Former presidential candidate Svetlana Tikhanovskaya, who left the country due to pressure from the authorities, called on opposition supporters to take to the streets of Belarusian cities again on March 25, the day of independence. Tikhanovskaya published the statement on her telegram channel.
“I urge all Belarusians to prepare for this day now: to mobilize the protest spirit, build safe communities, plan to return to the streets of their own cities,” Tikhanovskaya wrote.
Earlier, the former presidential candidate gave an interview to the Swiss newspaper Le Temps, in which she admitted that at the moment the opposition forces have lost “the fight for the street” and that it will take more time than planned to defeat the regime of Alexander Lukashenko. At the same time, she expressed hope that mass protests in the country could continue in the spring.
Tikhanovskaya’s international affairs adviser Franak Vyachorka, in a conversation with the Russian edition of The Insider, also suggested that street performances would start again with “warming and sunshine.” “March 25 may become a key date for the spring protests,” he said.
- Massive protests began in Belarus after the presidential elections on August 9, 2020, the winner of which was declared Alexander Lukashenko, who was elected for the sixth consecutive term. The protesters are demanding Lukashenka’s resignation and new elections, accusing the authorities of unprecedented fraud and brutality against the protesters. The suppression of the protests killed at least five people. According to human rights activists, to date, more than 30 thousand Belarusians have been repressed, the country’s authorities have opened more than 900 criminal cases against their opponents. The protests continue to this day, although the number of participants has dropped significantly.
- The EU countries and the USA do not recognize the legitimacy of the presidential elections in Belarus. The European Parliament voted in favor of a resolution condemning the harsh suppression of peaceful protests and, in particular, the assassination of demonstrator Roman Bondarenko. Sanctions have been introduced against a number of Belarusian officials.
- Russia has recognized the Belarusian elections and promises to provide Lukashenka with assistance, including force, if the conflict escalates.
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