An unauthorised rally against Belarus’ integration with Russia is currently taking place in the centre of Minsk on 20 December at Kastryčnickaja Płošča.
The protest was caused by today’s meeting between Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko and Russian President Vladimir Putin who agreed on roadmaps. Activists along with opposition leaders gathered near the Christmas tree, where people with children and police officers in civilian clothes were spotted.
Yuri Gubarevich, the head of the Za Svobodu (For Freedom) movement stated that the action was exclusively peaceful. Pavel Severinets, the co-chairman of the Belarusian Christian-democratic party spoke out against the negotiations between Lukashenko and Putin, “because they are held without the participation of the Belarusian people.”
According to journalists, over 700 people came to the rally. Severynets once again addressed the security forces. “We are standing here so that you are not sent to fight in Syria and the Donbass. Please do not make provocations,” the politician said.
The crowd is chanting “No alliances with imperial Russia”, “Long Live Belarus” and “Join us” headed to Plošča Niezaliežnasci, where the rally would be held. Passing cars are heard honking. According to human rights defenders, 1,100 people gathered at Plošča Niezaliežnasci as of 7.10 pm.
The police held preventive conversations with those who participated in the rallies on 7-8 December, warning of the illegality of participating in unauthorized mass events.
Crowds in Minsk protest against the integration with Russia. pic.twitter.com/TlTBCFJYDY
— Franak Viačorka (@franakviacorka) December 20, 2019