The inauguration of Alexander Lukashenko took place suddenly in Minsk on Wednesday, 23 September. Although presidential inaugurations are normally publicised well in advance as major state occasions, the date and location of the event was not disclosed.
In the morning security forces and officials were spotted next to the Palace of Independence. At some point, avenues were sealed off and roads blocked as Lukashenko’s motorcade raced through the city. The sudden move prompted spontaneous protests in different parts of Minsk.
Students also took to streets in protest. Young people with banners were spotted at the Belarusian State University of Culture and Arts and in the courtyard of the main building of the Belarusian State University (BSU).
Students of the University of Culture are chanting: “Sasha, come out, we will congratulate!”.
Several dozen people formed a human chain near the Kaskad residential complex, soon people in civilian clothes with cameras arrived and the protesters dispersed. Only a woman with a child remained.
Meanwhile, reports are coming in that evening classes are canceled or postponed at BSU and BSEU, some business centers and state enterprises finish their work at 6 pm [they are urgently sent home], closure of central metro stations and shutdown of mobile internet after 6 pm are expected.
Recall that mass protests demanding that Lukashenko resign have rocked the country daily since last month’s election, with the largest rallies in Belarus’s capital attracting up to 200,000 people.