15 August 2022, Monday, 3:04
Sim Sim, Charter 97!

Army and riot police crackdown protects in Minsk (Online coverage)

Army and riot police crackdown protects in Minsk (Online coverage)

Several thousands of riot policemen were thrown against demonstrators. Buses with soldiers stand around the square.

Pro-opposition presidential aspirants called on Belarusians to come to October (Kastrychnitskaya) Square in Minsk at 8:00 today to defend their stolen votes. Like all previous campaign held for the last 16 years, this Belarusian election campaign can be called neither free nor democratic. The opposition was not allowed access to vote counting; five-day enforced early voting was organized to make it easier to rig results (the early voting turnout was 23%); the opposition virtually had no access to state television and other media; independent observers report on ballot stuffing all over the country. The dictator obviously intends to continue his 16-year long ruling.

Democratic candidates Andrei Sannikov, Uladzimir Nyaklyaeu, Yaraslau Ramanchuk, Mikalai Statkevich, Vital Rymasheuski, and Ryhor Kastusyou urge Belarusians to struggle for the free and democratic future of Belarus and protest against cheat and fraud on the Square.

11:29 pm

Minsk city center is overcrowded with the military and special police forces. It is impossible to walk on Nezalezhnasti Avenue; it is blocked by special police units and trucks with the military. Ambulance vehicles leave with wounded people; the demonstrators stopped these vehicles themselves. It was nearly impossble to call ambulance since the cell phones did not function. Charter97.org journalist saw vehicles with many people whose heads were bleeding.

11:15 pm

People refuse to go away from the House of Government. Military men are there. The military are pulled in there. Trucks with the military are standing around the perimeter of the square. 10 paddy wagons have arrived to the main entrance of the building. The protest rally in Minsk is brutally crushed down by the military and riot police.

10:42 pm

However, people do not disperse. Riot policemen stepped away and are standing near the left side of the House of Government. Protesters continue to stand close to the building and demand negotiations. They also chant the slogan: “Resign!”

10:40 pm

Tens of thousands of people demanded negotiations from the authorities and attempted to enter the Government buildling. In reply, special police forces used tear-gas against the demonstrators.

10:30 pm

Hundreds of riot policemen wearing helmets and carrying shields came out of the House of Government. They are banging their batons on the shields. People are standing in front of them shouting “We don’t fear! We don’t fear! We are Belarusians, too!”

10:23 pm

Hundreds of strong men are crushing the furniture blocking the doorways and are about to enter the building! Dozens of people are standing by the Government residence chanting "Come on! Do it!" A huge crowd is encouraging them and chanting "We demand negotiations!".

10:20 pm

Riot policemen hold the cabinet units inside the building.

10:19 pm

Glass doors are broken, people inside the Hoгse of Government barricade themselves with cabinet units, but demonstrators break through.

10:16 pm

The mob breaks the doors of the House of Government and demands to allow people to go in.

10:11 pm

Andrei Sannikov announced the Government of National Rescue established today at Kastrychnistkaya Square will hold negotiations in the Government residence. The candidates enter the residence to wait for all key ministers of the country. People approach the residence and are standing by the entrance.

9:53 pm

More and more people are coming to Independence Square. People call their friends and tell: “Join us, we are winning, there is no police, Lukashenka has win!”

Now near the main entrance of the House of Government sound-amplifying equipment is being placed there. Oppositional presidential candidates are going to deliver speeches there. People are chanting: “Go away!”

9:39 pm

Nezalezhnastsi Square is entirely filled with people. The number of demonstrators is estimated to be between 30 and 40 thousand people. Candidate Andrei Sannikov announced collapse of Lukashenka's regime and establishment of a new Government of National Rescue with other democratic candidates.

9:15 pm

People fill Independence Square .They gather in front of the House of Government, where the Central Election Commission sits.

9:08 pm

The central part of the avenue is blocked by people. The front part of the demonstration is approaching Nezalezhnastsi Square with the Government residence. The other part is still on Kastrychnitskaya Square. People from nearest buildings go out to the street and join the demonstrators who are chanting "Go Away!".

9:05 pm

The city’s main avenue is crowded with demonstrators moving along the traffic away and pavements on both sides of the avenue.

9:01 pm

Cars have stopped. The avenue is completely covered and blocked by people. Traffic policemen cannot prevent that, as there are so many people that they cannot be stopped. People in the cars are invited to join the demonstrators.

8:56 pm

A huge crowd starts moving from the square in the direction of Lukashenka’s administration.

8:50 pm

Mikalai Statkevich says Lukashenka gained only 31% according to independent exit polls.

The presidential candidate suggests that protesters should “go and ask Lukashenka to vacate his residence.” The demonstrators welcome the suggestion.

8:47 pm

Dozens of people who have come to the square are chanting "Free Election Without Lukashenka!"

8:42 pm

All presidential candidates who address people on the square state that the electoral fraud is going on now. Candidates urge everyone to join the people on the square.

20:40 pm

Mobile Internet has been blocked on the square. Journalists are not able to upload videos from the square.

8:35 pm

Candidate Andrei Sannikov has spoken at the demonstration. In his speech, he has said the election had not been faire and transparent. The result is forged. "But the Belarusians are great people, we are ready to fight for freedom," he said.

8:30 pm

According to estimations of the candidates, about 30,000 of people are on the square now.

8:23 pm

Loudspeakers have been brought to the square. They are being installed now, so that the candidates can address the people. The number of demonstrators is constantly increasing.

8:20 pm

Belarusian presidential candidates Andrei Sannikov, Yaraslau Ramanchu,k, Ryhor Kastusyou, Vital Rymasheuski, and Mikalai Statkevich came to the square. Candidates are addressing the crowd from the steps of the Trade Union Palace. They have only a megaphone, as all sound-amplifying equipment was seized by the secret services during an attack on Nyaklyaeu’s headquarters. The authorities are trying to stifle politicians with music from loudspeakers. However, the slogan “Long Live Belarus” can be heard on the square.

8:10 pm

The square is almost entirely filled with people who are standing on the skating ring deliberately arranged by the officials inthe center of the square around the christmas tree. People are gathering on the opposite side of the avenue. The number of demonstrators is approximately 10 thousand.

8 pm

Meanwhile several thousand people have gathered on October square already. The square is gradually being filled with people.

7:57 pm

The avenue near Tsentralny (Central) store is overcrowded. The columns join together and move to the square.

7:55 pm

The column under national white-red-white flags almost reached October Square. The number of protesters continues to increase.

7:50 pm

The candidate for presidency in Belarus Andrei Sannikov joined the column which is marching along the Independence Avenue. Now participants of the march are crossing the traffic area. Passing-by cars honk as a sign of solidarity.

The number of participants is growing. About 3-4 thousand people are marching along the central avenue.

7:44 pm

Joined by more and more people the demonstrators are moving along Nezalezhnastsi Avenue towards Kastrychnitskaya Square. The slogan “Long Live Belarus!” is heard all over the avenue.

7:37 pm

The number of people moving from the railway station towards the square has risen to 2 thousand. The demonstrators are approaching the square.

7:35 pm

Several hundreds of people are moving to Kastrychnistkaya Square from Minsk railway station chanting “Long Live Belarus!”

Charter97 reminds: candidate from the Belarusian Christian Democratic party Vitaly Rymasheuski was planning to join the demonstrators and walk to the square from the railway station.