Seemingly taking advantage of the occasion, tens of thousands of protesters flocked to the presidential residence in #Minsk on Sunday, where they were met by a police cordon. Members of the opposition came bearing birthday ‘gifts’, the majority of which were flowers and posters, and asking him to resign.
Even though the rally was peaceful, Lukashenko was clearly prepared for more turbulent scenes. While his aide talked to the protesters, Lukashenko was once again pictured wearing a tactical vest and brandishing an assault rifle.
The heavy reinforcements around the Independence Palace turned out to be unnecessary, as the crowd started to disperse due to heavy rain.
However, a separate demonstration in Minsk that was happening around the same time ended in scuffles between protesters and law enforcement.
According to the Interior Ministry, 140 people were detained over the course of #Lukashenko’s birthday.
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