Demonstrators form ‘solidarity chain’ protesting arrests of politicians and activists in Minsk
A protest rally opposing the arrests of politicians and activists during the lead up to the Belarusian presidential elections (set for August 9) took place in Minsk on the evening of June 18. More than 2,000 people took part in the protest. The demonstrators formed a “solidarity chain” along Independence Avenue, the main street in downtown Minsk. The “chain” stretched for several kilometers.
The protest began a few hours after the arrest of Belarusian presidential candidate Viktor Babariko (he sat down for an interview with Meduza just a few days ago). The authorities called him “the leader of illegal activities” at “Belgazprombank,” a banking institution he headed for 20 years. Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko stated that the authorities managed to “thwart a large-scale plan for the destabilization of Belarus,” which could have “led the country towards some kind of Maidan” — referring to the Euromaidan protests that ousted Ukraine’s president in 2014.