80 days after the end of the presidential election, the situation in Belarus has not subsided. Since Monday (October 26), the ongoing weekend protests turned into a nationwide strike.
According to a report by the Belarusian media tut.by on the 27th, that day was the 80th day of the Belarusian protest wave and the second day of the national strike. On the morning of the 27th local time, the strike by workers including the Grodno Nitrogen Chemical Plant (AZOT) continued.
The day before, at the call of Tikhanovskaya, the leader of the opposition in exile, employees of some large state-owned enterprises and IT companies in Belarus began to refuse to go to work and students went on strike. Belarusian Industry Minister Palkhomchik said that the call for a strike did not bring economic losses to the country’s industrial enterprises.
Foreign media such as tut.by reported that at the Minsk Tractor Factory, police and security personnel in black uniforms were on duty from the morning of the 26th. Some workers who supported the strike gathered outside the corporate building, and some workers called for more colleagues to participate in the demonstration in different workshops. Workers at the Minsk Electric Works also joined the strike. Witnesses said that the workers “just talked to each other” and that work had almost stopped since the morning of the 26th. Thousands of people took part in the strike in the Belarusian Hi-Tech Park. These protesters were subsequently dispersed and detained by security forces.
Workers at the Minsk Tractor Factory who participated in the strike on the 26th local time.
Security forces maintain order in Belarusian high-tech park
In addition, students from several universities in Belarus also participated in the strike. Belarusian Minister of Education Igor Capenko criticized the student strikes, saying that it was an “insolent behavior” that imposes their position on others.
Thousands of retirees also gathered on the Independence Square in the center of the capital Minsk on the 26th to support the protesters.
The National Security Council of Belarus responded through “Belarus Channel One” late on the 26th, stating that these actions by the demonstrators were aimed at disrupting the national situation and forcibly changing the constitutional order like terrorist acts. The state will respond to their actions. .
The spokesperson of the Belarusian Border Defense Commission Bechkowski told the Russian Satellite News Agency on the 26th that in the past week, nearly 600 foreign citizens have been barred from entering the country for failing to clearly indicate their purpose of travel. He revealed that these people are mainly strong young people from Ukraine, Poland and Lithuania who want to enter Belarus.
On August 9, Belarus held a presidential election, and Lukashenko was re-elected for the sixth time with 80.1% of the vote. The Belarusian capital of Minsk and other cities subsequently held large-scale protests several times in a row, questioning the election results.
The Belarusian opposition set October 26 as an “ultimate” deadline, threatening that Lukashenko would organize a national strike if he did not resign.