BELARUS: Protests in several cities across Belarus were triggered after the preliminary results from the nation’s presidential elections showed Alexander Lukasheno winning 80% of the vote, which the opposition claims is due to vote rigging.
During the second day of mass protests in Belarus, where Minsk demonstrations were joined by people in other Belarusian cities, protesters flocked to the streets of the nation’s capital, hurled Molotov cocktails at the police, and constructed trash can barricade.
At least one protester died in Minsk, according to the country’s Interior Ministry. In one of Minsk’s hotspots, near Pushkinskaya Square, law enforcement used tear gas, light-noise grenades, and rubber bullets against protesters.
The demonstrations started in Belarus after the preliminary results of the nation’s presidential election saw incumbent Alexander Lukashenko receiving 80% of the vote – something that was vehemently dismissed by the opposition. Lukashenko’s rival, Svetlana Tikhonovskaya, has since filed a complaint over the election results with the Central Election Committee.
Explosions could be heard in the vicinity of Pushkinskaya Square. Protesters were seen launching fireworks at law enforcement officers.
Videos shared on social media also appeared to show a car hitting a group of law enforcement officers.
Since the protests started on Sunday night after the preliminary results of the country’s presidential election showed incumbent President Alexander Lukashenko winning the election with over 80 percent of the vote several Russian media outlets, including Sputnik Belarus, RT, TV Rain, Meduza, and Daily Storm, have said that their reporters have been detained in Minsk. According to Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova, Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov was personally looking into the situation with arrested reporters.
On Monday, the Rossiya Segodnya International Information Agency passed along information about photojournalist Ilya Pitalev, who went fell off radar screens on Monday evening, to the Russian Embassy in Minsk.