Two rallies have been taking place in Minsk today, one was in support of Alexander Lukashenko on Independence Square, the other – at the Minsk-Hero City stele on Pobediteley Avenue. TUT.BY tried to calculate how many people gathered at these two events via the MapChecking service.
People from all over the country were brought to Minsk by bus and train for a rally in support of the president. Some of them came of their own will, others reportedly were told to attend otherwise face dismissals, being evicted from dormitory or promised financial rewards.
The president himself addressed the audience. According to the Interior Ministry, 65,000 people participated in pro-Lukashenko rally. Meanwhile, tens of thousands gathered at the at the Minsk-Hero City stele chanting: “Go away!”, “We believe! We can! We will overcome!”, “Lukashenko — to a police van!”.
Let’s count the number of people. For speed and convenience, TUT.BY journalists used the MapChecking website: there one can outline a zone and the algorithm will calculate the approximate area and the number of people who could fit in there.
So, let’s have a look at the photo from Independence Square
It can be seen that the most substantial concentration of people is at the tribune, while the area next to the Lenin monument is empty. Figure all the sites were occupied, except the area in front of the Government House and the crowd was not dense, let’s say one person per square meter, then we get over seven thousand people.
If you set the density to two people per square meter, you get almost 14.5 thousand.
However, we should admit that the photo was taken before the speech of Alexander Lukashenko. Therefore, we will choose the maximum density – 4.3 people per square meter and get about 31 thousand people.
Now let’s look at the photo at the Minsk-Hero City stele
Judging by the footage from above, the crowd is pretty dense, so let’s put an average of two people per square meter. Since people do not get out on the road, we checked the data for four separate sections. If we add up all the figures, we will get at least 220,000 people.
Political TUT.BY editor Artyom Shraibman stated that a realistic estimated number of people who came to the stele, taking into account the rotation, is about 300,000, since they stretched along the streets.
Here’s another estimate of the number of Lukashenko’s supporters and opponents, based on the density of the crowd. The difference between them is 10 times: 12.6 thousand versus 127.2 thousand.
Еще одна оценка численности сторонников и противников Лукашенко, основанная на плотности толпы. Разница между ними — в 10 раз: 12,6 тысяч против 127,2 тысяч pic.twitter.com/Zm3trm1vV7
— Лента.ру (@lentaruofficial) August 16, 2020
However, such calculations are not accurate, when shooting from above, the data may be overestimated or, vice versa, some people are not taken into account, since they are not visible behind trees and buildings. No method is one hundred percent accurate. Therefore, the statistics always operate approximate values.
The text was translated by Ivan Zayats