On December 19, 2010, Minsk became the ground for the most massive protest in the history of independent Belarus. According to various estimates, between 15,000 to 40,000 people gathered in the downtown to protest the results of the fourth presidential election.
It went down in history as Plošča 2010.
Protesters took to the streets even before the results of the voting were announced. The demonstrators, presidential candidates among them, demanded re-election without Alexander Lukashenko.
The rally started at Kastryčnickaja squire and ended with a crackdown and mass arrests in front of the House of Government at Niezaliežnasci squire.
Police detained citizens, activists, and even the candidates and their team members.
About 800 people, including journalists, were detained that night according to human rights defenders. 49 people were charged and convicted in the case of the riots in 2011; many of them got prison sentences.
All the convicted were later named political prisoners by human rights defenders, the EU, and the United States. The last persons involved in the case of the massive protest were released after a pardon by the president in August 2015.
The Central Election Commission declared Alexander Lukashenko the winner with 79.67% of the votes. The runner-up candidate Andrej Sannikaŭ received 2.43% of the vote; Yaraslaw Ramančuk got 1.98% and Uladzimir Nyaklyayew – 1.78%.