A massive crowd of hundreds of thousands of protesters gathered in Minsk on Sunday, demanding President Alexander Lukashenko’s resignation and saying "Fuck You!" to the Belarusian strongman’s warning that “stringent measures” would be employed to “defend” the country.
The turnout in Minsk today for the manifestation for democracy looks absolutely massive. The regime effort to scare people away have so far failed. Dare the regime send the army against its people? pic.twitter.com/HNbAOKFDVj— Carl Bildt (@carlbildt) August 23, 2020
Waving red-and-white opposition flags, protesters chanted "Freedom" as a sea of people, numbering in the hundreds of thousands made their way to Independence Square in the heart of the Belarusian capital.
“Minsk never has seen such crowds in its history,” said an independent journalist in Minsk..
The protesters say Mr. Lukashenko stole the election and want him to resign.
The president has vowed to crush the ongoing unrest and previously blamed the dissent on unnamed "foreign-backed revolutionaries".
Lukashenko has rejected the idea of holding another election, dismissed calls to resign, and accused his opponents of attempting to seize power.
On Friday he vowed to "solve the problem" of the protest movement.
It started off with a subdued, sinister atmosphere today in Minsk: thin crowds, rain, loudspeakers warning of arrest, the army threatening to restore order.— Shaun Walker (@shaunwalker7) August 23, 2020
And then more people came. And more. And more.
Belarus amazes once again. pic.twitter.com/uZp19pwqZ9
Minsk right now— Polina Ivanova (@polinaivanovva) August 23, 2020
MINSK RIGHT NOW pic.twitter.com/LQjxVPfPwd
Minsk right now. Absolutely stunning. Reports that the crowd is over 250,000 strong, in a country of under 2 million people.pic.twitter.com/q9olhavpCJ— Joshua Potash (@JoshuaPotash) August 23, 2020