Live Feed | 19 Aug, 6:30 am – 12 pm

Last night Svietlana Tikhanovskaya published a video address to European leaders, where she called on the heads of European countries not to recognize the fraudulent elections held in the country on August 9. Today the President of the EU Council, Charles Michel, will convene a video conference of members to discuss the situation in Belarus.

What other news has this morning brought?

6:30 am People started gathering by the entrance to the Minsk Tractor Works site. It appeared that passes of the workers who had applied for voluntary leave (about 500 applications were signed yesterday) were suspended.

8:30 am OMON (riot police) pushed people back from the entrance to the Minsk Tractor Works site. The Minsk Tractor Works employees and common people who had come to support the strike were dispersed from the plant site and forced to move to the other side of the road.
TUT.BY reports that at least one participant of the peaceful assembly was pulled aside by the OMON (riot police), but there was no information on whether he was detained.

Photo: TUT.BY

8:50 am Major Belarussian enterprises continue strike actions. The list of enterprises that have suspended their work continues to grow and now includes; JSC “Belaruskali” (one of the world’s largest producers of potash fertilizers), tire manufacturer “Belshina” and Belorussian TV and Radio Company “Belteradiocompany” (who announced an official strike).

Several hundred potash miners employed by Belaruskali gathered on the square in Soligorsk and discussed an action plan.

Earlier, the co-chairman of the strike committee Anatoly Bokun spoke on Radio Svoboda (Liberty), he said, “The ranks of the strikers are thinning under unprecedented pressure from the management.”

Representatives of the strike committee told TUT.BY that over four thousand people had signed the striking statement. However, not all of them go out to the square. The workers are threatened with responsibility (including criminal responsibility) and fines to compensate for the downtime.

9:00 am The entrance to Kupala Theater is blocked – employees and actors cannot enter the building. “The official version is that it is a cleaning day”, – said the actors.

09:19 am The press secretary of the Ministry of Internal Affairs, Olga Chemodanova, told RIA Novosti that two or three people were arrested near the Minsk Tractor Works site earlier today. “There are detainees; the number is being specified,” – Chemodanova said.

10:00 am It was reported that yesterday, after ten days of detention, two volunteers from Viktor Babariko’s electoral headquarters and two volunteer guards from the headquarters of Tikhanovskaya were released from the detention center.

10:20 am Gennadi Shutov, a 43-year-old man shot by security forces during the protest actions on August 11th died in a hospital in Brest.Earlier, his relatives told TUT.BY that according to eyewitness accounts, Gennady hadn’t been fighting or conflicting – he had been walking when he was shot. In their opinion, the fatal shot was fired from the roof of a building.

10:30 am Telegram channel Nexta published an up-to-date action plan for protesters:

We continue to support striking workers at Minsk Automobile Plant, Minsk Tractor Works, Atlant [Household Appliance Manufacturing company located in Minsk], Belkommunmash [Belarusian manufacturer of electric public transport vehicles], ONT [Belarusian TV Channel ]. We need to tell them about the solidarity fund and the national strike committee.

At 6 PM – general meeting at the building of the Ministry of Internal Affairs in all cities with the demand to release all political prisoners and those detained during the protest actions.

11:45 am A fund for the support of the protest movement in Belarus raised $ 2.5 million. The organizer of the fund, journalist Alexei Leonchik, told the BBC Russian service that part of the funds would be used to pay fines. It’s not yet clear how compensation for injuries will be distributed. Human rights organizations of Belarus will help with lists of victims and reporting.“Our task is not to harm people who have already suffered at the rallies, and not to allow them to be accused of something,” Leonid stressed.