A women's march is scheduled to take place in Minsk on Saturday, October 24. The demonstration is being held one day before the ultimatum for President Alexander Lukashenko to resign, issued by Sviatlana Tsikhanouskaya. Participants of the demonstration are scheduled to gather at approximately 14:00 (local time) at Simon Bolivar Square before marching towards Independence Avenue.
A heightened security presence and localized travel disruptions are expected in the vicinity of the demonstration.
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 Svetlana 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 cannons, batons, and concussion grenades in attempts to disperse crowds. The promise of military support from Russian President Vladimir Putin has seemingly emboldened Lukashenko and has seen a new wave of arrests during opposition demonstrations in Minsk and other urban centers.
Those in Minsk are advised to monitor developments, avoid all demonstrations and political gatherings as a precaution, and adhere to all instructions issued by local authorities.
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