Tens of thousands of people were back on the streets of Belarus on a fifth day of protests. Doctors, builders, railroad employees and workers from state-run industrial plants joined peaceful protests and solidarity actions. There have also been calls for Belarus-wide strike.
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Meanwhile, Belarusians keep taking to the streets in demonstration against the official results of the vote and violence against peaceful demonstrators. During the day, people marched in big numbers down main streets of Minsk and other cities accompanied by a chorus of hooting cars.
Video footage shows the situation near Pushkinskaya metro station in the evening. Recall that one demonstrator died there during protests the day after the Central Election Comission (CEC) announced early presidential election results.
The participants wore white and formed human chains in solidarity with protesters injured by police. They were joined by healthcare workers across the country – Minsk, Mogilev, Gomel, Grodno, Brest and others.
Look how many wonderful and outraged doctors took to the streets of Vitebsk today!
“When a person comes with a ruptured spleen, a ruptured liver, intestinal damage, broken ribs – this is more than just scary. This is torture, this is atrocity, and this has never happened before in peaceful Belarus. My grandfather did not fight for this, so that now ‘punishers’ could operate on the streets of our cities.”
A column of employees of the Belarusian Railway lined up along the roads with flowers and posters “BR is against violence” in Minsk.
9.14 pm Minsk. With the onset of dusk on Pushkinskaya, hundreds of people people turned on flashlights on their phones. Many are heard chanting “We believe! We can! We will win!”
9.34 pm Grodno. About five thousand people are marching in a column near a glass factory along Pobedy Street to the city center. People are shining flashlights, carrying white-red-white flags, chanting: “Long live Belarus!”
As people walk along the sidewalk, the column stretches for about 1,5 kilometers. Cars are honking. The protesters want to walk to the city center and go home.
9.47 pm Chairwoman of the Council of the Republic of Belarus’ National Assembly Natalya Kochanova said BT that “the president heard the opinion of labour collectives and instructed to investigate all the facts of detentions that have occurred in recent days.”
She said that more than a thousand people have already been released by tonight. Recall that the total number of detainees is more than 6,700 people.
9.52 pm Internal Affairs Minister Yuri Karayev stated that he takes responsibility for the injuries of random people at the protests, and apologizes.
9.59 pm Minsk. A chain of more than a thousand people stretched out on the sidewalks on Dzerzhinsky Avenue, from the Malinovka metro station to the student village, with flowers, white baloonss and turned on flashlights on their phones.
~10 pm Zhodino. At some point, people who gathered at a meeting with the mayor began to chant: “Let go.” (all the detained during peaceful protests – BelarusFeed notes).
~10 pm. In Zhabinka, people also gathered for an action of solidarity:
Below are the photos from Grodno. At about 10 pm people turned on flashlights on their phones, displayed fireworks, clapped to each other and then dispersed.
10.26 pm The action of solidarity in Minsk on Dzerzhinsky Avenue, near the bison, looks more like a holiday then a protest:
At 10.35 pm in Minsk, people keep standing near Pushkinskaya metro station. Some are chanting “go away”, some are just waving flags, others are giving high fives to people in passing cars.
10.51 pm In Minsk, on Dzerzhinsky Avenue near the bison statue, a man walked past TUT.BY journalist saying: “It feels like we have won the war.”
People have rallied all across the country since Sunday, demanding a recount of the ballot that said Belarus President Alexander Lukashenko won 80% of the vote. Nearly 7,000 people have been detained, hundreds injured and two died in a police crackdown on protesters.
Police broke up protests with stun grenades, tear gas, rubber bullets, batons and beatings. The authorities began releasing some of the protesters detained this week. Many of them had bruises and complained of mistreatment, including severe beatings and torture.