At least 100,000 protesters gather in Belarusian capital, police detain 250

At least 100,000 protesters gather in Belarusian capital, police detain 250

News agency AFP, for its part, said there would be tens of thousands of participants.

Masked riot police on Saturday violently detained several dozen women demonstrators and threw them into vans during a smaller protest in Minsk.

An interior ministry official denied that any shots were fired in the air.

Access to mobile data was limited and central metro stations closed, with authorities moving police vans, military vehicles and barbed wire into the center ahead of the demonstration.

Thousands gathered in the center of Minsk for a march as riot police warned that the protest was not sanctioned.

Russian President Vladimir Putin is tightening his embrace of beleaguered ally Alexander Lukashenko as the Belarusian ruler intensifies a crackdown on month-long protests.

"In recent weeks we have seen that women have been treated somewhat better by police", said Connolly.

"Key issues of the further development of Russian-Belarusian strategic partnership and alliance are planned to be discussed", the Kremlin said.

"This country is not for sale", read one placard at the march.

"Belarus is of huge importance", said Mikhail Vinogradov, who heads the St. Petersburg Politics Foundation.

Tesla’s Giga Berlin electric vehicle factory plans are massive
Tesla is planning to open at least one more inner-city fast charging site in Germany before the end of the year. While Tesla's sales are increasing in several European countries, its total share remains small.

Lukashenko, 66, called Putin his "older brother" and suggested their fates were intertwined in an interview with Russian media broadcast September 9.

"He is supporting Lukashenko's regime, he's playing a odd game and that's why our people no longer trust him", he said.

Putin has been keen to unify Russian Federation and Belarus, and Moscow has accompanied its recent offers of military aid with calls for tighter integration.

Analysts said that Moscow will seek to exploit Lukashenko's political vulnerability to wring concessions from him.

Lithuanian MPs have unanimously voted for the resolution to recognize former Belarusian presidential candidate Svetlana Tikhanovskaya, who fled to Lithuania after the disputed election, as the elected leader of her country.

After a massive protest last Sunday, Maria Kolesnikova, one of three prominent women opposition figures, was jailed after she resisted expulsion and tore up her passport.

It comes as Lukashenko has vowed that he will not give up power to the opposition, which claims its candidate Svetlana Tikhanovskaya was the rightful victor of the August 9 polls.

The opposition that united behind Sviatlana Tsikhanouskaya, who's now in exile in Lithuania, says she won the election and wants Lukashenko to begin talks on handing over power.

One leading activist, Maria Kolesnikova, who is now in jail in Minsk, issued a statement through lawyers saying security officers threatened to force her out of the country "alive or in pieces". The United States is also preparing sanctions, according to a senior US official, which should be ready in a few days.

Related Articles