Protests in Belarus (2020-2021)

Article

January 24, 2022

The protests in Belarus in 2020 and 2021 are a series of public demonstrations and strikes and movements against President Alexander Lukashenko within the Belarusian democratic opposition, which seeks to prevent his sixth term in the run-up to the 2020 presidential elections. it refuses to recognize them, as do the European Union and some countries. They draw attention especially to the revealed extensive manipulations. The protests began on May 31, 2020 in the Belarusian capital Minsk. The demonstrators demand, above all, the resignation of Lukashenko and the government, the announcement of new free elections, an end to police violence and the release of political prisoners. About 7,000 people were arrested, 300 wounded and five people killed during the protests. Dozens of people are missing.

Background

September 2019

At the beginning of September 2019, Lukashenko concluded an economic integration agreement with Putin, which aims to unify the tax code, civil code, foreign trade and regulation of the oil, gas and electricity markets of both countries by 2021. Many began to see this as a great and definitive rapprochement with Russia, with which it did not always have a clearly friendly relationship. Belarus, for example, refused to recognize the Russian annexation of Ukrainian Crimea in 2014, and Russia, on the other hand, limited the financial benefits provided to Belarus. Minsk also indicated at certain times an interest in moving closer to the EU. In addition, in 2016, EU and US sanctions against Belarus were relaxed following the release of political prisoners and some reforms.

November 2019

On November 17, 2019, parliamentary elections were held in Belarus, during which the democratic opposition lost only three seats in the 100-member Chamber of Deputies, the lower house of the National Assembly. Fearing that few people would come, local authorities lured voters to reward them for attending. There were also concerts, culinary lessons, refreshments, laptops and a bag of grain. Observers from the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) called the elections non-transparent. "Belarusian law does not allow democratic elections to be held," said OSCE Election Expert Margareta Cederfeldt. International observers and the opposition, as always, called the vote rigged. Lukashenko responded to the election by saying, "I am not to blame if the people did not support them, what can I do?" He also accused them of being generously funded by Americans and Germans. Lukashenko's mistress Maria Vasilevich (* 1997), who became the most beautiful girl in Belarus in 2018 and who also won third place at Miss World, won the election. Lukashenko even awarded the woman a state award for services to Belarusian culture and charity. She succeeded in the elections even though she did not campaign and was a complete newcomer to politics. She was the youngest in the newly elected parliament. Opposition politician and activist Paval Sevjarynets, who was once imprisoned for participating in anti-government protests, said: "Lukashenko could have appointed horses from his farm to our so-called parliament, not to mention girls from his personal escort service. He humiliates the Belarusians and says: Look, I can do this as well. ”Ales Byalyatski, the head of the NGO Vyasna, described the election as a mere ritual, and Alexei Janukevich, deputy chairman of the opposition Belarusian People's Front, had no doubt about its“ falsification ”.

Year 2020

The first infection of the infectious disease covid-19 was recorded in Belarus on 28 February. Over time, more than 65,000 people became infected and 480 people succumbed to it, making Belarus one of the most affected areas in Europe. Lukashenko lice

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