of the communist regime in Czechoslovakia. Following a brutal police crack-down on an unarmed student demonstration in Prague on that day, thousands of people took to the streets, asserting their desire for change. A week after the fall of the Berlin Wall, with East Germany, Poland and Hungary already firmly set on the road to democracy, it was clear that the Eastern Bloc was crumbling. The fall of the Iron Curtain ended nearly half a century of a divided Europe, changing the political map of the Old Continent and indeed the world. It marked the beginning of a new era for millions of people. During those tumultuous days the eyes of the world were on the former Communist Bloc, with people around the world glued to their TV sets watching history in the making.

ETA The World Wide Web was only invented in 1989. The first Internet browser followed in 1990. Neither was public until 1991 and most of us didn't get on line for a few years after that. You could watch one of four TV channels in the UK, read the papers or listen to the radio. If you were really keen you could tune in to Radio Prague and wonder what the hell was going on with their programming then realise it was a form of peaceful protest.

Mobile phones didn't really take off until the 90's and they didn't have apps on them. Wireless Application Protocol wouldn't be a thing for another decade and was slow and limited.
 
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A reasonable analysis of the dilemma for the West.

'The problem Poland and the EU has with reacting to events in Belarus is that to look the other way means condoning a dictatorship. But to impose sanctions, as was the case in 2010 when Mr Lukaschenko used brutal force against demonstrators protesting the result of a rigged election isolates Belarus and drives it into the arms of Russia.

'Another problem is the fact that to encourage the Belarusians to rise up only then to leave them to face either a crackdown by the dictator or a Russian intervention that would put paid to both Mr Lukaschenko’s reign but would also be the end of democratic dreams is also not an enticing option. And if such an uprising was unsuccessful Mr Lukashenko would have a clinching argument to use in Moscow and back at home that the west was attempting to depose him.'


 
Belarus Police Fire Rubber Bullets, Tear Gas on Protesters
Belarus Police Fire Rubber Bullets, Tear Gas on Protesters - The Moscow Times

A steel plant has gone on strike in response to the suspect election.
Belarus Plant Workers Go on Strike After Contested Vote – Reports
Belarus Plant Workers Go on Strike After Contested Vote – Reports - The Moscow Times

Belarus Poll Challenger Asks Strongman Lukashenko to Cede Power
Challenger Demands Lukashenko 'Hand Over Power' After Election Crackdown - The Moscow Times

How the World Has Reacted to Belarus Presidential Vote
How the World Has Reacted to Belarus Presidential Vote - The Moscow Times
 
Second night of protest last night and the first confirmed protester death. The government also said it was the first protester injury too but that’s and absolute fabrication.


View attachment 496153
Reading beyond the headline, a protester was killed when a firework or as they now say "unidentified explosive device" exploded in his hand. Purple smoke may have been involved in that one, unless it was a stun grenade he may have picked up to throw back but that shouldn't be lethal, although he wouldn't be the first to die from one.

Meanwhile Svetlana Tikhanovskaya has fled to Lithuania after claiming victory in the election. "Officially" she had 10% but nobody believes that.

Moscow Times/AFP:
One Killed in Second Night of Protests Against 'Rigged' Belarus Election

Police used rubber bullets, stun grenades and tear gas but demonstrators fought back with stones and fireworks and built makeshift barricades, AFP reporters, protesters and witnesses said, in chaotic scenes of defiance in the authoritarian former Soviet republic.

A man died when an explosive device went off in his hand Monday night, police said, confirming the first casualty of the post-election protests.

"One of the protesters tried to throw an unidentified explosive device at members of law enforcement. It exploded in his hand," the interior ministry said, adding that he died of his injuries.

Man Killed in New Belarus Protests Over Disputed Election - The Moscow Times

Belarus Election Challenger Flees to Lithuania After More Clashes

The main challenger in Belarus's disputed presidential election had fled to Lithuania on Tuesday after a second night of street clashes between police and opposition supporters left a protester dead.

Svetlana Tikhanovskaya, who has claimed victory over authoritarian President Alexander Lukashenko in Sunday's vote, had arrived in the neighboring country and was safe, Lithuanian Foreign Minister Linas Linkevicius told AFP.

Belarus Election Challenger Flees to Lithuania After More Clashes - The Moscow Times
 
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Ever the opportunist.

'As protests grew in Belarus over the handling of the weekend’s presidential election, Russia moved swiftly to congratulate President Alexander Lukashenko for his electoral win and press for stronger ties with its neighbor ahead of what is expected to be a second night of protests.

Russia and Belarus are closely linked by language and culture. Belarus once was a Soviet state and is strategically located in the center of Eastern Europe, on Russia’s western flank. In recent years, Mr. Lukashenko has sought a closer relationship with Europe and the U.S., annoying the Kremlin. But now Russian President Vladimir Putin appears to detect an opportunity to re-establish its influence in Belarus by shoring up Mr. Lukashenko after an unprecedented wave of protests following Sunday’s vote. In his message to Belarus’s leader, Mr. Putin said he hoped the two countries would expand their integration, building on already strong economic and security ties.

“Putin’s calculus is that as Lukashenko faces a growing challenge from the Belarusian population…he has nowhere to turn other than Moscow,” said Dmitri Trenin, director of the Carnegie Moscow Center, a think tank. Some of Mr. Lukashenko’s own supporters might be willing to drop him after 26 years in power, Mr. Trenin said.

'Independent online pollsters had reported exit polls giving Ms. Tikhanovskaya up to 86% of the vote.
The Belarusian interior ministry reported that some 3,000 people were detained nationwide for participating in unauthorized protests, while 39 law enforcement officers and more than 50 civilians were injured, the Belarusian state news agency Belta reported. Interior ministry officials denied reports from human rights activists that one person had been killed. Mr. Lukashenko said Monday that authorities wouldn’t allow Belarus to be ripped apart by instability, Belta cited him as saying. With protests set to continue, the dispute sets the stage for a confrontation between the two sides that could drive Mr. Lukashenko closer to Moscow, tilting the center of gravity in Eastern Europe further in Mr. Putin’s favor—at least if the Belarusian leader can survive.

'The widening crackdown already is driving a wedge between the Belarusian president and the U.S. and Europe, which had been trying to build a closer relationship with Minsk to balance Russia’s growing influence in the region. The European Union condemned the action of riot police, with European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen separately saying such violence had no place in Europe.'


 
I heard a news report last night stating that Belarus opposition sources were claiming that 'the Poles were defective'.

It occurred to me that the last thing the Belarus opposition need to be doing right now is alienating a neighbouring sovereign state.
 
Nothing snowflakey here at 24 seconds in:
 
Nothing snowflakey here at 24 seconds in:
Doubtless soon to be labelled, 'A helpful member of the Belarussian Security Forces gently assists a drunken reveller who has over-imbibed while celebrating the stunning election victory of President Alexander Lukashenko.';)
 
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I fear that if this continues, the end result is likely to be a claim that:

"The Government of Belarus has asked for fraternal assistance from its friendly neighbour Russia to restore order as foreign powers are at work destabilising the country to overturn the results of a democratic election and install a fascist regime. So out of concern for the well-being of the country Russian troops have been deployed to help keep the peace and return Belarus to normality."

Call me Nostradamus. Or his (much) less well known Scottish equivalent Thomas the Rhymer. :confused:
 
I fear that if this continues, the end result is likely to be a claim that:

"The Government of Belarus has asked for fraternal assistance from its friendly neighbour Russia to restore order as foreign powers are at work destabilising the country to overturn the results of a democratic election and install a fascist regime. So out of concern for the well-being of the country Russian troops have been deployed to help keep the peace and return Belarus to normality."

Call me Nostradamus. Or his (much) less well known Scottish equivalent Thomas the Rhymer. :confused:
The pages of that particular Kremlin playbook are pretty well-thumbed.
 
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4(T)

LE
Belarus and Russia both have long-standing committees looking at "integration" - i.e. Belarus becoming an integral part of the Russian state. I think one can assume that Russian contingency planning goes far beyond mere intervention in support of Belarus' internal security apparatus.

Lukashenko's nuclear option, should he feel that he is losing control, might be to simply sign a union treaty with Russia. He and his cronies would be amply rewarded, and crushing dissent would then become a Russian domestic matter.

This might be closer than we think. There seems to be some evidence that Belarus' army and police - although no doubt heavily penetrated by the Russians - might soon be inclined to "do a Poland" and decline to continue cracking down on their own people.
 
Belarus and Russia both have long-standing committees looking at "integration" - i.e. Belarus becoming an integral part of the Russian state. I think one can assume that Russian contingency planning goes far beyond mere intervention in support of Belarus' internal security apparatus.
Someone had better stay away from the windows in the Duma, else they might have an unfortunate fall! That said, the Kremlin could be playing a very interesting double game, both to get rid of Lukashenko and 'integrate' Belarus.

'Official election results in Belarus showing an overwhelming victory for its longtime ruler were likely falsified, a senior Russian lawmaker has said in a rare stinging rebuke from Alexander Lukashenko’s traditional ally Moscow.

'Belarusian election officials announced that Lukashenko won more than 80% of the vote Sunday, a result that triggered ongoing nationwide protests, strikes and clashes with law enforcement officers. His main challenger also claimed victory and called on him to resign but was later pressured into leaving the country. “The results that were announced don’t inspire confidence,” Konstantin Zatulin, a member of Russia’s lower house of parliament, the State Duma, told the pro-Kremlin Gazeta.ru news outlet Monday. Zatulin, who is the deputy head of the Duma’s committee on post-Soviet affairs, said the presidential election in Belarus “was accompanied by total falsification and disinformation. Saying how many votes Lukashenko won in these circumstances is like reading tea leaves,” he told Gazeta.ru.

'Meanwhile, other Russian officials including President Vladimir Putin and State Duma speaker Vyacheslav Volodin have congratulated Lukashenko on winning his sixth presidential term. Zatulin’s colleague who heads the Duma’s post-Soviet affairs committee, Leonid Kalashnikov, urged Lukashenko to crack down “hard” on demonstrators to avoid an overthrow similar to that of Ukraine in 2014. Zatulin, however, said “it’s unlikely that global public opinion will be on Lukashenko’s side” and criticized the Russian-led election observation mission for declaring the Belarusian election legitimate. “The results of these elections show Lukashenko as a man who imposes himself on Belarus without any ideas,” Zatulin told Gazeta.ru. “Lukashenko has exceeded all limits. We don’t wish for any discord or ‘Maidan’ for Belarus, but he’s insane. The problem is that the head of Belarus is a deranged person when it comes to power,” he said. The Russian lawmaker’s candid remarks appear to contradict the Kremlin’s wait-and-see approach to the unrest in Belarus.

'Several pro-Kremlin newspapers ran columns in support of anti-Lukashenko protesters, while Russian state-run television largely ignored or played down the demonstrations.'


 
Just a good egg who doesn't want to see her supporters injured, or has she been got at, with her husband currently in gaol in Belarus?

'A few hours ago, a video featuring presidential hopeful Svyatlana Tsikhanouskaya was posted appeared on the Telegram channel that is allegedly cooperating with Belarusian government agencies.

'In the video, Svyatlana Tsikhanouskaya reads out her appeal to the Belarusian people from a paper card, she looks as if she were close to tears. “Dear citizens of the Republic of Belarus. I, Svyatlana Tsikhanouskaya, thank you for your voting in the presidential election. The people of Belarus have made their choice. With gratitude and warmth, I appeal to all the citizens who have been supporting me all the while. Belarusians, I urge you to be prudent and respect the law. I do not want bloodshed and violence. I ask you not to confront the police, not to take to the streets so that your lives would not be jeopardised. Take care of yourselves and your nearest and dearest,” she said.

'As reported earlier, Svyatlana Tsikhanouskaya left Belarus after being retained by the authorities for about seven hours in the Central Election Committee, now she is in Lithuania. In her previous video message, she says she had a ‘hard choice’ and makes mention of her kids and the value of human life, which might be indicative of the Belarusian officials’ allegedly exerting pressure on her and threatening her family.

'Her husband, popular blogger and might-have-been presidential candidate Syarhei Tsikhanouski, has been in prison since late May; several criminal charges have been brought against him. A number of Tsikhanouskaya’s election agents and supporters have been jailed under a far-fetched pretext as well.'


 

Zhopa

War Hero
has she been got at?
Yes. If you look at the video that she recorded after being released, she makes it pretty plain that she recorded the "official" one after they threatened her kids.


Which means, if they have convinced her that they can reach them even though they are supposed to be in hiding, that she may well be out of the running. But the protesters have been operating without any central leadership in any case.

ETA: Meanwhile Brit journos are stampeding to Vilnius to try to get face to face interviews. Let's see if she is willing to talk to anyone now.
 
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