100,000 march in Minsk to demand resignation of Belarus leader

100,000 march in Minsk to demand resignation of Belarus leader

Russian news agency TASS, said that roughly 30 students were detained for taking part in unauthorized protests in Belarus' capital city, according to Minsk police officers. Several people have died in the crackdown.

Speaking with factory workers last month, Lukashenko stated that those who meant to strike could leave if they wanted to, while adding that such protests are ruining the country's economy.

"Though the strain faced by independent media has been made evident before, during, and after the presidential elections, in the past week Belarusian authorities have made greater moves to hinder the free press", the statement said, adding that more than 70 independent news websites had been blocked. The opposition has denied this, and North Atlantic Treaty Organisation has also denied his allegations that it is massing forces near the Belarusian border.

"Despite rain and pressure from the authorities, despite repression, many more people turned up in Minsk than last Sunday", top opposition figure Maria Kolesnikova told reporters.

Students have led numerous recent protests, now that many of them are back on campus with the resumption of the university school year. "It's Putin's treat", some protesters chanted, referring to Mr Lukashenko by his diminutive name.

More than a dozen Abrams tanks crossed the Lithuanian border from neighbouring North Atlantic Treaty Organisation part-ner Poland on Saturday afternoon, a photographer said.

The 66-year-old strongman has refused to give in to protesters' demands to quit.

But this moral support might prove pointless unless the west is able to match president Vladimir Putin's threat to send in military help from Russian Federation.

Protesters have called for another major demonstration on Sunday.

Lukashenko has in the past ruled out outright unification and sought to play Moscow off against the West but his options now are limited.

The Baltic states on Monday (31 August) banned embattled Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko as he cracked down further on the opposition movement following another huge rally at the weekend.

The Baltic nations of Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia have blacklisted Mr Lukashenko and 29 high-ranking officials in his administration but other members of the European Union bloc appear reluctant to target the Belarus strongman personally.

Lukashenko told visiting Russian Prime Minister Mikhail Mishustin in Minsk that the call between Berlin and Warsaw showed that the incident was a "falsification".

Students were dragged from protests against the contested re-election of Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko, by masked men who hauled them into vans, reported Reuters Saturday.

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