On August 16, opposition media outlets released a video showing the death of rioter, Alexander Taraisky, in Minsk on August 10. The incident happened during clashes between police and rioters in the Belarusian capital following the presidential election in the country. This happened before the protests switched from regime-change attempts through the destabilization of the country through street riots to the ‘nonviolent resistance’ measures like strike of plants, the blockade of administrative buildings and peaceful demonstrations.
When the government first confirmed the death of the rioter, authorities said that he died from wounds received when an explosive device blew up in his hand. He was allegedly planning to throw it at security forces. Noetheless, the video released by pro-opposition sources does not show this moment. Insteadl, it shows what looks like a shot with a rubber bullet at the demonstrator.
Meanwhile, protests continue across Belarus with the increased intensity. The nation-wide strike declared by the opposition also expanded even reaching workers of Belarusian state media. There are little doubts that the participation of journalists from state media in the opposition activity is a bad sign for the government. Nonetheless, no notable clashes between the opposition and security forces were reported recently.
President Alexander Lukashenko continues claiming that the situation is mostly under control. He made a phone call to Russian President Vladimir Putin apparently asking him for support. Regardless this move, during the past moths, the Lukashenko government made multiple anti-Russian steps. Therefore, it still remains unlikely that Moscow will immediately and decisively step into the sitaution on the side of Lukashenko. It is likely that Russia will keep a neutrality towards the situation providing a general support to Lukashenko, but without any direct and loud actions.
At the same time, President Lukashenko met with the military leadership of the country and ordered an airborne troops brigade from Vitebsk to Grodno, on the the Western border of Belarusia. By this, he demonstrated that the government is ready to continue employing force if violent regime-change attempts resume. However, how Lukashnko and his inner circle will deal with the nation-wide strike and the continued peace protests still remains in question.
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- Lukashenko Claims The Situation In Belarus Is Relatively Stable, Remembers About ‘Alliance’ With Russia
- West Offers Poisonous ‘Hand Of Friendship’ To Lukashenko Amid Mass Protests Against His Government
- Crisis In Belarus As Sign Of Global Division