KYIV, Ukraine — About 10,000 ladies marched noisily by the Belarusian capital on Saturday, beating pots and pans and shouting for the resignation of the nation’s authoritarian president within the 35th consecutive day of huge anti-government protests.
Many carried portraits of Maria Kolesnikova, a frontrunner of the opposition Coordination Council that’s looking for a brand new presidential election for the ex-Soviet nation of 9.5 million individuals. She was jailed this week after police tried to power her in another country. Her lawyer says Kolesnikova was pushed to the border with Ukraine, however tore up her passport and refused to go away Belarus.
Others carried placards studying “ “You painted my coronary heart with blue ache,” referring to President Alexander Lukashenko’s declare that some ladies beforehand had painted themselves to seem to have been bruised by police beatings.
The human rights group Viasna stated greater than 70 individuals have been detained by police through the march.
Lukashenko refuses to fulfill with the council, and most of its leaders have been detained or have left the nation.
The protests started Aug. 9 after a presidential election that officers say handed Lukashenko a sixth time period in workplace with 80% help. Opponents and a few ballot employees say the election outcomes have been rigged. Some protesters have displayed bruises from a violent police crackdown within the days after the election, when over 7,000 protesters have been detained.
The protests are the biggest and most widespread of Lukashenko’s 26 years in energy. Sunday demonstrations within the capital of Minsk have repeatedly introduced out crowds of greater than 100,000. Protests have damaged out in different main cities in Belarus and strikes have hit a number of the nation’s main state-owned industries, beforehand a base of help for the embattled 66-year-old chief.
Lukashenko met Saturday with prime officers of the nation’s safety companies. All through the unrest, he has rejected any concessions, has repeatedly accused Belarus’ western neighbors of getting ready to overthrow his authorities. In a single present of aggressive defiance, he was seen striding with an computerized rifle throughout the grounds of his presidential residence.
Because the protests persist, questions loom about attainable motion by Russia to prop up his regime. Lukashenko is assembly with Russian President Vladimir Putin on Monday of their first face-to-face contact for the reason that unrest started.
Putin has stated he stands able to ship Russian police into Belarus if the protests flip violent, stoking fears that Moscow might use the political dissent as an excuse to annex its neighbor. The international locations have a union settlement envisaging shut political, financial and navy ties, though Lukashenko has repeatedly expressed considerations that Putin needs Russia to soak up Belarus completely.
Jim Heintz in Moscow contributed to this report.