Protests in Minsk against integration with Russia

A rally in Independence Square in Minsk on 20 December 2019 / Euroradio
A rally in Independence Square in Minsk on 20 December 2019 / Euroradio

On 20 December, an unauthorized rally against integration between Belarus and Russia took place in Minsk. The protest was dedicated to the meeting between Russian President Vladimir Putin and his Belarusian counterpart Aliaksandr Lukashenka. The Belarus president said after the meeting that both parties were happy and "had conceptually agreed on the energy resources" with the prices for gas and oil to be finalized within the next several days.

Despite warnings from the police, hundreds of people - both from Minsk and regions - gathered at 1800 in Minsk's central square. The protesters were holding placards "No to unions with imperial Russia!"

Opposition activist Pavel Sieviarynets led the demonstrators on the sidewalks to Independence Square where a rally was held with over 1500 people taking part holding many white-red-white national flags as well as the official red-green flags, and many placards. The speakers stressed the threat that integration with Russia poses to the independence of Belarus and called for more protests.

At 2100, the protesters built 'a chain of independence' along Independence Avenue between Kastrycnickaja and Pieramohi Squares. The organizers called on people to gather again on Saturday.

As of writing, there is no information about detentions.

The first anti-integration protests took place in Minsk on 7-8 December.

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