30 August 2020 | Infocenter Free Belarus 2020
8:01 am Pavel Latushka, a member of the Presidium of the National Coordination Council of Belarus and a former Minister of Culture of Belarus, said today in an interview with Belsat, that in his opinion, there could be different forms of negotiations, and they are already taking place. The Council is forced to act within the confines of the current Constitutional legislation and does not coordinate or initiate protests. It acts as an intermediary between the people and Lukashenko’s apparatus.
8:30 am Tribuna.com Belarus has published a list of almost 400 athletes who have demanded the authorities rerun the elections, release political prisoners, stop the violence of security forces and investigate the facts associated with this. The demands have been signed by many European champions, Olympic medal winners, and honored masters of sport, such as Aliaksandra Herasimenia, Stepan Popov, and others. The athletes are ready to renounce their participation in the national team of Belarus.
9:21 am Lukashenko has addressed the miners of Belaruskali (one of the world’s largest producers of potash fertilizer) and greeted them on the Miner’s Day. He said that they were doing an important thing and wished “not to stop at what’s been reached, seeming not to notice that the enterprise has been working in a partial strike mode since the first days of the protests.
The enterprise’s strike committee has also released its address to the colleagues calling today’s day a birthday of the new Belarus and new free citizens.
10:16 am Five hours before the rally in the Victory square in Minsk, the square has already been cordoned off with police at every point. A lot of military men can be seen to the south of the square. More security forces are located further down the street. It’s Lukashenko’s birthday today.
10:21 am According to Tut.by, the coordinator of the Belarusian State University strike committee Svetlana Volchek and her husband Mikhail have been detained.
10:33 am A woman from Novopolotsk is brought to trial for drawing a white-red-white flag on the pavement.
She was taken to the police station with her 4-year-old son. The child was very scared and crying all the way long but the police didn’t allow the mother to take him home. They said that it was against the law to chalk on the pavement in the city and started legal proceedings against her..
11:41 am According to Belsat, people have seen minibuses with Russian number-plates, Russian flags, and brown-and-black St. George’s ribbon (initially a symbol of victory in World War Two they were also used by supporters of the old authorities’ and Russian intervention in Ukraine) on Victory Square in Minsk.
12:00 pm The European Federation of journalists has published a document in which it condemned the Lukashenko regime for revoking the accreditation of foreign journalists.
« Belarusian authorities are stepping up the withdrawal of press accreditations for journalists covering the country’s news for foreign media. A wall of silence is gradually isolating Belarus from the rest of the world »
“It is of great concern that journalists working for international media are massively denied press accreditation. Accreditation should not serve as a tool to control content or restrict the flow of information, ”said EFJ President Mogens Blicher Bjerregård.
12:00 pm This morning a group of girls wearing national costumes holding pumpkins in their hands gathered in the center of Minsk. They wanted to leave the pumpkins by the walls of Government House
“There is such a national Belarusian tradition: In the old times, when a girl turned down a wooer, she would give him a pumpkin. Therefore, we’ve decided to give our pumpkins to the most unwanted guy in the country,” explained one of the participants.
The girls were not allowed to enter the territory of the Government House, so they stopped in front of the gates and rolled the pumpkins behind the fence.
12:05 pm According to TUT.BY the military forces are once again installing turnstiles around the Minsk Hero City Obelisk in Minsk.
12:10 pm Sputnik Belarus reports that Vladimir Putin has called Alexander Lukashenko to congratulate him on his birthday. They agreed to hold a meeting in Moscow in the coming weeks and to further strengthen the Russian-Belarusian alliance.
12:15 pm Multiple news agencies report that, despite the rain, people are coming together in all districts of Minsk and some groups are already moving towards the city center.
TUT.BY reports A column of factory workers and their supporters, holding flags and singing songs, is walking along Partizansky Avenue towards the center. People are chanting “Long live Belarus!” Cars are honking at them in support. There are approximately 300 people in the column.
More people with white-red-white flags are gathering at the Pushkinskaya metro station, where the first protester was killed by the police.
Nasha Niva writes that people have gathered at the Vostok metro station and are ready to move to the center.
A column of people with white-red-white flags is moving towards the city center from Novaya Borovaya.
12:30 pm Independence Square, where the protesters against Lukashenko’s regime have been gathering in the past three weeks, is now fenced off with turnstiles.
Water cannons and barrage vehicles are driving towards the square.
12:45 pm Minsk police have held a meeting with representatives of Belarusian and foreign media and advised the journalists covering the rally to keep a distance of at least 100 meters from the demonstrators « for their own safety, » reported a correspondent of Radio Liberty.
12:50 pm The authors of the song « Mama Belarus” have stated that they do not support the regime and have not given their permission to use their song at pro-Lukashenko rallies.
Will the authorities, who don’t care about basic freedoms, consider the copyrights?
1:15 pm This is how Nexta Live describes the atmosphere at the square “Loud Soviet music, fences, special forces squads, and armed military men.”
1:30 pm The routes to Independence Square in Minsk are blocked by fences and guarded by reinforced security squads, reports TASS correspondent.
1:40 pm Minsk Triathlon-2020, the largest triathlon race in Belarus and one of the largest races in Europe, will take place today. Earlier the organizers reported that there will be about 1 000 participants, but over 700 people have now resigned from the competitions.
1:45 pm OMON (Riot police) has made today’s first attempt to disperse the column of protesters, reports Radio Liberty.
1:59 pm TUT.BY reports that there has been a clash with the security forces on Independence Avenue. Some men wearing black clothes have seized a long flag from one of the protesters and have detained at least one person.
2:05 pm Nasha Niva reports that the security forces have occupied the sidewalk in front of the Minsk hotel. The hotel is located next to Independence Square – it is blocked and people have begun to gather behind the fence. Now there are 6 prison trucks.
The people are shouting “Shame!” and “Lukashenko to the prison truck!”
It is also reported that several metro stations in the city center are closed.
2:10 pm Nasha Niva reports that columns are being broken up by riot police, dozens of people are being detained. People scatter into the courtyards, but then gather-up and keep moving to the city center.
2:15 pm Nexta Live channel reports that several thousand people have been blocked by riot police on Independence Avenue in the district between the KGB building and Lenin Street.
2:20 pm Protests are taking place in numerous cities around Belarus.
Mogilev: More than a thousand people have gathered in the streets of the city.
Brest: More than a thousand people have “gathered for a walk” along the city streets.
This is citing the answer Nina Baginskaya had given to a police officer. – “What are you doing here?” – he asked. – “I am walking!” – she said.
Pinsk: Few people have come out to protest, but 5 of them have already been detained. No one is allowed into the city center.
People also took to the streets of Baranovichi, Grodno, Volkovysk, Zhodino.
2:30 pm Military vehicles and water cannons have started moving towards the people blocked in the area around the KGB building in the direction of the Oktyabrskaya Square.
The pedestrian part has been blocked by riot police and security forces in full combat gear. People are chanting « Let us pass! »
Some demonstrators have walked along Lenin Street. There are many security officials in the yards around the apartment buildings.
2:40 pm People in Minsk are carrying portraits of the missing and killed by Lukashenko’s regime.
2:45 pm Thousands of people walk along the avenue towards GUM, where protesters are now gathering, according to the Nexta Live channel
2:50 pm Several thousand protesters have approached the crossroads where riot police and internal troops are stationed. The riot police walked aside and let the two columns merge.
2:55 pm Most of the telegram channels write that the mobile Internet is to be turned off at 3:00 pm in Minsk.
2:57 pm TASS has reported that their correspondent was detained in Minsk.
3:15 pm MTS and Life users were reporting problems with the Internet in Minsk.
3:21 pm Svetlana Tikhanovskaya is ready to negotiate with the country’s authorities on the release of detained political protesters, according to a statement her headquarters made to Interfax on August 30. If the dialogue takes place, the procedure for the peaceful transfer of power will be discussed, Interfax reports.
3:23 pm Listeners of @euroradio report that about 15 BTR-80s have started moving towards Minsk.
3:31 pm In Minsk, the head of the protesters’ column reached the Stele. According to @nashaniva, most of the military who block the passage are armed with live ammunition.
3:47 pm Eldar Kunaev is leaving the post of the Consul of Kazakhstan in Brest.
« Both Kunayev and Nazarbayev, who ruled the country for decades, found the courage to resign. It is very important – leave on time. So the authority of both Kazakhs is undeniable. Even very successful politicians should be replaced by young, creative people who are thinking in the spirit of the times, » said the consul confidently. Radio Svoboda
4:05 pm Detentions of journalists continue.
According to the Ministry of Internal Affairs, 125 people have already been detained.
4:10 pm Tens of thousands of protesters came close to the security forces at the Palace of Independence. Members of the Coordination Council Maria Kolesnikova, Maxim Znak and Lilia Vlasova are present. Kolesnikova is trying to find out from the security officials whether their leadership plans to negotiate. TUT.BY
4:15 pm People with a poster « Sportsmen with the People » approached the security officials. Among them are Alexander Gerasimenya and basketball player Elena Levchenko. They chant: « We play fair, » and, « People won. »
4:20 pm A black coffin with flowers was left at the fence near the Palace. People also brought in a large cardboard cockroach.
« You yourself are a rat! » is one of the most popular slogans today.
5:06 pm Heavy rain began in Minsk, but the demonstrators near the Palace of Independence did not disperse. People said: « We are not sugar, we will not melt, » and, « Sasha, don’t cry. »
Demonstrators put dozens of posters and a funeral wreath with white flowers right in front of the security forces’ cordon on the roadway. The first line of security officials raised their shields and truncheons. The people raised their hands in response, showing that they were unarmed. They tried to talk to the security forces, offering them to go over to the side of the people and chanting « Become heroes! » Security officials did not react.
5:17 pm People started to walk away from the Palace of Independence, chanting « We’ll be back! » It is possible that the event would be referred to as another failed by State media.
5:55 pm At the end of the day, it is estimated that hundreds of thousands of people took to the streets of Minsk on Lukashenka’s birthday. These numbers are comparable to the August 23rd protests. @nashaniva
6:00 pm Senior figures of the Ministry of Internal Affairs of Belarus confirmed the use of armored vehicles with large-caliber machine guns, but kept silent about at least 10 combat tracked vehicles, which were documented by eyewitnesses.
6:16 pm RIA News published a photo of Lukashenko holding a machine gun. The news agency reported that this photo was sent by Lukashenko’s press secretary in response to a question about his whereabouts.
In the photo, Lukashenko is seen walking in front of the Independence Palace. He is wearing a white shirt and bullet-proof jacket and holding a machine gun. He is surrounded by people; one of them was in camouflage uniform and holding a radio set.
The news agency did not state the exact time when this photo was taken, but it was published at 6:11pm on 30 August. Lukashenko’s official Telegram channel stated the photo was taken around 4pm on 30 August. “When the crowd was wandering around the Palace, the president was there as well,” the channel announced.
In the evening on 23 August, peaceful rallies also took place throughout the country; the protesters reached the Independence Palace in Minsk. Then, Lukashenko’s official Telegram channel published a few videos where Lukashenko was seen wearing a bullet-proof jacket and carrying a machine-gun (initially without a magazine, and then with it).
In these videos, Lukashenko was flown in a helicopter over the city; he was seen talking to his security, saying the protesters were “like rats” who were scattering “there”. He was also seen saluting the riot police who were blocking Victors Avenue, and calling them “handsome men”. Lukashenko’s 15-year-old son was with him, wearing a bullet-proof jacket, helmet and carrying a Glock 17 gun.
6:24 pm TUT.BY: Lukashenko’s aide, Nikolai Latyshenok, came out to speak to the participants of the “Peace and Independence March” in Minsk, where several hundred people stayed in the march after the rain. He said he believed the elections were fair and conducted according to the Constitution.
In his interview to RIA News, Latyshenok alleged that “the protesters were building barricades” in his attempt to cover up the brutal suppression of peaceful protests during 9-12 August.
6:26 pm TASS: The Internet and mobile communications were disabled by the order of state authorities under the pretext of ensuring national security.
The Internet and mobile communications were also disrupted last weekend during the protests in Independence Square, near the Stella Minsk Hero City Obelisk, and on Victors Avenue, near Lukashenko’s residence.
The Internet and the mobile communications have been fully restored now.
6:26 pm TASS: The number of detainees during the Minsk protests has reached 140. The detainees are being charged with administrative offences, as reported by the Belarusian Ministry of Internal Affairs. The department reported that the situation in the city is under control.
People were also detained in Grodno, Pinsk, Orsha, Zodino, and Mogilev.
7:05 pm TASS: The Investigative Committee stated that over 150 cases of threats against authorities’ officials have been recorded in the country since the beginning of August. Over 50 criminal cases have been initiated.
However, not a single criminal case has been opened against the brutal violence used by riot police against the civilian population.
7:11 pm INTERFAX: The police cordon along Victors Avenue has been cleared and military vehicles have been withdrawn from around the Palace. Hardly any protesters are nearby.
Earlier, during the thousands-strong demonstration, seven armoured military vehicles were put in front of the Independence Palace.
7:11 pm NEXTA: “Happy birthday, rat!” people chant in the centre of Minsk.
7: 29 pm Belsat: An impressive white-red-white flag was created out of moving motor cars. How creative are the drivers in Grodno!
7:46 pm Nasha Niva: Protests took place in other cities and towns throughout the country. Journalists assess that hundreds of thousands of people took part in the march in Minsk. The marches also took place in Brest, Mogilev, Vitebsk, Gomel, Bobruisk, as well as other cities and towns. As in previous protests, the demonstrators demanded Lukashenko’s resignation and free and fair presidential elections.
7:51 pm TASS: Around 80 people are standing in front of the Embassy of Belarus in Moscow, forming a line and holding a long white ribbon. Some of them are holding slogans and white-red-white flags with the “Pahonia” coat of arms, which has become a symbol of the Belarusian protests.k
8:03 pm NAVINY.BY: In Brest, over five thousand people took part in the protests. The demonstration took place between 2.30pm and 7pm. The demonstrators chanted, “Long Live Belarus!”, “Go Away!”, “Lukashenko to the police truck!”, “We believe! We can! We’ll win!” Yulya, one of the demonstrators, explained to BelaPAN that she joined the protest because she believed the authorities did not deliver on the people’s demands: “We demand Lukashenko’s resignation, freedom to all political prisoners, and free and fair presidential elections.”
“Our voices were stolen during the elections. I want Lukashenko to understand that 97% of people are against him,” Nikolai, a Brest resident, explained his stance during the demonstration.
8:23 pm TASS: The German authorities intend to summon the Ambassador of Belarus in Germany to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs shortly on the matter of the recent revocation of accreditation of foreign journalists from Western media who were covering the protests in the country, reports France-Presse, citing government sources.
8:46 pm People are standing in a solidarity chain near the memorial to Aleskandr Taraikovsky at Pushkinskaya station.
9:14 pm TUT.BY: Today, in Novopolotsk, people chanted, “Sasha, you are fired!”, “Every day!”
10:22 pm TUT.BY: A projection of the “Pahonia” symbol appeared on one of the buildings in Minsk.