Protests, Coronavirus, Article 23.34. Best News Photos That Captured 2020 In Belarus

There was before. And then there was after, when 2020, a year like no other, came. One of the most exhausting, eventful and strangest years Belarusians have experienced, perhaps, since the collapse of the USSR and gaining independence. First, the coronavirus pandemic took centre stages: face masks, hand sanitizers everywhere, trips cancelled and closed borders. COVID-19 revealed new heroes and gave a start to civil society and mutual assistance.

Then the presidential election on 9 August split Belarus into before and afterWe’ve witnessed so many history-changing milestones, it seems they need a chronicle of their own. Police brutality, widespread protests and solidarity coming from across the globe, beautiful and defiant women, horror stories told by those released from detention centres and police stations. The year marked by 23.34, this is no ordinary numbers, for thousands of Belarusians they are fines, days behind bars and torture.

2020 ended with an ellipsis, or rather with a question mark, the answer to which may be given by 2021. To refresh the memory of the events that we lived in, the TUT.BY photo service has selected the 50 best news photos that captured 2020. Here is a look back at some of the major news events and moments we have lived through.

Thousands of people with white-red-white flags gathered at the Minsk Hero City Obelisk during the Freedom March, the first large-scale Sunday peaceful rally that took place a week after the presidential elections. According to media reports, about 200,000 people took part in it. The Freedom March has become the most massive opposition rally in the entire history of independent Belarus. Minsk, Belarus, August 16, 2020. Photo: Daria Buryakina

Aeroplanes flying in front of the Red Church during a rehearsal of an air parade dedicated to Victory Day on May 7, 2020 in Minsk. Due to bad weather, the aviation rehearsal was postponed several times. Photo: Dmitry Brushko

A law enforcement officer escorts the participants of the women’s Shining March to a paddy wagon on Surganov Street. Minsk, September 19, 2020. A photo of a girl walking with a smile, accompanied by an OMON officer hit popular public pages and was called “Stylish detention” or “Belarusian Vogue”. Photo: Daria Buryakina

A poster at the Pushkinskaya metro station where a man died during protests. An improvised memorial in memory of Alexander Taraikovsky appeared near this place. People brought flowers and posters as a symbol of protest against violence. Minsk, Belarus, August 21, 2020. Photo: Daria Buryakina

Drills to prevent an outbreak of coronavirus were held on 7 February at the 6th city clinical hospital in Minsk. According to legend, a patient with ARVI symptoms came to the admission department of the hospital and said that she was in China. February 7, 2020, Minsk, Belarus. Photo: Vadim Zamirovsky

About a thousand Hasidic Jews were stuck in September at the Belarusian-Ukrainian border between the Novaya Guta and Novye Yarylovichi checkpoints. Hasidic pilgrims come to Ukrainian Uman annually to celebrate the Jewish New Year (Rosh Hashanah, in 2020 was celebrated on September 18-20) and to pray at the grave of the founder of Bratslav Hasidism, Tzadik Nachman, who lived in the 18th-19th centuries. This year, due to the coronavirus on August 28, Ukraine closed the border – and many of the Hasidim went to Belarus. In total, in September 2020, about 4,000 pilgrims were stuck in Belarus. Novaya Guta, Gomel region, Belarus. September 16, 2020. Photo: Sergey Komkov

Women stand in front of riot police on Pobediteley Avenue in central Minsk during a protest against the presidential election results in Minsk on August 10, 2020. Photo: Olga Shukailo,

A protester in a cloud of smoke on the night after the presidential election near the Riga supermarket. Tens of thousands of Belarusians took to the streets after the announcement of the presidential election results. In Minsk and other cities of Belarus, security forces brutally dispersed protesters using flash and gas grenades and rubber bullets. Minsk, Belarus, August 9, 2020. Photo: Vadim Zamirovsky

People stand in the pouring rain in the chain of solidarity in Minsk on June 18, 2020. The action began at 6 pm at the site at the Belarusian State Philharmonic Society and by 10 pm the human chain reached the Independence Square. Photo: Dmitry Brushko

An employee of the Volozhin regional executive committee carries folders for officials who elected members of precinct commissions in the presidential elections. When one of the applicants asked why he was not chosen, the head of the district, Yevgeniy Krukovich, replied: “Because we decided so.” June 23, 2020. Volozhin, Belarus. Photo: Vadim Zamirovsky

Svetlana Tikhanovskaya says goodbye to her supporters after a campaign rally in Grodno on August 1, 2020. 7-10 thousand people came to the rally in the Kolozhsky park. Photo: Katerina Gordeeva

Maria Zaitseva, injured by a flashbang explosion in the evening after the presidential election on August 9, sits on a bed in an emergency hospital ward. Minsk, August 14, 2020. The girl still cannot hear with one ear. According to her, she didn’t lose her sign only because she was wearing lenses when a grenade exploded. Photo: Vadim Zamirovsky

The rector of the Red Church, the Minsk priest-canon Vladislav Zavalnyuk, went on a pilgrimage on a monowheel. As a result, the priest managed to reach Budslav, where the patronal feast of the Budslav Icon of the Mother of God gathers pilgrims from all over the world each year. June 29, 2020. Minsk, Belarus. Photo: Dmitry Brushko

Protesters build an impromptu barricade on Pushkin Avenue in Minsk at night on August 9, 2020. Tens of thousands of Belarusians took to the streets after the announcement of the presidential election results. In Minsk and other cities of Belarus, security forces brutally dispersed protesters using flash and gas grenades and rubber bullets. Minsk, Belarus, August 9, 2020. Photo: Vadim Zamirovsky

On the shortest night of the year, from June 20 to June 21, the celebration of the traditional Belarusian Kupalle took place in two places of Vitebsk Oblast. About 40 enthusiasts from the student ethnographic fellowship gathered near a lake in the Ushachi region to conduct an ancient ceremony. Ushachsky district, Belarus. June 20, 2020. Photo: Vadim Zamirovsky

Maria Kolesnikova asks the participants of the march to move to a safe distance from security forces, who have created a cordon on Pobediteley Avenue near the residence of Alexander Lukashenko. Minsk, August 30, 2020. On this day, thousands of people marched through the center of Minsk with “gifts” for Lukashenko, they left some of them at the fence of the residence and in front of security forces. Photo: Dmitry Brushko

Supporters of Alexander Lukashenko sing the anthem on Partizansky Prospekt in Minsk, where a pro-government rally was held on August 19, 2020. Photo: Olga Shukailo

A law enforcer brandishes a rubber truncheon at a girl during the dispersal of people who disagree with the results of the presidential elections in Belarus. Minsk, Belarus, August 9, 2020. Photo: Dmitry Brushko

Residents of the Sukharevo microdistrict collect clean water from a drinking spring on Goretsky Street. On the morning of June 24, in several districts, tap water had a pungent smell and taste, people couldn’t drink it or use it for domestic purposes. Minskers were lining up at the few springs and water sources even at night. June 24, 2020. Minsk, Belarus Photo: Dmitry Brushko

Belaruskali workers vote during the announced strike. The workers demanded new elections, the release of all political prisoners and the resignation of those responsible for violence in the country. Soligorsk, 17 August 2020. Photo: Dmitry Brushko

An elderly Victory Parade participant wearing a protective mask awaits the start of the procession on the podium at the Great Patriotic War Museum in Minsk, May 9, 2020. Photo: Daria Buryakina

A waterfall on the Rybchanka river, 7 km from Radoshkovichi, borders on the Brigantina health-improving complex of the BSU. It was here that, starting from February 7, students from China, who returned to Belarus from vacation, were brought for a two-week observation of arrivals. Students could freely move around the complex and leave it. February 7, 2020, Radoshkovichi, Belarus. Photo: Sergey Balay

Shura Sidelnik is 20 years old. At five, the boy lost both of his hands in an accident, he was electrocuted. Amputation was the only chance for salvation. At first, his family fought for the boy’s survival, now – for his independent future. Shura recently became a master of sports in swimming and now dreams of taking part in the Paralympic Games. Gomel, Belarus, March 10, 2020. Photo: Sergey Komkov, TUT.BY

A guy and a girl are riding a scooter in front of a security forces’ cordon on Pobediteley Avenue in the evening after the announcement of the presidential election results. Minsk, August 9, 2020. Thousands of people came to the city centre to express their disagreement with the results announced by the CEC. Photo: Dmitry Brushko

Russian choreographer Sergei Zemlyansky is working with the Kupalovsky theatre troupe on the play without words “En souvenir de Chagall”. The premiere of the play was to take place on March 14. But first, it was postponed due to the coronavirus. And then most of the troupe left the theatre in protest against the dismissal of its director Pavel Latushko. As a result, the performance was cancelled. Belarus, March 4, 2020. Photo: Olga Shukailo

82-year-old Mitred Archpriest Viktor Bokovets, rector of the largest Orthodox church in the Grodno Oblast – Spaso-Preobrazhensky Cathedral in Slonim, restored over a dozen churches in the Grodno and Brest Oblasts during his life. Slonim, Belarus. September 10, 2020. Photo: Katerina Gordeeva

A girl with flowers in her hands walks past a barbed wire and a security forces cordon. Minsk, August 30, 2020. On this day, thousands of protesters participated in the Sunday rally dedicated to the birthday of Alexander Lukashenko. Photo: Dmitry Brushko

A doctor stretches a patient’s hand who is on a ventilator in the Vitebsk City Clinical Emergency Hospital. Physicians who work with COVID-19 patients do not leave a “dirty zone” until the end of their shifts. For doctors in this department, the shift lasts 8 hours, nurses usually work for 12 hours. April 27, 2020. Vitebsk, Belarus. Photo: Ales Piletsky

A participant of the Liberation of Political Prisoners’March demonstrates her banner to a driver of a water cannon on Masherov Avenue. Minsk, October 4, 2020. Then security forces tried to disperse numerous demonstrators using special vehicles. Photo: Daria Buryakina

Karina Radchenko is in her fifth year at the medical university and works as a nurse in one of the Minsk Republican Scientific and Practical Center. For a little over a year on weekends, she provides medical help to the homeless. In her backpack, there is a blood pressure monitor, a blood glucose meter and some medicine. January 25, 2020. Minsk, Belarus. Photo: Vadim Zamirovsky

People turn on flashlights on their mobile phones during a peaceful protest in Independence Square. Minsk, August 21, 2020. Photo: Daria Buryakina

Belarusian presidential contender Viktor Babariko dons a protective mask after a press conference that took place on May 20, 2020, in Minsk. Photo: Daria Buryakina

The altar with the Virgin Mary in the village of Kalety in the Grodno Oblast reminds of the grandiose military operation of the Soviet army that took place here in 1945 and was called the “August raid”. 75 years ago, the Soviet military, detachments of Smersh, the civilian police and the Polish Public Security Directorate carried out a special operation to destroy the Polish underground, which at that time dominated the region. Kalety, Grodno region, Belarus. September 26, 2020. Photo: Katerina Gordeeva

Nikolay and Inna Khoruzhie have lunch in the shade of a truck during a break in bread harvesting. For three generations, the Khoruzhie family from the small village of Khodorki in the Ivatsevichi region have been working in the local household, and their family has long become a well-known dynasty of machine operators. Khodorki village, Ivatsevichi district. September 10, 2020. Photo: Evgeny Erchak

A girl hugs a law enforcement officer on the steps of the Government House in Minsk, August 14, 2020. Photo: Vadim Zamirovsky

A young participant of the Bagration festival, which took place on the territory of the Stalin Line historical and cultural complex, is resting after a staged battle. A large-scale staging took place near Minsk on July 3-4, 2020. Photo: Dmitry Brushko

Vasilisa the bear is settling into its new enclosure in the Berezinsky nature reserve. The commission confiscated the Red Data Book animal from farmer Nikolai Tarletsky in the Borisov district, to whom the little bear came out of the forest herself. June 7, 2020. Berezinsky Nature Reserve, Belarus. Photo: Dmitry Brushko

According to Vladislav Kuznechik, the police in this photo are spraying gas at his father Vitaly. A few days later, the father and son arrived at the Swedish Embassy in Minsk to ask for political asylum. When the doors didn’t open, the father and son jumped over the fence. Vladislav (29 years old) and Vitaly (47 years old) Kuznechiki have been on the territory of the embassy for more than three months. Vitebsk, Belarus. September 6, 2020. Photo: Ales Piletsky

Thousands of people with white-red-white flags, posters and balloons walk past the Grodno prison No. 1 during the Freedom March. Grodno, August 16, 2020. Photo: Katerina Gordeeva

A man places his ballot paper in a ballot box during the presidential elections in Belarus on the morning of August 9, 2020, at a polling station at the BSU Lyceum in Minsk. Photo: Dmitry Brushko

Viktoria, a protester, sits on the ground after one of the law enforcement officers hit her in the face with a truncheon. Minsk, September 23, 2020. Thousands of people went to the centre of Minsk in the evening to protest against the secret inauguration of Alexander Lukashenko, which took place on that day. Photo: Vadim Zamirovsky

Women show sympathy for Alexander Lukashenko at the women’s forum, which took place in the capital’s Minsk-Arena, where thousands of participants were brought from across the country to support Lukashenko after the presidential elections. Minsk, Belarus. September 18, 2020. Photo: Vadim Zamirovsky

The 28-year-old coach of the Tornado martial arts centre Sasha Nichiporchik from trains teenagers in the agricultural towns of Malech, Shereshevo, and Pruzhany. Sasha rents a gym at the Malech Secondary School, where he teaches children Taekwondo. April 19, 2020. Beloozersk-Malech, Brest region, Belarus. Photo: Stanislav Korshunov

A protester hangs a white-red-white flag on the bas-relief of a monument to Lenin in Minsk, Independence Square on August 18, 2020. Photo: Dmitry Brushko

Unique Belarusian horses on the pasture of one of the best stud farms in Belarus “Polesskaya Niva”. In the summer, the farm’s livestock numbered 182 horses, among which there were both descendants of eminent champions and horses, which even today can be safely called “the stars of the breed”. Stud farm “Polesskaya Niva”, Stolin district, Belarus. July 17, 2020. Photo: Evgeny Erchak

Security forces blocked the entrance to the Red Church for those hiding from them in the temple after the dispersal of the protesters at the walls of the church on Independence Square. Minsk, August 26, 2020. Photo: Daria Buryakina

A participant of the traditional Kupalle celebration throws a wreath into the Drisu River in the early morning of June 21. On the day of the summer solstice in the Vitebsk Oblast, the student ethnographic association from Minsk and the historical and cultural club “Knyazhich” from Novopolotsk celebrated Kupalle in two separate events. June 21, 2020. Verhnedvinsky district, Belarus. Photo: Sergey Balay

Security forces block the women who supported Maria Kolesnikova. The rally started at the Komarovka market, where several protesters were detained. But most brutal detentions took place on Masherov Avenue, where the participants tried to stand in front of the fighters in balaclavas. The photo of the confrontation was widely shared on social media and hit the headlines of various news sources. Minsk, Belarus. September 8, 2020. Photo: Evgeny Erchak

A young woman is standing at the gates of the temporary detention centre on Okrestin Street, in the hope of getting information about the detained relative. Minsk, Belarus, August 12, 2020. Photo: Vadim Zamirovsky

Eugene, an employee of a small ceramic factory “KeramDekor”, located in the village of Troshchitsy, Korelichi region, forms a vase on a potter’s wheel. The man came to Troshchitsy to work. Here, he met a woman, got married, had a child, and now he is building a house. July 7, 2020. Troshchitsy village, Korelichi district. Photo: Katerina Gordeeva

Source: TUT.BY