August 23, 2020
Protests continue in the Eastern European country of Belarus for the second week, after a disputed election. Alexander Lukashenko - who has been President of Belarus for over 20 years - refuses to step down after accusations of election rigging. Instead, he has launched what some describe as a brutal crackdown on his own people.
Svetlana Tikhanoskaya, the Belarusian opposition leader, is currently hiding in Lithuania. She believes she won the election, and the President needs to stand down.
Sooner or later he will have to step away. It’s better for everybody. It’s better for the country if it will happen in the shortest time.Source: Svetlana Tikhanovskaya, Al Jazeera
However, the President has refused to let go, and even made claims that foreign forces are responsible for the protests. NATO denies this claim.
The police are accused of using excessive force on protesters, with some ending up dead. According to Minsk based journalist and analyst, Franak Viacorka, one such protester was found in a forest yesterday.
Many people in the Western world have taken to Twitter to voice their outrage at Lukashenko, and their support for democracy in Belarus.
Some are speculating that Vladimir Putin is feeling the heat, and is cracking down on dissent. One of his biggest critics was Alexey Navalny, who recently fell ill from a suspected poisoning. There are reports the band Pussy Riot is being targeted in Russia as well.
“This is disturbing. In the midst of the assassination attempt against Alexey Navalny the Russian authorities are now targeting Pussy Riot. Putin seems to be going after many of his enemies. He must be terrified of the Belarus uprising jumping the border into Russia.Source: Bill Browder, Twitter
A quick search of Donald Trump’s Twitter feed reveals he has not mentioned Belarus, at least on Twitter, in the last two weeks.
The unrest in Belarus continues.
Article by: Mark Slapinski