Civil courage in Belarus: what a wedding!

It’s hard to believe that people need to be hidden. Janka Belarus tells of life in Minsk in stormy times. Episode 36.

Roman Bondarenko is dead. On November 12, security forces killed in Photo: BelaPAN / reuters

On Sunday, during a peaceful protest march in Minsk, demonstrators were arrested again. This time there were more than 1000 people. One of the places where clashes occurred was the “Place of Change”. People had come there with candles and flowers to commemorate Roman Bondarenkos – a resident of the court who was killed by security forces on November 12th.

In the evening members of the OMON special unit showed up and the events were reminiscent of films about the Second World War. The security forces had appeared in large numbers, they were armed and ready to attack the people who were only carrying flowers and their mourning. The whole district was cordoned off with technical equipment. The residents opened the entrances to their houses and hid people in back buildings and their apartments.

Simply going for a walk with the dog, going to a shop or anywhere else without showing a passport is no longer allowed. That is why many Minsk people have decided that their guests will stay overnight. All you have to do is turn off the light and activate flight mode on the cell phones so that there is no intense signal that calls the cell phone operator into action. More than 100 people stayed at the “Place of Change” until Monday morning at 10 a.m. Only then was it possible to go home.

Another amazing story happened in another part of the city with the girl Tatjana: “If someone had told me in the morning that something like this was possible, I would not have believed it. To be honest, it was the most unusual day of protest for us today. First we went to the Pushkinskaya subway station. Then everything was the same – they ran after us. And suddenly, like an angel, a girl waved to us from an open doorway. To be honest, we didn’t think about it for long and happily walked there. And not just us. The last one could just close the door, which was already hit by batons.

The diary entries in Russian can be found here.

And what was in the apartment? A wedding! There were a lot of people there. At first we sat very quietly on the floor and modestly declined when we were offered something. But then we lost our nerve a bit. In short, this is a wedding that we will tell our grandchildren about. How 15 people who happened to meet together hid and sincerely wished the newlyweds all the best. The two were very kind and happy! How much one would like to wish them good luck. And U.S. So that your family grows up in a new Belarus. People, so that you can be together for many years to come. Today you and your loved ones were the most incredible people of the day for us! “

From the Russian Barbara Oertel

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The EU sanctions Lukashenko and his son for the repression in Belarus

And it is a fact. The European Union has extended this Friday the list of those punished for the alleged fraud in the elections of August 9 in Belarus and the political repression that has followed those elections by the Minsk regime. The Council has extended the correction to fifteen members of the power network of the former Soviet republic, including Alexandr Lukashenko himself and his son and national security adviser Viktor Lukashenko. They are blamed for direct responsibility “for the violent repression and intimidation of peaceful protesters, members of the opposition and journalists” after those presidential elections wrapped in a halo of ‘fury’ that led Alexandr Lukashenko to perpetuate himself in a government he leads with a heavy hand since 1994.

The restrictive measures now apply to a total of 59 people linked to his regime and translate into a ban on traveling to any territory of the European Union as well as the freezing of their assets in any of the states of the community territory. Furthermore, EU citizens and companies are prohibited from making funds available to any of the people or companies linked to them, who are part of this ‘black list’.

The decision to include Lukashenko comes into effect after the green light given by the foreign ministers on October 12 in what was their first face-to-face meeting in Luxembourg since the outbreak of the pandemic crisis. The Council of European Foreign Ministers once again condemned the violence carried out by the Belarusian authorities against peaceful protesters (more than 700 arrests were made during protests across the country the previous weekend).

In addition, the EU recalled that on September 24, 2020, the High Representative for Foreign Affairs, Josep Borrell, already issued a statement on behalf of the European Union in which he expressly questioned the ‘premiere’ of Lukashenko’s new mandate . Specifically, it will be emphasized that the Belarusian politician lacked the democratic legitimacy to continue as head of the country’s Presidency and the authorities were required to “immediately refrain from any act of greater repression and violence against the Belarusian people.” The “immediate and unconditional” release of all detainees, including political prisoners, was also called for.

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BBC included Tikhanovskaya and Pushkina in the top 100 influential women of the year :: Society :: RBC

Svetlana Tikhanovskaya

(Фото: Omar Marques / Getty Images)

British television and radio company BBC has included ex-presidential candidate Svetlana Tikhanovskaya in its annual list of the 100 most inspiring and influential women in the world.

Tikhanovskaya was the only representative of Belarus in this ranking. The accompanying text indicates that in 2020 she “led the national democratic movement” in the republic and participated as a candidate in the presidential elections. After the vote, the Belarusian authorities announced the victory of Alexander Lukashenko and mass protests began in the country. Moscow recognized the election results.

“Svetlana fled to Lithuania. She continues to lead the democratic movement in exile, ”the message says.

Oksana Pushkina, a State Duma deputy from United Russia, and Yulia Tsvetkova, an activist, were included in the top 100 from Russia.

In the profile of Pushkina, it is reported that she stood up for several journalists who accused the deputy Leonid Slutsky of harassment. It is reported about Yulia Tsvetkova that because of the explicit drawings of women’s bodies published on social networks, the activist faces up to six years in prison.

This year, the BBC’s list also includes human rights defenders from different countries, politicians, actresses and many others. Among them are Finnish Prime Minister Sanna Marin, Malaysian actress and Chinese dancer Michelle Yeoh, best known for her role in Avatar 2 and the Marvel films Shang Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings, microbiologist Sarah Gilbert, who leads the development of the COVID-19 vaccine in Oxford; and actress Jane Fonda, who is a climate change activist.

Top 10 influential women in the world according to Forbes

In 2019, the BBC’s ranking of influential women included Lyubov Sobol, a lawyer from the Anti-Corruption Foundation (FBK), and Greta Thunberg, an environmental activist from Sweden. Among other things, the TV and radio company then included Sobol in the group “leaders”, which also included 18 people.

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against the opposition, Lukashenko’s war of attrition

The first time Vitaly was summoned to the police station was in August, after taking part in the strike at the Minsk electrical engineering plant. “The police asked me to identify the leaders of the protest in my company, he says in the kitchen of his small family apartment, on the outskirts of the Belarusian capital. They threatened me with criminal charges, but I refused. “

Back at the factory, this engineer and union leader continued his involvement in the unprecedented protest movement that has agitated the country for three months. But the ax ended up falling. On November 2, Vitaly was fired. In the process, he received a new police summons. “This time, I don’t know what’s going to happen to me. “

→ INVESTIGATION. Lukashenko in the face of the Belarusian opposition’s ultimatum

Like Vitaly, thousands of Belarusians responded on October 26 to the call for a strike launched by opposition leader Svetlana Tikhanovskaya after the expiration of her ultimatum demanding the resignation of President Alexander Lukashenko. Alas, the slogan was only partially followed, and the general strike supposed to paralyze the country did not take place.

In the streets padlocked by the police, the thousands of demonstrators who marched in Minsk on November 1 and 8 offered the spectacle of a mobilization in loss of speed, even if, according to the organization of defense of the human rights Viasna, at least 830 people were arrested in Minsk and a few other cities on Sunday. Proof of the limits of an unstructured movement, according to observers. The result, above all, of the war of attrition initiated by the regime to put an end to the protest.

“You are a good worker but you have to choose your side”

Hotbeds of contestation, the universities have been the object of a takeover, with the replacement of several rectors considered too conciliatory. About fifteen teachers have already been made redundant, and nearly 200 students excluded. “On October 26, I was summoned by the director of my establishment to write a note explaining the reasons for my participation in the strike”, remembers Piotr (1), a student of the Belarusian State University of Culture and Arts. His dismissal followed within 24 hours.

The pressure has also mounted a notch within companies, especially in the public sector, which employs 40% of the working population. Many strikers have been made redundant, or have had their contracts not renewed. Sergei (1), a programmer at the Peleng factory in Minsk, got involved in the strikes after the fraudulent re-election of Alexander Lukashenko in August. His manager recently summoned him for a “conversation”, which he sums up in one sentence: “You are a good worker but you have to choose your side. “

“Our revolution is only three months old”

Despite the threat of dismissal, he continues to work for the creation of an independent union in his company; witness among others of a mobilization that continues in new forms. “Italian strikes are spreading in the public sector: people come, but hardly work”, says Vitaly, the former engineer at the electrical engineering plant in Minsk, where productivity is said to have fallen sharply. For him, it is the economic slump that will ultimately revitalize the movement. “Our revolution is only three months old, he recalls. In Poland, it took Solidarnosc ten years to win. “

Like him, many Belarusians met by The cross do not perceive the slowing down of the protest as a failure, but as the temporary lull of a convulsive movement lasting. “The demonstrations may lose intensity or gain momentum, other forms of solidarity and modes of action will continue, says political scientist Artiom Chraïbman. Lukashenko can still survive for months, even a year or two, but in the short or medium term, his departure is inevitable. “

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“Power cannot stop movement”

Dmitry Strotsev, 57, Belarusian poet

“On October 21, while I was shopping, I was arrested in the street. Men in civilian clothes handcuffed me, forced me into a van, and put a bag over my head. I was taken to the KGB headquarters for questioning, and after a hasty trial, sentenced to 13 days in prison for participating in a demonstration. I found myself in a cell with ten people, people from all walks of life.

We supported each other, I organized a poetry evening. It was a moment of intense fraternity. I understood in prison that power cannot put an end to movement. Whether the protests grow or shrink, there is no going back. Society has changed at the molecular level. And I will continue to protest. “

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Lukashenka named a way to remove him from power :: Politics :: RBC

The President claims that only the people can do this on the basis of existing laws.

Alexander Lukashenko

(Photo: Maxim Guchek / EPA / TASS)

At the meeting on the presentation of credentials to foreign ambassadors, President of Belarus Alexander Lukashenko said that there was only one way to remove him from power, BelTA news agency reported. “Only the Belarusian people can do this on the basis of the laws that exist today and the Belarusian Constitution,” he said.




Video: Pool of the First / Telegram

Video: Pool of the First / Telegram


Video

“Recently, Western states are very worried about the further development of Belarus, they are very worried and are building different schemes of influencing the Belarusian authorities and the president in order to overthrow the existing system. We got to the point that we are ready to involve Russia in this process, but they do not know how (I am making this statement on the basis of iron facts, as they say in China), ”Lukashenka said.

He noted that although “the current moment can be assessed in different ways,” the Belarusians, he is sure, have proven their ability to defend the country’s sovereignty, traditional values ​​and territorial integrity.

Lukashenka said about a gap in the patriotic education of youth

Photo: EPA / TASS

Since August 9, mass protests have been held in Belarus against fraudulent elections, which, according to the CEC, was won by Lukashenka. His main rival Svetlana Tikhanovskaya, who, according to official data, received 10% of the vote, is supported by the governments of European states. Lukashenka has repeatedly stated that the elections were fair. Moscow recognized him as president.

Lukashenka’s opponents continue to take to the streets. On November 22 alone, at rallies in Minsk and other cities of the country, more than 300 people were detained, demanding the cancellation of the voting results and new elections. Human rights activists indicated that some of the people were taken away in ambulances.

Read on RBC Pro

In mid-November, it became known about the death of activist Roman Bondarenko in Minsk. He died in hospital after being beaten in the courtyard of his house by unknown persons in civilian clothes and masks. The Prosecutor General’s Office later said that the ambulance doctor who told about the incident had given false information.

In mid-November, Lukashenko admitted that 70-80% of presidential powers in Belarus could be transferred to the parliament, government and other structures. “The government is working out these issues taking into account all the circumstances, <...> with the suggestion of the Ministry of Internal Affairs, KGB, governors, local authorities, discuss and debate in parliament, make decisions at the level of laws and submit a law for signing to the president,” he said.

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Spiral of repression (daily newspaper Junge Welt)

A demonstrator in Minsk flees from the emergency services (November 8, 2020)

Even three and a half months after the presidential election in Belarus, the protests against President Alexander Lukashenko continue. According to the organizers of demonstrations, tens of thousands of people took to the streets in Minsk on Sunday to demand Lukashenko’s resignation. The figures cannot be checked because the marches were decentralized. Videos on the Internet each show a maximum of a few hundred participants. The fact that the number of those involved is tending to decrease is indirectly apparent from the fact that the broadcaster that sympathized with the protests – the British BBC and the German wave in the meantime no longer publish total figures.

At the same time, the number of those arrested remains high, so the risk for the individual participant increases. After the actions on Sunday, the Wesna Human Rights Center reported 253 people arrested. Seven people had been transferred to hospitals and were apparently severely ill-treated by the police. Smaller protests in Brest and other provincial cities each gathered a few dozen participants.

On Friday, 31-year-old Roman Bondarenko was buried in Minsk. He was arrested at the beginning of last week and apparently injured so badly at the police station that he died of skull injuries in hospital the day after. Several thousand people attended the funeral. According to witness statements, the reason for his arrest was that he had asked masked civilians why they were removing stickers in the white, red and white colors of the opposition in the courtyard of his apartment block.

A journalist from the opposition portal tut.by was detained for at least ten days for “breaking medical secrets”, namely reproducing the statement in the medical examination report that Bondarenko had been sober when he was arrested. The left Russian portal rabkor.ru reported on Wednesday that activists from left groups were among the victims of the reprisals. Even four “radical left partisans” have been arrested and face the death penalty.

The universities are apparently still the strongholds of the opposition. There are now mass de-registration of students who were identified by the state organs during the protests. As far as young men are concerned, they will apparently be drafted into the army with immediate effect. In order to at least avoid this fate, many are moving to neighboring countries such as Poland or the Ukraine, reported the Russian online portal lenta.ru on Saturday.

In view of the messy situation, Russia is also beginning to cautiously distance itself from Lukashenko’s wave of repression. Dmitri Peskov, spokesman for President Vladimir Putin, told the Russian news agency Sputnik according to “unfounded violence” against protesters is “inadmissible and undesirable”. The reason for this statement could be survey results from the beginning of this month. The Eurasian News Agency EA Daily According to the protests, the number of supporters of a close alliance with Russia in Belarusian society has fallen from 51 to 40 percent since September, while those in favor of closer ties between the country and the EU have risen from 26 to 33 percent.

In this atmosphere, the Belarusian Foreign Minister Vladimir Makej is apparently beginning to develop into a more independent political actor. In several interviews over the weekend, he stated that Belarus would not abandon its foreign policy “in all directions” and the associated cooperation with the EU. He also criticized relations with Russia: These could be better if it weren’t for the constant quarrels about oil and gas. In other words: if Russia continued to subsidize the country without protest.

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“The union seems to have finally come to naught” – Kommersant FM – Kommersant

Regular protests took place in Belarus. This time there are fewer detainees. This is partly due to a change in opposition tactics – the protesters are more concentrated in the courtyards. Nevertheless, in Minsk, the security forces used special equipment. On the eve of the Nobel laureate Svetlana Aleksievich announced the possible victory of Alexander Lukashenko. Dmitry Drize, political observer for Kommersant FM, believes that opposition leaders should try to establish a dialogue with Moscow.

Svetlana Aleksievich did not rule out that Lukashenka might win. This will happen because the opposition wants a peaceful transfer of power, but in the current situation it is difficult to imagine that this could happen. Belarus is a small country, it does not play a big role in the world, democratic institutions are not developed there, so there are not so many ways to force Lukashenka to leave in an amicable way. There is international pressure, but it is not strong enough to create big problems for the regime.

Aleksievich refused to return to Belarus while the current leader is at the helm. The Nobel laureate in literature is not ready to become president because she is a writer, not a politician. There is an opinion that Svetlana Aleksievich could lead the country during the transitional period, since she enjoys indisputable authority both inside Belarus and abroad. But, again, while Alexander Grigorievich controls the security forces, it is difficult to imagine how this can be done.

Meanwhile, regular protests were held in the republic. Lukashenka’s opponents have changed their tactics – they are more concentrated in the courtyards. Nevertheless, again detentions, dispersals, and, most importantly, the permanent leader remains in place. Can Lukashenka Really Win? In the long run, unlikely. But right now he is feeling relatively confident, at least publicly demonstrating that confidence. With Russian support, it is much easier for him, although international pressure is increasing. The electoral history in America will come to an end sooner or later, and then, probably, it will be more difficult for the President of Belarus. Nevertheless, it is better not to lead to the collapse of the economy.

Perhaps the coordination council of the opposition should act more actively, which is also being debated, create a government in exile, proclaim a plan for the transfer of power, although something similar is being done. There can be no ideal solutions in such a situation.

There is a way out – this is the formation of public opinion around the world and, most importantly, in Russia.

And here we really need authoritative enlightened people like Svetlana Aleksievich. She has already tried to do this with her message to the Russian intelligentsia. The latter responded, but not so much. We need to continue, well-known intelligent people should be at least uncomfortable when this happens in a neighboring country, besides, the Russian authorities cannot be satisfied with their partner. The project called “deep integration” and even a new alliance seems to have finally come to naught.

That is why the Belarusian opposition, perhaps, should try to grope for a dialogue with Moscow. Such attempts were made by the coordinating council, but this is not enough. It is difficult, understandable, but this is almost the only way out to avoid the final degradation of the state. And the Kremlin does not need this degradation at all, since it will inevitably come back to haunt the elder brother. It’s another matter that common sense hasn’t always won out lately. Therefore, the inevitable change of power in Belarus clearly does not promise to be cloudless.

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Ten metro stations closed in Minsk ahead of protest

https://ria.ru/20201122/protest-1585763273.html

Ten metro stations closed in Minsk ahead of protest

Ten metro stations closed in Minsk ahead of protest

Ten metro stations are temporarily closed to passengers in Minsk ahead of an opposition rally scheduled for Sunday, the Minsk Metro said. RIA Novosti, 22.11.2020

2020-11-22T12:17

2020-11-22T12:17

2020-11-22T16: 53

protests in Belarus

alexander lukashenko

Minsk

Belarus

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MINSK, 22 Nov – RIA Novosti. Ten metro stations are temporarily closed to passengers in Minsk ahead of an opposition rally scheduled for Sunday, Minsk Metro reported. In addition, ground public transport runs non-stop on part of the main avenue of the Belarusian capital – Independence in the center of Minsk. “From 11.55, stopping points on Independence Avenue from Yanka Kupala Street to the stopping point” Institute of Culture “in both directions have been temporarily canceled,” the enterprise said in its Telegram channel. On Sunday, the Belarusian opposition traditionally holds its own in Minsk and other cities of Belarus. the largest protest actions that are not sanctioned by local authorities. Security measures are traditionally increased in Minsk on Sundays, the city center is controlled by the security forces, the work of the metro stations located near the site of the action is temporarily suspended, some streets are closed. who, according to the CEC, gained 80.1% of the vote, mass opposition protests began in the country. When dispersing the actions against the protesters who did not agree with the voting results, the security forces used tear gas, water cannons, stun grenades, rubber bullets. Protest actions are still going on, the largest – on Sunday. In addition, events are held by supporters of Lukashenka, whose inauguration took place on 23 September. The authorities say they are radicalizing protests in Belarus and moving them from city streets to courtyards.

https://ria.ru/20201023/belorussiya-1581045582.html

Minsk

Belarus

2020

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alexander lukashenko, minsk, Belarus, in the world

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Mass poisoning of schoolchildren occurred in Minsk

https://ria.ru/20201121/otravlenie-1585640200.html

Mass poisoning of schoolchildren occurred in Minsk

Mass poisoning of schoolchildren occurred in Minsk

The condition of the students of one of the schools in Minsk, who were hospitalized after the mass poisoning in the canteen, is stable, the press service reported on Saturday … RIA Novosti, 21.11.

2020-11-21T09: 41

2020-11-21T09: 41

2020-11-21T16: 13

Ministry of Health of Belarus

Minsk

Belarus

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MINSK, November 21 – RIA Novosti. The state of the students of one of the schools in Minsk, who were hospitalized after the mass poisoning in the cafeteria, is stable, the press service of the Ministry of Health of Belarus reported on Saturday. Earlier on Friday, the press service of the Minsk City Executive Committee informed that about 280 students of the capital’s school applied for medical assistance due to poisoning after eating in the canteen, 16 people were hospitalized. Later, according to the Ministry of Health, the number of hospitalized people increased to 18. The Investigative Committee of Belarus opened a criminal case due to the mass poisoning of children. It is noted that on Saturday some of the children, after being examined, may also be discharged. Pupils of secondary school No. 61 in Minsk began to apply to first-aid post on Friday afternoon. Ambulance teams were called to the school and provided medical assistance to the victims on the spot, after which some of the children were hospitalized. The source of possible infection will be determined during the epidemiological investigation by the doctors of the Minsk City Hygiene Center. A special commission has been created to find out the reasons for the incident.

https://ria.ru/20201012/otravlenie-1579444038.html

Minsk

Belarus

2020

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what is happening in the Republic

We have collected the latest news about the protests in Belarus for November 21, 2020

A photo: REUTERS

The Coordination Council of the opposition denied reports about the formation of a new structure. No changes in the work of the Constitutional Court are planned in the near future, the press service of ex-presidential candidate Viktor Babariko said.

Earlier, the Belarusian writer, Nobel laureate Svetlana Aleksievich, said in an interview with the German weekly Der Spiegel that the Constitutional Court in its former form has ceased to exist, and a new composition of the council is being formed, which is kept secret.

The Ministry of Internal Affairs of Belarus announced the arrest of two administrators of telegram channels in the framework of the case of organizing mass riots and actions that grossly violate public order. One of the detainees, a 33-year-old unemployed woman from Minsk, broadcasted five channels at once. 6 mobile phones, a laptop, a hard drive, a USB flash drive, 700 euros, a bank payment card and protest paraphernalia were seized from her.

Opposition leader Svetlana Tikhanovskaya proposed to recognize the Belarusian OMON and the Main Directorate for Combating Organized Crime and Corruption of the Ministry of Internal Affairs (GUBOPiK) as terrorist organizations. The corresponding statement appeared in her telegram channel following a meeting with the Foreign Minister of the Netherlands.

The report notes that the Dutch Foreign Minister “expressed his readiness to help in this direction.”

Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia have expanded sanctions against Belarusian officials, adding 28 more officials to the “black list”. In addition, Ukraine joined in the sanctions against Minsk.

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