Tens of thousands of Belarusians gathered in Minsk this Sunday for one of the largest protests in the country’s history at the end of a week of rallies to call for the resignation of the country’s President Alexander Lukashenko, who was named in an election denounced by the opposition Winner emerged as fraudulent.
The march coincided briefly with another large counter-demonstration by Lukashenko’s supporters on Independence Square, in which the president himself took part.
“Dear friends, I did not call you here to protect me, but for the first time in a quarter of a century I called our country, our families, our sisters, our women and children,” said the president, referring to the time it took has been at the forefront of the country since 1994.
The opposition demonstration was led by former presidential candidate Maria Kolesnikova. “It is your last chance to face your fear. We are also afraid,” he proclaimed to the police from a megaphone. “Join us and we will support you,” he added in the comments section of ‘The Guardian’.