The mass protests of those who disagree with the results of the presidential elections last Sunday (August 9, 2020) continue for the ninth day in Belarus. According to official data Alexander Lukashenko had a landslide victory as a result of those elections.
12.21 pm The United Kingdom of Great Britain does not recognize the presidential elections results in Belarus, which took place on August 9, 2020. This was reported on the website of the British government. “The world has been watching with horror the violence that the Belarusian authorities use to suppress the peaceful protests that followed these falsified presidential elections,” said British Minister of Foreign Affairs Dominic Raab, quoted in the statement. The minister promised that the UK will work with international partners „to punish the perpetrators and bring the authorities of Belarus to justice.“
12.30 pm Internet communication in Belarus had been recovered after a short-term failure. At the moment, the connection is fully restored.
12.54 pm According to the press service of the General Prosecutor’s Office of Belarus, almost all detainees on cases of administrative offenses for participation in unauthorized mass actions have already been released.
At the same time, the residents of Belarus continue to search for their relatives who had disappeared during the protests, at the moment there are 80 people on the “missing” list.
12.58 pm The Belarusian Football Federation has addressed the country’s football community with a statement. In particular, it is noted that football „should remain a peaceful arena, neutral in political, religious, ethnic, racial and any other issues.“
According to the Belarusian football functionaries, “everyone should stay in the legal field, observe the law and moral norms,” as well as “take care of each other, maintain a human relationship with each other”. The Federation claims that it „opposes the manifestation of any form of violence and discrimination for political and other reasons„: „We call on everyone, regardless of their political views, to comply with the norms established by law.“
13.04 pm An extraordinary European Council on the situation in Belarus will be held on Wednesday, August 19, – its chairman Charles Michel announced. “I will convene a meeting of the European Council members this Wednesday, at 12:00, to discuss the situation in Belarus,” Michel posted on his Twitter today. “The people of Belarus have the right to determine their future and freely elect their leader. Violence against protesters is unacceptable,” the head of the European Council stressed.
13.08 pm Several hundred demonstrators gathered outside the building where the editorial offices of the Belarusian TV channels ONT and STV are located, ’Nasha Niva’ reports. They demand to be „shown“. Earlier it was reported that the employees of these channels were going on strike.
A group of Belteleradiocomania (Belarus TV & Radio Company) employees stand at the entrance of the building on Makaenka Street, waiting for the head of the company, Ivan Eismont.
An employee of the ‘Belarus 1’ state television channel told Interfax that the team was going to come to workplaces but would not work.
According to ‘Nasha Niva’, striking workers of the Minsk Wheel Tractor Plant (MZKT), the Minsk Tractor Plant (MTZ), the Minsk Automobile Plant (MAZ) and some others were moving towards Belteleradiocomania (Belarus TV & Radio Company).
13.24 pm Prague is ready to support the protesters in Belarus, who are being persecuted by the authorities of this country, assured the vice-mayor of the Czech capital Peter Hlavacek.
13.29 pm Belarus may lose access to the international capital market if Western sanctions are imposed, as stated in the Commentary of the international rating agency S&P Global Ratings (Standard & Poor’s) on the situation in Belarus.
According to analysts of the rating agency, the post-election events in Belarus form political and economic risks that may increase the likelihood of international sanctions against the country.
„The recorded irregularities in the electoral process and the obvious harsh reaction to subsequent nationwide protests may lead to a prolonged confrontation between the authorities and the opposition,“ the rating agency said in the statement.
In addition to the risks of a worsening of the political situation in Belarus, credit analysts assume economic risks in case of implementation of Western sanctions against the country.
“In our iew, the prospects for the imposition of international sanctions in response to how the authorities react to the post-election situation, grow,” the agency’s analysts say.
13.30 pm More than 600 citizens of Belarus have filed complaints with the National Investigation Committee concerning traumatic injuries sustained during detention by law enforcement officials at protest actions. About a hundred other people complained about assault and battery in police custody at temporary detention centers. This was reported in the Telegram channel of the Investigative Committee of Belarus.
Also, the investigating authorities are considering 124 allegations of violent actions of the protesters against law enforcement officers, the destruction and damage of official vehicles and urban infrastructure.
Criminal proceedings related to the incidents of beatings have not been yet initiated. All the facts listed will be properly assessed, the Investigative Committee declared.
13.46 pm Members of the European Parliament (EP) do not recognize the results of the presidential elections in Belarus and consider President Alexander Lukashenko persona non grata in the European Union. It was stated in a joint statement of the EP parties, distributed on Monday in Brussels. “The presidential election on August 9 were neither free nor fair, and reliable reports indicate the victory of Svetlana Tikhanovskaya. Therefore, we do not acknowledge Alexander Lukashenko as the re-elected president of Belarus and consider him persona non grata in the European Union. We join the Belarusian people in their demand for new and free elections under the supervision of independent observers, „it says.
14.03 pm From the speech of Alexander Lukashenko about assault at Akrestsin: “Now about the fact that someone beat somebody. Quite right. “ „There are 2,500 or 2,000 (detained) on Akrestsin Street, for you to know.“ “On Akrestsin, I will say that, those who rushed at the cops there, they got what they deserved. Do you know who? “ At this moment the crowd started to boo him. „Thank you“. They shout – “LEAVE! LEAVE! “ “Well thank you, thank you. I see that group is over here. I can see you, don’t worry. I’ve heard all this and I’ve answered this question, why are you raising it again? Well, don’t tarnish the honor of a working man, I heard you! „
14.04 pm The Minister of Foreign Affairs in Latvia Edgars Rinkevics said that Latvia is ready to accept political refugees from Belarus. However the large flow of them is not forecasted at the moment. According to him, everything will depend on the development of the situation in the neighboring country.
14.15 pm As a result of the actions taken by the power structures on August 9 through August 11, workers of industrial enterprises have lost their sense of security, according to an open appeal of the Belarusian Trade Union of Workers of the Chemical, Mining and Oil Industries (Belkhimprofsoyuz).
The union was approached by primary organizations that believe that last week the security forces showed excessive brutality towards the demonstrators.
“These cases are being discussed at the enterprises, they cause social tension in labor collectives in general. The workers do not have a sense of security for themselves and for their family members (there were cases of detention when moving to shifts / immediately after a shift), ”the union’s appeal says.
14.25 pm The European Union should use its funds to help Belarus, said Polish Deputy Foreign Minister Marcin Pshydach, addressing the Seimas (lower house of parliament). “We would like such a signal [for assistance] to be sent by the EU leadership, so that other countries would heed it, „the diplomat said.
14.26 pm Alexander Lukashenko at the meeting with the employees of Minsk Wheel Tractor Plant (MZKT) said that the government will never fall, and the authorities will deal with those who say otherwise at social networks. He is quoted by BelTA. In his words, the opposition has poisoned people with social networks.
„And some may have an opinion: that’s it, there is no power, the power has fallen. Power will never fall. You know me. And we will deal with them. You just have to be patient,“ he declared.
In his opinion, the protesters were provoked to start demanding his resignation.
He reiterated that many of the detained rioters were drunk or drugged and that they were planning provocations. He called violent actions a forced reaction to provocateurs.
„And do let them know that no one is going to urge and blandish anyone. That’s it. That’s the border, such that if you cross it – god bless you! If you pour out to the streets – we can leave with that. If you go breaking through – you’ll answer. This is my man-to-man word to you.„
Earlier today at the MZKT Lukashenko said that there would be no new elections in the country and that he would not share his power „across the street“ and under pressure.
14.27 pm At least five people have been killed and seven are in critical condition in intensive care as a result of the actions of law enforcement officers in dispersing street protests. This was reported by the human rights organization „Zveno“. As the chairman of the council of the public association „Zveno“ Tatyana Gatsura-Yavorskaya explained, by the time of the report, the volunteers have found 120 people in hospitals and interviewed 30 victims who received injuries of various degrees of severity.
The human rights defenders were informed about the gunshot wounds by an ambulance team that worked on the night of August 10-11 near the Pushkinskaya metro station.
According to the ambulance driver, victims with gunshot wounds were taken to the main military clinical medical center of the Armed Forces. He also revealed three deaths in the area.
14.36 pm DJ Vladislav Sokolovsky while being at the Detention Unit was beaten by the Deputy Interior Minister Alexander Barsukov. Vladislav Sokolovsky was sentenced with 10 days of arrest for the song „Peremen! (Change!)“ at a pro-government rally in Minsk. Sokolovskiy himself told this to “Nasha Niva”. Sokolovskiy was serving his sentence in the Minsk Detention Unit on Akrestin Street. He spent five out of 10 days in a punishment cell. According to the DJ, on the third day of his arrest, “some boss” came to visit him. “The boss said: ‚You’ve turned on the music? You want the change? So many people went out on the streets, so much blood because of you. Well, get ready, you will sit for 10 years. “ He hit me twice and left. Leaving he said: “Why is it like in a sanatorium to him here? Do it right „“.
After the DJ was released from the Detention Unit, he recognized the “boss” who visited him as Deputy Minister of Internal Affairs of Belarus Alexander Barsukov.
On August 13, Barsukov stated that there had been no torturing in the Akrestsin prison. On August 14, he clarified his words: „I was told that nobody was beaten in the cell.“
14.40 pm Earlier today at MZKT (Minsk Wheel Tractor Plant) Lukashenko explained his high percentage in the presidential election by the fact that he was supported particularly by those who voted in the preliminary voting. „80% of the votes cannot be falsified,“ he said. – How many of you did come during the preliminary voting? 42%. My opponents urged everyone not to come. As a result, the overwhelming majority of the president’s supporters came.“
14.41 pm The Ministry of Internal Affairs of Belarus announced that the work was being completed to release administrative detainees at protests. „As of 2 pm, 122 people remain in the temporary detention facilities of the territorial police department of the republic. The release work continues, information is being updated constantly,“ the department said.
14.53 pm Two employees of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs held a picket on August 17, where they expressed their attitude to what is happening in the country.
Standing on the porch of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs with a sheet of paper in hand, Vyacheslav Kazachenok – the head of the historical and archival department of the central office of the ministry – said to the camera: “I came out with a blank white sheet, initially believing that this would be our common action – a peaceful one, naturally, within the framework of the law. In my morning vision this sheet of paper personified our clean conscience and our Belarus – clean and clear from blood. “ But, added Kazachenok, after a meeting with Foreign Minister Vladimir Makei, he realized that the white sheet, rather, symbolizes the order of dismissal. “I am not going to ask for the resignation myself, of course. I love my job, I love my homeland, – said Kazachenok. – Unfortunately, the words „homeland“ and „state“ for Mr. Makei, as I understand it, in his mind are different things. He said that we are the state people, sworn and hired by the state, and not by some individual, so if someone does not agree with the policy of the state, he can apply for resignation. He said that this is his manlike position, that he would have done the same. „
The minister did not allow Kazachenk to address his colleagues, as he did not want to „make a show.“
“Obviously, everyone has the right to choose: to take the side of the people and remain human, or I don’t know what would happen next … The head of state, if you can call him that, said today that there would be no new elections while he is alive, therefore, we must assume that the escalation of the conflict is likely to increase, and I’m really scared, „added Kazachenok.
Together with Kazachenok, Elena Kopaneva, Deputy Head of the Eurasian Integration Department, came out to the picket with a white sheet of paper.
14.57 pm A moment from Lukashenko’s communication with the workers of the MZKT: „I will not beat you up, but we will be dealing cruelly. There are many of you and I am alone, put your phone down!“
15.01 pm ALL MINES of “Belaruskali” ceased to produce ore. „Belaruskali“ is the only potassium chloride producer in Belarus, as well as one of the largest suppliers of potash fertilizers to the world market. The enterprise sells its products through OJSC „Belarusian Potash Company“. Last week, Alexander Lukashenko warned that foreign rivals would take advantage of the strike, and also recommended firing the strikers.
15.19 pm Germany is in favour of verifying the results of the presidential elections in Belarus by an independent authority, said the official representative of the FRG government Steffen Seibert.
15.40 pm The Belarus 1 TV channel of the state-owned Belteleradiocompany in its news release of the day’s events focused on Alexander Lukashenko’s words regarding the new constitution, he said about during his meeting with the workers of the MZKT. „A new constitution is needed. Two options have been presented to me, I rejected them, because they differ just a little from the current one. The work is underway on the third version. Come, sit down and we’ll work on the constitution, and will submit it for referendum. And I will hand over my powers according to the constitution. But not under pressure or across the street,“ he said.
The video from the meeting did not show episodes, where workers demanded the president to leave the office. But according to media reports, some other state TV channels have aired those episodes.
15.44 pm Large international companies have withdrawn their advertisements from Belarusian state TV channels, Marketing.by reports.
„As the advertising market players informed the editorial office of Marketing.by, many companies have already removed their commercials from state TV channels. Including large international advertisers – Danone, Nestle and others,“ the portal writes.
According to the head of the advertising agency Vondel \ Hepta Alexander Vasilevich, „most of our clients have suspended advertising on television.“ But it took a certain amount of time, starting last week, because television does not pull ads off right away, it takes several days, especially if it is a large client,” he said.
Now part of the employees of the Belarusian state channels are on strike.
15.48 pmThe presidents of Latvia, Lithuania, Estonia and Poland called for a new round of free presidential elections in Belarus, – the press service of the head of the Latvian state, Egils Levits, said.
Levits contacted the presidents of Lithuania Gitanas Nauseda, of Estonia Kersti Kaljulaid and of Poland Andrzej Duda to discuss the common opinion of all four countries with regard to the situation in Belarus. „In the conversation, the presidents expressed a clear and unified position of Latvia, Lithuania, Estonia and Poland for holding a new round of presidential elections in Belarus, which should meet the basic principles of elections in democratic countries and which will be monitored by international observers,“ the press service said.
15.59 pmEmployees of the Belarusian Metallurgical Plant came out to protest action, some of the furnaces were switched to idle operation.
16.24 pm“Ideology: to defend power by all means.“ — Police lieutenant colonel – regarding preparations for elections and beatings.
Excerpts from the video regarding the last months’ events done by the police lieutenant colonel from Lida, the commander of the PPS company of the Lida ROVD Yuri Makhnach – about preparations for the elections and beatings. “The ideological indoctrination was following: if the current government loses, then each of us [police officers] will be hanged on the branches long the road. Therefore, it is necessary to protect this power by any means possible. „
- During the pre-election campaign, „real preparations for a war against the people by the internal affairs agencies“ began.
- “The ideology was as follows: if the current government loses, then each of us will be hanged on a branch along the road. Therefore, this power must be protected by all means possible. „
- “In Lida terrible things happened: beatings of people on the territory of the ROVD, beatings and torture in paddy wagons, at the car wash of the ROVD”. Yuri Ivanovich said that this was done by officers of OMON of the Grodno Regional Executive Committee and officers of the Lida ROVD. At that moment he himself was on vacation – because even before the elections he realized that he would not be able to do his work.
- In the Lida District Department of Internal Affairs, 13 officers did not agree with the beatings and torture of people and “with their heads raised” filed resignation reports. They are ready to testify on the facts of illegal actions on the territory of the Lida ROVD.
- “I gave 23 best years of my life to the service – and I never could have thought that it would turn out like this. That we would treat the people of our country in a brutal and bestial manner. I am ashamed to wear a badge. „
16.33 pm In Baranovichi two Catholic priests were detained during the dispersal of a peaceful protest action on August 9. This was announced by Bishop of the Minsk-Mogilev Archdiocese Alexander Yashevsky. The priests were sentenced to 8 and 10 days respectively. Until August 16, they were kept in a temporary detention center.
“The Catholic Church strongly condemns and will always condemn the detention of priests and clergy of all confessions, who during peaceful actions as pastors have the right to be with their people who are looking for the truth,” Yashevsky said.
He urges representatives of the authorities and law enforcement agencies „to respect the position of the clergy and their flock, who by their conscience and in the name of freedom of the people, peacefully express and defend it.„
16.36 pm Mikhail Chuprinsky, the co-owner of Rozum Robotics, who was detained and was held in Akrestino and Zhodino, told on the air of “Dozhd” that he personally saw two killed in Akrestino. “People were tortured and killed there. I have personally SEEN ONLY TWO, WHICH WERE COVERED AND TAKEN AWAY. But they were fierce most of all on the night from 10 to 11. The screams did not stop until morning, they beat people fiercely, and those who began to wheeze, they dragged aside and called an ambulance, but for those two it was too late. Of course, it could be sacks of potatoes, but I saw the bodies covered.“
16.40 pm Former presidential candidate Andrei Dmitriev called on the parliament to convene for an extraordinary session and call re-elections. „New elections. Release of detainees and investigation of the facts of violence against civilians. Peace on the streets of cities and non-use of force,“ the ex-candidate said.
16.41 pm The Slutsk Sugar Refinery also joined the strikes!
16.46 pm Kiev recalled its ambassador from Belarus for consultations, informed The Ministry of Foreign Affair in Ukraine.
17.04 pm Former Mayor of Riga Ushakov believes that Belarus could become an exemplary member of the European Union.
This opinion was expressed on Monday by the deputy of the European Parliament from Latvia, the former mayor of Riga, Nil Ushakov. “The Belarusian people have just shown to all Europe and the Americas an example of how to protest and defend their freedom – they even remove trash after the demonstrations,” he wrote in his Telegram channel. “With such a base, Belarus could be an exemplary EU member. No less successful than, for example, Poland or Portugal. Everyone would benefit from Belarus‘ membership in the EU, both Belarus itself and Europe. „
17.13 pm Lithuanian Foreign Minister Linas Linkevičius made a statement that no external forces are threatening Belarus. „There is no external escalation at the borders, as the former president of Belarus says (that’s the way the head of the Foreign Ministry constantly calls Alexander Lukashenko – note by TASS), there are no threats from NATO,“ he said to the journalists.