“Lukashenko retired today” – Tikhanovskaya on unannounced inauguration of Belarus president
&# 171; People’s Inauguration&# 187; Tikhanovskaya was accompanied by new detentions
Tens of thousands of people took part in regular protests in Belarus
Masked police officers dragged people to cars, used flash bangs and tear gas, while tens of thousands of demonstrators went to another protest rally demanding the departure of Belarusian leader Alexander Lukashenko.
The demonstrators chanted “Impostor!” and “Sveta is our President!” when they took to the streets of Minsk and other cities, dressed in the red and white colors of the opposition. At least 53 people were detained according to human rights activists.
Some called the protest the “people’s inauguration” of Svetlana Tikhanovskaya, the main opponent of Lukashenko, who left the country after the August 9 elections, which, according to Lukashenko’s opponents, were grossly rigged.
Earlier, “Interfax” reported the detention of at least 10 people during the protests on Sunday.
Several metro stations in Minsk were closed, there were disruptions in the work of the mobile Internet.
Police said they used tear gas and flashbangs to disperse demonstrators in Gomel who “did not want to respond to the demands of law enforcement,” TASS reported..
The video, which appeared in local media, shows how security forces in masks spray some substance from cans into the faces of people who, retreating, chant: “Fascists!”
The Belarusian authorities usually publish data on the number of detainees the next day.
Interior Ministry said 150 people were detained during protests on Saturday.
Lukashenko denies electoral fraud and was sworn in at an unannounced ceremony on Wednesday, sparking further protests and condemnation from the EU, US and UK.
Russia stated that the EU’s decision not to recognize Lukashenko as legitimate president is contrary to international law and constitutes an indirect interference in the country’s internal affairs..
“We are witnessing a crisis of power in Belarus with an authoritarian administration that is unable to accept the logic of democracy,” French President Emmanuel Macron said in comments to the Journal du Dimanche published on Sunday. “It is obvious that Lukashenka must leave”.
A former state farm director, 66-year-old Lukashenko has been in power for over a quarter of a century and has shown no desire to step down, with the backing of his traditional ally, Russia..
In a situation where Western countries are preparing to impose sanctions against Minsk, Belarusian Foreign Minister Vladimir Makei accused them of trying to sow “chaos and anarchy”.