6 September 2020 | Infocenter Free Belarus 2020
One more day of protests in Belarus has begun. Yesterday was marked by detentions of students, numerous protest rallies, and Sviatlana Tsikhanouskaya’s informative answers on YouTube.
According to the Ministry of Internal Affairs, yesterday’s protests took place in 18 different locations. 91 people were detained; 31 remain in police custody awaiting a court decision.
At night, masked people painted over the inscription “We will not forget” at the spontaneous memorial to Alexander Taraikovsky near the Pushkinskaya metro station.
8:35 am Minsk wakes up, and white-red-white flags rise anew over the city. This flag flies over the Megapolis residential complex. Let us remind you that unidentified masked people removed the white-red-white flags in this housing complex earlier, but its residents are not giving up.
8:50 am The project “Golos” (“Voice”), which collected photos of ballots during the election, has proposed a new initiative: they will try to count participants in the Belarusian protests. This will be done with the help of bots on Viber and Telegram.
“For the protester to be counted, they need to install the Golos chat-bot on their Viber or Telegram. When walking out, send a special command to the bot. It can be done before, during or after the rally – in case there are unexpected problems with the Internet connection. The command is active for exactly one day; the calculations will be carried out on Sundays and other special days,” the platform creators write.
9:00 am Anastasia Zakharevich, a journalist from “Zeliony Portal” (“Green Portal”) who was detained yesterday, is still being kept in the Tsentralny district police department of Minsk. The charges against Anastasia are not yet known.
9:30 am A rally in support of the peaceful protests in Belarus was held in Paris.
9:45 am Pavel Latushka, the former general director of Yanka Kupala Theatre and a Coordination Council member, appealed to the security forces.
“We live in different cities of the same country, on neighbouring streets, in the same houses. […] We grew up in the same conditions. Why are you now beating and capturing us? […]
“Whatever happens, the people will win in the end, and you know that perfectly well. Think about your future. Most of your commanders and generals will be sentenced, but you still have a chance to take the side of good and soon celebrate the victory together with the people,” he on his Telegram channel.
10:00 am Radio Svaboda subscribers shared a video showing a large column of military vehicles and water cannons moving towards the centre of Minsk.
11:10 am Valer Karbalevich, a leading Belarusian political scientist, History PhD and political analyst at Radio Svaboda, provided a commentary on the actions of the Belarusian authorities, and answered the question of why Kovalkova was released so easily.
“Olga Kovalkova, the Coordination Council Presidium member, left Belarus against her will. She was taken from the Akrestsin detention centre to Poland.
“This is not the first time the regime has used these tactics. Driving opponents abroad is better than putting them behind bars. Abroad, they are less dangerous. Besides, then they can be said to be agents of the West.
“Before going to jail, Viktar Babaryka said he was strongly advised to go abroad; information was leaked that an arrest was being prepared. He did not listen… Valery Tsapkala left under the threat of a criminal case. His wife Veranika followed him. Then, there was the dramatic story of Sviatlana Tsikhanouskaya’s deportation. Lukashenko even brags about how he drove her out.
“Last week, Archbishop Tadeusz Kondrusiewicz was not allowed to enter Belarus.
“Now, Olga Kovalkova was driven away.
“There is some fear that Pavel Latushka will not be allowed back into Belarus.”
11:10 am The Belarusian Ministry of Internal Affairs is trying to intimidate protesters.
“In order to ensure security, the number of squads and servicemen has been increased. Additionally, the special police vehicles and the Ministry of Internal Affairs’ own troops have been deployed. […] Police officers will take all necessary measures to suppress such events and prevent violations of public order,” says the Ministry’s official press release.
11:15 am The security forces have already Oktyabrskaya Square, Independence Avenue and the territory around the Minsk Hero City obelisk.
11:20 am A convoy of armoured personnel carriers has Minsk from the Uruchye side.
11:57 am On Oktyabrskaya Square, unidentified persons in balaclavas are rolling out barbed wire around the Palace of the Republic.
12:00 noon Modified armored reconnaissance and patrol vehicles (BRDM-2) equipped with fire alarm system “Rubezh” will be used “to protect” Lukashenko’s palace today.
12:05 pm Independence Square is cordoned on all the sides. News buses packed with riot police were seen arriving in the city centre. Pedestrians are annoyed and inconvenienced as they can’t use the underground crossings to cross the square. Riot police with shields and special equipment are stationed along Independence Avenue near the National Bank, TSUM department store and Lenin Street. OMON (special security forces) is blocking all entrances to the internal courtyards of adjacent buildings. Only the local residents are allowed in after producing the identification documents confirming their address.
12:10 pm Demonstrators’ columns are heading towards the city centre from all over Minsk. Loshytsa and Sukharevo residents have already taken to the streets.
12:15 pm Pavel Latushka, the member of the Presidium of the Coordination Council recorded his video address to those who disperse the peaceful protests and detain people protesting against falsification of elections and the forcible retention of power. He declared that “we are not the opposition, we are the majority” and called on the policemen and security forces to “take the side of good and soon celebrate the victory together with the people” of the nation to which they belong.
“We go shopping at the same shops. Our children spend time together in the same playground. Our parents work together, make friends, and celebrate our success. We grew up in the same environment. So why are you now beating, torturing, grabbing us? » – asked Latushko.
12:30 pm The workers of the Central Railway Station switched on the song “Changes” by V. Tsoi through the loudspeakers!
12:35 pm Kupalovskaya/Oktyabrskaya, Victory Square, Yakub Kolas Square and Lenin Square metro stations are shut. Minsk metro is apologizing for temporary inconvenience due to measures taken “ensuring safety of passengers”.
12:45 pm Vitebsk highway on approach to Minsk near Borovlyany is controlled by the road police. The traffic speed is controlled by traffic cones placed on the carriageway. Road police selectively stop cars heading towards Minsk.
12:50 pm The total number of all the participants of the Sunday’s marches will be counted by the “Voice” platform in order to show the real scale of the Belarusian protests and to support those who join the protests and express their position.
“For a protester to be counted, he/she needs to install a voice chatbot in Viber or Telegram. On the day of the walk, you need to send the command to the bot: # I am walking. This can be done before, during or after the rally – in case of some sudden disruption of the Internet, ”said Pavel Lieber, one of the founders of the platform.
12:55 pm Pushkinskaya metro station is also shut.
1:00 pm Detentions have started – people with white-red-white flags are being grabbed near Pushkinskaya and Vostok Stations. Readers of motolkohelp report that the riot police is aiming at small groups of protesters, the advice is for all people who are joining today’s march to keep in large groups to avoid any assault of the security forces.
1:05 pm Instead of OMON or police, ordinary soldiers are now patrolling Oktyabrskaya Square.
1:10 pm Instagram channel ploshcha_peramen has published the images of the courtyard where the DJ Mural is displayed. The last post reported that the local residents displayed the sign “OMON is prohibited”.
1:13 pm A protesters’ column of over 200 people is moving from Sportivnaya station towards the city centre. The protesters are shouting “Join us!”, one slogan says “Our patience is running out”, while the cars are honking in support.
1:25 pm Euroradio, kyky.org and motolkohelp Telegram channels ask the readers to make photos and videos of the protests and send them to Telegram channels. Euroradio states that “journalists are being detained, tried and stripped of accreditation in Belarus. However, no one can prohibit citizens from filming and making photos and describing the events in the country.”
1:30 pm Pavel Latushka met with the top Lutuanian officials in Vilnius. Here is a brief summary of the meeting:
- An international law firm can start a review of all facts of the crimes committed by the security forces in order to bring the perpetrators to justice.
- Lutuanian government recognises that the current Belarusian power is illegitimate and any further communication at the official lever is not deemed possible.
- Belarus needs a dialogue in two directions: Russia – Belarusian society and European Union – the current “authorities”.
- All internal matters should be and will be resolved exclusively within Belarus.
1:35 pm The police demand that journalists keep at a distance from the protesters.
The advice, allegedly, is “50 meters is a safe distance”.
1:37 pm Independence Square is completely cordoned by the forces.
1:40 pm Protesters are being brutally detained in Grodno – one of the protesters was carried out of the demonstrators’ column.
1:50 pm All courtyards along Independence Avenue are blocked by the security forces. Those people heading from GUM department store towards Independence Square are being selectively checked by the riot police near the department store. Men are being searched the most.
2:00 pm Nexta publishes recommendations on how to move around Minsk today:
“If you see a large gathering of oppressors in your area, go around them using back roads and courtyards”.
If you are walking alone, please try to use public transport to arrive as close as possible to the city centre.
Drivers please stop and offer people a lift.”
2:05 pm Large column of protesters is marching along Dzerzhynsky street. People are carrying white-red-white flags and a large banner “BASTA!” at the head of the column, the cars are honking in support.
2:10 pm Ten military armored personnel vehicles are stationed near Independence Palace .
2:15 pm “Voice” application has registered over 100000 (ONE HUNDRED THOUSAND) people who are walking [out on protests] today in Belarus. Nina Baginskaya, the author of the phrase “I am walking” and a symbol of the national protests in Belarus, is heading one of the columns.
2:19 pm GUM department store has to close “for technical reasons”. Security forces have blocked any traffic on Independence Avenue between the department store and the National Bank.
2:25 pm Independence Avenue near McDonalds is blocked by the internal security forces, police and OMON equipped with water cannons and pump action shotguns. Large columns of protesters continue approaching the centre from all over Minsk.
2:30 pm Doctors who volunteered to help the protesters today are walking along the side of the protesters’ columns in groups of 3-5 people. Demonstrators show their deep appreciation to the doctors for their help.
2:35 pm Some protesters were brutally beaten and detained at Chebotarev Street. An ambulance arrived at the scene.
2:40 pm Tens of thousands of people are out on the streets in Minsk. Security forces continue targeted detention of the protesters.
2:45 pm Subscribers of Anton Motolko Telegram channel inform that mobile connection has been lost around Victory Square/Yakub Kolas Square. It has been confirmed that MTS, Life and A1 providers’ networks are out of service. The channel asks the residents with home Wifi living in the city centre: “to unlock their Wifi and bring the Wifi router closer to the window. The network can be called BELARUS2020 so that people can quickly recognise that they can connect to it for transmission of photos/videos to the media/Telegram channels.”
2:50 pm The Human Rights Centre “Viasna” reports they received the names of 26 people detained in Minsk.
Irina Sukhyi, head of “Edokom” association , and Olga Pavlova, a member of the Coordination Council, are among the detainees.
Demonstrators are also being detained in Vitebsk and Grodno.
2:55 pm Tens of thousands of peaceful protesters are taking to the streets today all over the country: Grodno, Vitebsk, Gomrl, Soligorsk and other towns and cities.
2:59 pm According to the media reports, over 50 thousand demonstrators are in the centre of Minsk, and the people keep flooding in.
3:05 pm Thousands of people in the center of Minsk are chanting “Lukashenko is a psycho!” and“Go away!”. The police and security forces are using loud-speakers asking people to disperse.
3:11 pm The first protesters have reached the Minsk Hero City Obelisk. Today there are noticeably less military, police and special equipment. The rest of the column is still on the way.
3:15 pm Mobile service provider A1 has officially acknowledged that today the mobile Internet performance has been reduced following an order from the government.
3:18 pm According to Interfax, some protesters (the exact number is still unknown) have suffered in a clash with security officers by the building of Minsk Tractor Works. The military men wearing protective equipment used batons and shields to disperse a column of people moving towards the city center (in Chebotarev Street). Several ambulances have arrived at the scene.
3:25 pm Human Rights Center « Viasna » has reported at least 40 people detained today in different parts of Minsk
3:36 pm A crowd of several thousand protesters has managed to get to Lukashenka’s residence in Minsk.
3:45 pm Girls wearing overalls are giving people ‘draniki’ a traditional Belarusian potato pancake dish.. The inscriptions on their overalls say “MOMON”, which is a game word built around the name of local riot police – OMON and can be interpreted as “Mom On” or “Om Nom Nom”.
They are telling people, « Dear citizens, your hunger is unauthorized. »
There are many creative posters and crafts in the crowd.
As every day before, the whole rally is peaceful. The procession, as in the past, is also peaceful. People take selfies with each other, many went out with children.
3:48 pm Combat Reconnaissance and Patrol Vehicles BRDM-2 have tried to block the way to Lukashenka’s palace
3:50 pm Public-address vehicles in the center of Minsk have started playing propaganda messages about fascist origins of white-red-white flags.
4:00 pm Maria Kolesnikova has been seen in one of the columns of protesters.
4:05 pm Thousands of people keep joining Marches of Unity in the cities and towns all over Belarus.
4:10 pm According to the Viasna human rights center, about 70 people have already been detained in Minsk.
4:15 pm The Belarusian Association of Journalists that during the dispersal of a column of protestors in Chebotaryov Street, Artem Sizintseva, a journalist from Belorusian Radio Racjathere, was detained. He has managed to call and say that he was in a detention van on his way to the police station.
4:25 pm It’s started raining near Obelisk. Some people are leaving, but most are not going away. Tens of thousands of demonstrators continue their march to the Palace of Independence, chanting: « We believe, we can, we’ll win!” Barbed wire and security officers are blocking the road ahead.
4:35 pm The main column of peaceful protesters in Grodno, about two thousand people, is heading towards the Oktyabrskoye police station, where the detainees have been taken today.
4:45 pm People by the Palace of Independence are chanting: « Let us in – we’re cold!”, « Put Karaev on trial! », and « We are here for free! »
They are also addressing the security men, chanting: “He will run away and leave you alone” and “Take off the masks”.
The rain is getting worse, but most of the demonstrators continue marching and chanting: « Through the puddles here we go, we don’t need no Sasha, no!”
4:50 pm Сorrespondent of BelaPAN Ales Asiptsov has been detained in Mogilev.
5:01 pm Demonstrators have lined up along the fence by the Palace of Independence and are calling on the riot police: « Beating people will not work! » “Where are our voices?”, “We pay, we rule!”
They are also calling on the “owner of the palace » to come out and count how many protesters there are.
5:10 pm Minsk. A goose has been noticed in the column of protesters. Even the goose has chosen to walk with the protesters! A smart bird, indeed!
5:15 pm In Grodno and Brest, the security forces have demonstrated more brutality and used gas to disperse the crowd and during detentions.
It’s also been noticed that they only dare attack the protesters if there is a smaller group – as soon as there are at least 200-300 people, the security forces do not touch them.
5:30 pm Some girls have staged a flash mob by the fence of the Palace of Independence.They are holding posters resembling the shields of the security forces (OMON) and every letter of the abbreviation is explained in a new way to make a phrase that can be translated as “public peaceful response to violence” .
There is more creativity in the crowd of protesters: a man with a toy machine gun covered with gold foi and pink hearts.
Not far from the cordon, people are singing to the accompaniment of a guitar. Others are calling on the armed cordon in black: “He will dump you! Shame! ».
5:40 pm Some people have left, but there are still thousands of people remaining near the fence. From time to time, the security forces start stamping their feet. Protesters whistle and stamp back.
5:45 pm Ales Asiptsov, who was detained earlier today, has left the police station. The police have checked his documents and looked through all his belongings.
5:46 pm At the Lukashenka’s residence, the security forces sprayed tear gas. This was a reaction to a demonstrator writing “Luka PNKh” (which could be interpreted as “Lukashenko, get your f..ck away!”)
5:48 pm The human rights center « Viasna » reports that the security forces have detained at least 97 people in different districts of Minsk. Also, dozens of people were detained in other cities of Belarus. The list is being updated.
5:55 pm Eyewitnesses claim that the Investigative Committee is working at the site of the dispersal of protesters in Grodno: allegedly there was a clash between the protesters and riot police, and one of the policeman was injured.
5:57 pm According to the assessment of TUT.BY, there has been about 100 thousand people at the Palace of Independence.
6:05 pm Special security forces with shields blocked Lenin Street near the Hotel Europe. They were approached by tens of thousands of demonstrators who were coming from the side of Obelisk.
6:06 pm Unknown men in masks (and without) tried to kidnap a guy with a white-red-white flag near « Korona » supermarket on Kalvarijskaia Street. People managed to get him free although one of the unknown men was extremely aggressive, swearing and throwing his fists at people.
6:08 pm The security forces sprayed the gas again (for the second time in two hours) in the center of Minsk near the Palace of Independence. Some of the demonstrators fled, others moved a short distance away.
6:13 pm Human rights defenders have reported the names of 104 detainees during today’s protests in Minsk.
Ales Asiptsov, a BelaPAN correspondent, who was detained earlier in Mogilev, was released.
6:20 pm The action on Pobediteley Avenue next to the Palace of Independence has finished. People are cleaning the trash around the fence.
6:34 pm Many people have been detained while on the central streets of Minsk.
6:41 pm Brest. A column has passed along the route of Moscow Street – Partisan Avenue – Yanka Kupala Street – Pioneer Street and returned to Moscow Street. Now the demonstrators are walking along Moscow Street in the direction of the Kobryn Bridge.
6:44 pm Minsk. Mass detentions in Pobedy Park. People are jumping into the water to avoid being taken prisoner.
6:51 pm Minsk. Detentions have occured in the Upper city and on Nemiga Street. People are being dragged out of cafes as well. Some people ran into the coffee shop on Pobediteley Avenue and the owners closed the entrance. The security forces in civilian clothing broke down the doors with sticks and pulled people out. Others tried to stand up for the detainees, but it only provoked additional aggression.
Cellular operator A1 has reported a restart of mobile Internet capacity from 6:10 pm, which had been reduced a few hours earlier on the request of « authorized government agencies. »
6:57 pm Police officers dispersed the remaining protesters outside the Palace of Independence. The security forces organized a new perimeter cordon about 200 meters away from the original near the Palace of Independence. At the same time, all the protesters who were in the surrounding area were dispersed. At least a couple dozen people were detained. According to correspondents, only men were detained.
7:18 pm On the evening of September 6, people are detained in a heavy-handed way in different places of Minsk, according to eyewitnesses. The detentions were noted in the area around Pobediteley Avenue, in Pobedy park, on Nemiga Street and in Svobody Square.
Detentions are carried out by people in civilian clothing, wearing bulletproof vests and batons. It is happening in a heavy-handed way and often in the presence of police officers in uniform, who do not interfere in the situation.
There is an assumption in social networks that they may be employees of GUBOPIC – this indicates the Belarusian authorities have started to use titushki. (Wikipedia: « Titushki » is a collective term that originated in May 2013 in Ukraine, originally for naming young people secretly used by the local authorities as provocateurs hired to organize violent incidents, scuffles, and other actions using physical force).
7:31 pm Even teenagers have been detained by security forces in Hrodna.
7:54 pm In Brest, people have sung a song “Kupalinka” in front of the riot police and went towards Soviet street. The demonstrators are moving not in a column, but in small groups. People are starting to disperse.
8:06 pm The number of detainees registered increased up to 174.
8:08 pm Football players once again showed solidarity with the protesters during the match between « Gomel » and « Krumkachy ». After kick-off, they got up and started clapping. « At the initiative of the police », this match took place without spectators despite the promises of the head of the ABFF. As a result, “Krumkachy” won 0-2.
8:20 pm The Belarusian riot police has lifted the cordon, established near the residence of the President , where thousands of protests were held.
Water cannon, previously blocking Pobediteley Avenue, have been moved away from the Palace of Independence. Metal fences and barbed wire have been removed. APC which had previously been transferred to the entrance of the residence have also left the area. Traffic on the avenue has been restored.
8:24 pm The Solidarity March, a rally of supporters for change, has ended in Minsk and many other Belarusian cities.
The march in the center of the capital was as massive as before.
According to various estimates, between 170 and 200,000 people took to the streets. But unlike previous rallies, there have been brutal detentions of peaceful demonstrators today.
The authorities blocked the central squares at 14:00, an hour before the start of the march. Traditionally, five Minsk metro stations have been closed: Ploshad’ Lenina, Oktyabr’skaya, Kupalovskaya, Ploshad’ Pobedi and Ploshad’ Ya.Kolasa and trains didn’t stop at those stations.
At the current time there are about 230 detainees in the country.
8:32 pm Internet users have identified the leader of a gang of people in civilian clothes, who broke a window in a cafe in Minsk. This turned out to be the head of the General Directorate for Combating Organized Crime and Corruption of the Interior Ministry of Belarus Nikolay Karpenkov.
9:33 pm TV-channel STV aired an interview with Yuri Karaev, Minister of the Interior. The head of the security agency explained the actions of the police and the reaction to peaceful protests. According to him, the Belarusian police are « humane, maturecalm and calm ». The officers try not to use force against women, as well as to identify provocateurs and instigators.
So it should be, but reports from the places of peaceful demonstrations show a very different picture – persecution, severe beatings, detentions..
9:43 pm Andrei Egorov, a member of Coordination Council, a well-known political scientist and director of the Center for European Transformation, has been detained in Minsk. According to the council’s TV channel, Egorov was detained at about 2 p.m. in the area of Chebotarev Street. A lot of demonstrators who marched to the city center to participate in the Solidarity March have also been detained there today. The demonstrators were blocked and taken away prisoner transporters.. Some detainees required medical attention. There is still no information about Egorov’s whereabouts, the KS said.
9:58 pm The Lithuanian Foreign Ministry has warned that the lack of reaction on Belarus undermines the EU’s foreign policy. The head of the ministry, Linas Linkevicius, called on Brussels to provide Belarusian opposition with « carefully thought out and specific » assistance.
10:02 pm The Czech Republic said that the EU sanctions against Belarus will come into force no later than September 21. They also noted that the sanctions list could be expanded, and the purpose of the restrictions is to start negotiations between the Belarusian authorities and the opposition.
10:03 pm Residents of Chizhovka, one of Minsk districts, have come to the police station demanding the release of people detained at today’s Solidarity March.