Sunday. March in memory of deceased ancestors
Mass protests continue in Belarus after the announcement of the victory of Alexander Lukashenko in the presidential elections on August 9. On November 1, over 300 people were detained. The most massive protest action took place in Minsk. It was timed to commemorate the deceased ancestors. The participants of the march gathered in the afternoon in the center of Minsk. They intended to march in a column to the Kurapaty tract.
The security forces blocked the path of the protesters several times, made arrests both in the city and in the field near the tract. According to Minsk police, officers fired into the air with non-lethal weapons. Eyewitnesses and protesters inform about the use of stun grenades and rubber bullets, and paintballs being fired at protesters with paintball guns.
As a result, several thousand participants in the unauthorized action reached Kurapaty. They held a requiem meeting, laid flowers at the crosses in memory of the victims of the NKVD.
The Kuropaty tract near Minsk is the burial place of victims of Stalinist repressions. According to various sources, the remains of several dozens to hundreds of thousands of people can be found in the common graves in Kurapaty. Citizens of different nationalities are buried here – apart from Belarusians, also Russians, Poles, Jews, Lithuanians. The burial area occupies 15 hectares and is protected by the state.
Like every Sunday after the presidential elections on August 9, there was no mobile Internet connection during the march in Minsk. According to one of the Belarusian mobile operators, the problems with the mobile Internet at the request of government agencies in October amounted to almost 20 hours. The operators said they would compensate their subscribers for the service they had not provided.
Saturday. Protest march of women and pro-government motor rally
On Saturday, a women's march was held in Minsk again, attended by opponents of the current government. Supporters organized another car rally. This time on the route Minsk - Lida - Grodno.
In the photos that the participants of the rally posted on their Telegram channel “Motor Rallies “For a United Belarus!”, it is clear that it’s not the first time for some cars to be involved in such an event. Also, judging by the photos, very few people participate in the race. The protest march looked more massive. This time it was joined by disabled people who also organized a protest action.
Belarus restricts the entry of foreigners from November 1
From November 1, Belarus temporarily suspends the crossing of its state border for entry into the country by foreign citizens and persons without citizenship at automobile checkpoints, at railway stations, and in river ports.
This regulation does not apply to:
- foreigners with diplomatic and service passports;
- heads and members of official delegations;
- foreigners who provide international free aid to Belarus;
- long-distance truck drivers and drivers of international postal services;
- crews of inland waterway vessels and trains;
- foreigners who are spouses, parents or children of Belarusian citizens;
- foreigners with the right to permanent or temporary residence in Belarus;
- foreigners who have a work permit in Belarus;
- those who travel to Belarus due to a serious illness or death of a close relative;
- transporters of stem cells and organs for transplantation;
- Russians travelling in transit through Belarus to Russia;
- Ukrainians and other foreigners who participate in international projects in the exclusion zone of the Chernobyl nuclear power plant.
As for other foreigners, they can be allowed into Belarus only in exceptional cases, if the passage is authorized by the chairman of the State Border Committee or an official authorized by him.
The official reason for the introduction of restrictions for foreigners is the unfavorable situation with coronavirus infection.
As for the citizens of Belarus returning from abroad, there are no restrictions to them. Except that if they come from countries that are unfavorable for COVID-19, they must go through 10 days of self-isolation.
On October 29, Belarusian citizens were not allowed into the country. This restriction was in effect all day, but the border was opened again by the evening.
Lukashenko promised not to participate in the next elections
Lilia Vlasova is a lawyer and member of the Presidium of the Coordination Council for the transfer of power from Lukashenko to Tihanovskaya. She was detained on August 31 and released soon after the meeting that Lukashenko held with her and other political prisoners in the KGB pre-trial detention center on October 10. She spoke about this meeting in an interview with the Russian Dozhd channel. The meeting lasted 4.5 hours. The politician said that he would like to discuss the new Constitution, but none of the participants was ready for this. Lukashenko promised that the presidency will be limited to two terms, that he will not participate in the next elections. New elections will be held by next summer.
Vlasova felt that Lukashenko didn’t express either empathy or negativity towards the participants of the meeting. He promised that he would invite them next time to continue the dialogue at the Palace of Independence. But in the pre-trial detention center there was not quite a dialogue. Lukashenko spoke mainly. Others spoke for only 45 minutes in total, while the rest of the time was occupied by the initiator of the meeting.
Photo: flickr.com / Max Katz