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22 août 2020 | 13h16 UTC

Belarus: Pro-government rally held in Grodno August 22 /update 22

Belarus Alerte de sécurité

Hundreds of government supporters gather for pro-Lukashenko rally in Grodno on August 22; protests likely to continue in near term

TIMEFRAME expected from 22/8/2020, 12h00 until 23/8/2020, 11h59 (Europe/Minsk). COUNTRY/REGION Grodno

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Hundreds of pro-government activists gathered in the western city of Grodno on Saturday, August 22, for a rally in support of President Alexander Lukashenko. Lukashenko is expected to speak at the rally, alongside other senior government figures, and a significant security forces presence is likely around the site in the city's Kalozski Park. Grodno has also seen significant anti-government demonstrations and industrial action in recent days, and there is a realistic possibility of counter-protests elsewhere in the city.

Although Saturday's rally is expected to remain peaceful, localized disruptions are likely in the vicinity of the event.


Election officials announced that Lukashenko had won 80 percent of the vote in the presidential election held on August 9, with the main opposition candidate Svetalna Tikhanouskaya gaining 9.9 percent. Lukashenko faced few challenges to his sixth term as president, with his main rivals Valery Tsepkalo and Viktor Babariko being barred from standing. However, the run-up to the election saw increased political tensions and opposition protest activity. Opposition groups have denounced the election results as fraudulent.

Protests have taken place throughout Belarus since the election result was announced, with security forces blocking access to a number of cities as clashes with protesters were reported. Security forces have deployed tear gas, rubber bullets, water cannon, batons, and concussion grenades in attempts to disperse crowds. At least two people have been killed and around 6700 people have reportedly been arrested during the unrest, although around 2000 have since been released in a rare sign of concession from the government. Tikhanouskaya subsequently went into exile in Lithuania. Lukashenko announced on Monday, August 17, that he was ready to potentially relinquish power following a constitutional referendum; however, this has failed to stem the unrest.


Those in Belarus are advised to monitor the situation, avoid all demonstrations and large gatherings, adhere to instructions issued by local authorities and their home governments, and refrain from discussing politically sensitive topics in public or on social media.


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