Fear, horror, anger, despair, solidarity, apathy, and glee. 100 days of Belarus protests in photos

 

International

Source: TUT.BY

Editor’s Note

Yesterday marked the 100th day of unprecedented protests in Belarus against elections rigged in favor of dictator Alyaksandr Lukashenka. For 100 days, Belarusians have been on an emotional rollercoaster. 100 days of protests in Belarus surprised not Belarusians themselves, but the whole world. We take a look at 100 days of fear, horror, anger, despair, solidarity, apathy, and glee in Belarus with the help of photographers from the popular Belarusian website TUT.by.

A study by Chatham House found that more than a million people took part in the protests and each fifth city dweller. Quite a lot for a country of 9.5 million.

First, Belarusians demanded free and fair elections. Later, demands to stop police violence and free political prisoners were added.

As Nasha Niva put it, by the will of fate, Svitlana Tsikhanouskaya, the wife of a political prisoner who was a housewife prior to the arrest of her husband and took care of the children, became a symbol of the protest when she mustered the courage to enroll in the elections instead of her husband. Now she is nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize.

“This nomination happened because the world admires the peaceful nature of the protests – peaceful, despite the bloody suppression of demonstrations and mass repressions that have already affected 30,000 people. And because the Belarusian protest gave hope to other peoples of the former Soviet Union,” — Nasha Niva.

Indeed, protesters remain peaceful despite the shocking brutality of Lukashenka’s regime. According to the Pray for Belarus initiative,

  • Seven lives were lost, including the life of Raman Bandarenka this past Thursday. Roman was a 31-year old art teacher. On Wednesday, he stepped out of his apartment to defend the national Belarusian symbols carefully hung by children and adults in the courtyard of his apartment building. He was brutally beaten by Lukashenka’s police wearing black masks and no insignia. Roman was later pronounced dead from head injuries.
  • 25,000 people were arrested, including doctors, lawyers, retirees, students, and people with disabilities.
  • 1,000 protesters are facing criminal charges. 
  • 500 cases of torture were documented according to the OSCE Moscow Mechanism Report on Belarus.
  • Many detained protesters experienced severe beatings, degrading treatment, and threats of sexual violence. Teenage children are among the abused.
  • Thousands of political refugees had to flee the country.

Meanwhile, not a single democratic country has recognized Lukashenka as a legitimate representative of the Belarusian people. 

The OSCE experts confirmed that the August 9th presidential election was completely rigged. 

According to the independent vote counting platform “Golos” and post-election polls conducted by Chatham House, Sviatlana Tsikhanouskaya won the majority of the votes.

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The 100 days of protests have been recalled by the Belarusian media TUT.BY, which has been in the epicenter of the most important events and has now shared its memorable and striking photos:

“Behind them are more than one interesting story. These are the stories about how scary it was to be there. The stories about how difficult it was to capture the moment when one is overflowing with tears or joy.

The stories we want to remember. During these 100 days, we learned a lot about ourselves and our colleagues, who, in extreme conditions, revealed themselves in a completely new way. But the most important thing is that we learned a lot about Belarusians. They really turned out to be incredible!” — TUT.BY

Photos: Dmitry Brushko, Daria Buryakina, Vadim Zamirovsky, Olga Shukailo, Katerina Gordeeva, Stanislav Korshunov, TUT.BY, translated by BelarusFeed.

Women are standing in front of riot police on Pobediteley Avenue in central Minsk during a protest against the presidential election results in Minsk on August 10, 2020. Photo: Olga Shukailo, TUT.BY

People turned on flashlights on their mobile phones during a peaceful protest in Independence Square. Minsk, August 21, 2020. Photo: Daria Buryakina, TUT.BY

A guy and a girl are riding a scooter in front of a security forces’ cordon on Pobediteley Avenue in the evening after the announcement of the presidential election results. Minsk, August 9, 2020. Thousands of people came to the city center to express their disagreement with the results announced by the CEC. Photo: Dmitry Brushko, TUT.BY

A security officer without insignia is dragging a detained man. Minsk, August 9, 2020. A massive protest rally against the results of the presidential elections took place in the evening in the capital on Pobediteley Avenue and near the Minsk-Hero City Obelisk. Photo: Dmitry Brushko, TUT.BY

Several demonstrators are standing in front of a large crowd of security forces on Independence Avenue. Minsk, August 9, 2020. A protest rally of many thousands gathered in the center of Minsk. People took to the streets to express their disagreement with the announced results of the presidential election. Photo: Dmitry Brushko, TUT.BY

Security forcers are dragging men out of a car on Pritytskogo Street in the Kamennaya Gorka microdistrict. Minsk, August 11, 2020. After the elections, protest rallies erupted in different parts of the city. Both protesters and random passers-by were subjected to brutal detentions. Photo: Dmitry Brushko, TUT.BY

A man and a woman are hugging a girl who has just been released from a detntion center on Okrestin Street. People who were brutally detained by security forces after the presidential elections were subjected to violence and torture in the police department and in the detention center there. Minsk, August 13, 2020. Photo: Olga Shukailo, TUT.BY

A man shows his injuries after leaving the detention center on Okrestin Street. He, like many others, was beaten and tortured during his detention, in the police department and in the detention center. Minsk, August 13, 2020. Photo: Olga Shukailo, TUT.BY

Maria Zaitseva, injured by a flashbang explosion in the evening after the presidential election on August 9, sits on a bed in an emergency hospital ward. Minsk, August 14, 2020. The girl still cannot hear with one ear. According to her, she didn’t lose her sign only because she was wearing lenses when a grenade exploded. Photo: Vadim Zamirovsky, TUT.BY

A man shows OMON [riot police] officers a photo of a man who was beaten by their colleagues in Minsk. Brest, August 16, 2020. On this day, thousands of protests marched throughout the country. Photo: Stanislav Korshunov, TUT.BY

A girl in makeup imitating a victim of violence takes part in a rally in memory of Alexander Taraikovsky, the first person killed during a protest against the presidential election results. Minsk, August 15, 2020. Photo: Vadim Zamirovsky, TUT.BY

The workers of the MTZ, who went on strike, and the people who joined them, are marching from the factory to the government building. Minsk, August 14, 2020. The workers demanded new elections and called for the release of all those detained. Photo: Olga Shukailo, TUT.BY

A man and a woman stand on a balcony with white-red-white flags and banner “For love”. Minsk, August 16, 2020. Photo: Dmitry Brushko, TUT.BY

A girl takes part in the “My cell” action, organized by prisoners of the isolation center for offenders on Okrestin Street. Minsk, August 22, 2020. Former prisoners recreated the conditions in which they were in a cell, where a number of people significantly exceeded the norm. The banners express their thoughts and impressions of what happened. Photo: Daria Buryakina, TUT.BY

Men are carrying a coffin with the body of Alexander Taraikovsky, which was shot by security forces on August 10, 2020 near the Pushkinskaya metro station. Initially, the Ministry of Internal Affairs stated that an unidentified explosive device had exploded in his hand. Minsk, August 15, 2020. Photo: Olga Shukailo, TUT.BY

Thousands of people with white-red-white flags came to the Minsk Hero City Obelsik during the Freedom March, the first large-scale Sunday peaceful march that took place a week after the presidential elections. Minsk, August 16, 2020. According to media reports, about 200 thousand people took part in it. The Freedom March has become the most massive opposition rally in the entire history of Belarus. Photo: Vadim Zamirovsky, TUT.BY

A girl is waving a white-red-white flag against the banners pasted by protesters on the base of the Lenin monument near the Government House. Minsk, August 16, 2020. On this day, the Freedom March took place in Minsk, which gathered, according to various estimates, about 200 thousand people. Photo: Olga Shukailo, TUT.BY

Thousands of people with white-red-white flags, banners and balloons are walking near the walls of the Grodno prison No. 1 during the Freedom March. Grodno, August 16, 2020. Photo: Katerina Gordeeva, TUT.BY

A girl with flowers in her hands is walking past the barbed wire and a security forces cordon. Minsk, August 30, 2020. On this day, thousands of protesters participated in the Sunday march dedicated to the birthday of Alexander Lukashenko. Photo: Dmitry Brushko, TUT.BY

Pavel Latushko, a member of the Coordination Council, ex-director of the Kupalovsky Theater, goes to the Investigative Committee for questioning as a witness in a criminal case. Minsk, August 25, 2020. Latushko’s interrogation lasted 3.5 hours. Photo: Dmitry Brushko, TUT.BY

Employees of Belaruskali are sitting on the street after they went on strike. Soligorsk, 17 August 2020. The workers demanded new elections, the release of all political prisoners and the resignation of those responsible for violence against civilians in the country. Photo: Dmitry Brushko, TUT.BY

Riot police officers are standing on the porch of the Red Church after they blocked some people who were in Independence Square in the church. Minsk, August 26, 2020. Photo: Daria Buryakina, TUT.BY

A man with a white-red-white flag painted on his face takes part in a procession to the isolation center for offenders and a temporary detention center on Okrestin Street. Minsk, August 17, 2020. Photo: Vadim Zamirovsky, TUT.BY

A supporter of Alexander Lukashenko is waving an inverted official flag into the camera to a photojournalist of an independent media during a pro-government rally near the Belarus department store. Minsk, August 27, 2020. Photo: Olga Shukailo, TUT.BY

Riot police are surrounding a human chain of solidarity on Independence Square, not far from the Red Church. Minsk, August 28, 2020. The women, surrounded by riot police, began to sing and dance. Photo: Olga Shukailo, TUT.BY

Maria Kolesnikova asks the participants of the march to move to a safe distance from security forces, who have created a cordon on Pobediteley Avenue near the residence of Alexander Lukashenko. Minsk, August 30, 2020. On this day, thousands of people marched through the center of Minsk with “gifts” for Lukashenko, they left some of them at the fence of the residence and in front of security forces. Photo: Dmitry Brushko, TUT.BY

A woman is trying to break through a chain of security forces to other protesters on Independence Avenue during a Sunday march timed to Alexander Lukashenko’s birthday. Minsk, August 30, 2020. Photo: Daria Buryakina, TUT.BY

A riot police officer is trying to detain the participants of the Women’s March on Vera Khoruzhei Street. Minsk, August 29, 2020. According to media estimates, about 10 thousand people took part in the rally. Photo: Daria Buryakina, TUT.BY

A procession of students is trying to break through the police cordon near the Nemiga metro station. Minsk, September 1, 2020. On the first day of school, students from many major Minsk universities took to protest against the results of the presidential elections and the subsequent violence by security forces. Photo: Vadim Zamirovsky, TUT.BY

A guy poses for a photo in front of a security forces cordon on Lenin Street during a Sunday march. Minsk, September 6, 2020. On this day, about 100 thousand people took part in the rally

TUT.BY journalists, together with editor-in-chief Marina Zolotova, are standing with banners in support of their detained colleagues in front of the Oktyabrsky district police department. Minsk, September 2, 2020. Three journalists from different media were detained the day before while working at a protest action. The court found them guilty of participating in the rally and sentenced them to three days of administrative arrest. Photo: Olga Shukailo, TUT.BY

A woman shows a V sign while crossing the road next to paddy wagons during an evening protest against the secret inauguration of Alexander Lukashenko. Minsk, September 23, 2020. Photo: Olga Shukailo, TUT.BY

Women are trying to stop a police minibus during from taking away the detained participants of the Women’s March on Freedom Square in the center of Minsk. September 12, 2020. The rally began with brutal detentions, but this did not prevent thousands of women from marching through the city. Photo: Olga Shukailo, TUT.BY

Hundreds of women are trying to resist security forces during the Women’s March, which on Freedom Square. Minsk, September 12, 2020. The rally began with brutal detentions, nonetheless, the participants managed to get together and walk with banners, flowers and flags through the city center. Photo: Daria Buryakina, TUT.BY

A law enforcement officer escorts the participants of the women’s Shining March to a paddy wagon on Surganov Street. Minsk, September 19, 2020. A photo of a girl walking with a smile, accompanied by an OMON officer hit popular public pages and was called “Stylish detention” or “Belarusian Vogue”. Photo: Daria Buryakina, TUT.BY

The girls are looking into the eyes of a law enforcement officer who cordoned off Independence Square during the Women’s March. Minsk, September 5, 2020. Photo: Daria Buryakina, TUT.BY

A girl with a white-red-white flag over her head is standing in the rain near a security forces cordon outside the Palace of Independence during the traditional Sunday march. Minsk, September 6, 2020. Photo: Daria Buryakina, TUT.BY

A participant of the Liberation of Political Prisoners’March demonstrates her banner to a driver of a water cannon on Masherov Avenue. Minsk, October 4, 2020. Then security forces tried to disperse numerous demonstrators using special vehicles. Photo: Daria Buryakina, TUT.BY

Alexander Lukashenko, escorted by security, is going to his secret, unannounced inauguration at the Palace of Independence. Minsk, September 23, 2020. Photo: Dmitry Brushko, TUT.BY

Viktoria, a protester, is sitting on the ground after a law enforcer hit her in the face with a truncheon. Minsk, September 23, 2020. Thousands of people went to the center of Minsk in the evening to protest against the secret inauguration of Alexander Lukashenko, which took place that day. Photo: Vadim Zamirovsky, TUT.BY

One of the participants is walking in a mask depicting Svetlana Tikhanovskaya wearing a crown during the many thousand March of the People’s Inauguration. Minsk, September 27, 2020. Photo: Daria Buryakina, TUT.BY

Participants of the first March of Wisdom, mostly pensioners, are walking along Independence Avenue. Minsk, October 5, 2020. They marched in protest against police violence and the results of the presidential election. Several hundred people took part in it. Photo: TUT.BY

A riot police officer is spraying tear gas in the faces of people who participated in a protest against the secret inauguration of Alexander Lukashenko, which took place that day. Minsk, September 23, 2020. Photo: Vadim Zamirovsky, TUT.BY

People look into the courtyard of the Leninsky District Internal Affairs Department through the gates open for the passage of official vehicles, hoping to see their loved ones detained during the Women’s March and to give them basic necessities. Minsk, September 26, 2020. Photo: Olga Shukailo, TUT.BY

Riot police are guarding the wall with a “DJs of changes” mural in the famous Minsk “changes courtyard”. Minsk, September 9, 2020. Local residents have repeatedly restored the mural, despite numerous attempts by security forces and unknown people to paint over or destroy it. Photo: Vadim Zamirovsky, TUT.BY

Young people are hanging out during a courtyard holiday in the Osmolovka microdistrict. Minsk, September 12, 2020. On the City Day, the Minsk authorities decided not to hold city-wide festivities. In response, activists of different neighbourhoods did it themselves. People arranged a sweet table, invited musicians and organised master classes for children. Photo: Dmitry Brushko, TUT.BY

Police officers are detaining 21-year-old Varvara Grinyuk during a solitary picket at the entrance of the Grodno State University, from which she was expelled while in hospital. Grodno, October 29, 2020. The official reason for the expulsion is absenteeism, although the girl believes that the expulsion is due to her active civic engagement. On the day of expulsion, she was operated. Photo: Katerina Gordeeva, TUT.BY

People are carrying flowers, candles, and banners to Changes Square, where unidentified people in civilian clothes beat Roman Bondarenko, who later died in hospital from his injuries. Minsk, November 13, 2020. After reading in a chat that unknown persons were cutting off white-red-white ribbons in the courtyard, Roman Bondarenko left the house to figure out what was happening. However, he was severely beaten by unknown persons and taken into a minibus. About an hour and a half later he was taken to the emergency hospital from the Central District Department of Internal Affairs, where the man died without regaining consciousness. The Ministry of Internal Affairs stated that the man was drunk, but the medical documents refute this statement. Photo: TUT.BY

Young women with white and red umbrellas are walking along the pedestrian bridge over Nemiga Street in the center of Minsk. October 22, 2020. Several dozen girls with white and red umbrellas walk the city streets every week to inspire those around them. Photo: TUT.BY

A young man with the “Pogonya” coat of arms painted on his body and a white-red-white flag is standing in front of numerous participants of a peaceful protest in Independence Square. Minsk, August 26, 2020. Photo: Daria Buryakina, TUT.BY

 

Further reading:

Three months of Belarusian gridlock: do the protesters have a chance?

Source: TUT.BY

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