Point of no return: Year passes since start of biggest-ever protests in Belarus

Belsat.eu reflects on the momentous events which have happened since 9 August 2020, when the large-scale protests against the rigged presidential election broke out.

August 9. After polling stations’ closing, Belarusians gather in the streets of their cities and towns, protesting against election fraud. More than 3,000 people are detained during one day; there are lots of the persons injured and beaten by the police.

Мinsk, 9 August 2020. Photo: Vot Tak TV / Belsat

August 11. The Belarusian authorities force Alyaksandr Lukashenka’s major election opponent Svyatlana Tsikhanouskaya out of the country. Brest resident Henadz Shutau is gravely wounded; a few days later, he will die.









August 12. The authorities start to release detainees from the detention centre on Akrestsin Street; they report numerous cases of torture.

Alyaksandr Vikhor, a young man detained by the Homiel police, dies.

People try to get information about their detained relatives and friends. Мinsk, 12 August 2020. Photo: Belsat

August 13-14. All across the country, citizens form solidarity chains, expressing their outrage at the police abuse and brutality. Workers of several enterprises go on strike.

Freedom March. Мinsk. 16 August 2020. Photo: Vot Tak TV / Belsat

August 22. Minsk resident Mikita Kryutsou, who went missing on the back of the voting day, is found dead in the forest.

September 7-8. Belarusian special services make an attempt to take opposition activist Maryia Kalesnikava out of Belarus. However, she tears her passport to bits at the Belarusian-Ukrainian border, which results in her being detained.

CNN publishes investigation about lawlessness and violence in Belarus

September 19. The biggest Women’s March takes place in Minsk.

September 23. Alyaksandr Lukashenka holds a secret inauguration. In the evening, people take to the streets in protest.

Protesters at Nyamiha metro station in Minsk. 23 September 2020. Photo: Belsat

October 5. The first March of Pensioners is held in Belarusians cities.

November 11. Minsk protester Raman Bandarenka is abducted from the improvised Square of Change and beaten to death.

People pay tributer to Raman Bandarenka. Мinsk, 11 November 2020. Photo: Belsat

November 15. A march in memory of Raman Bandarenka is staged; many people gather in Square of Change to pay the last tribute to him. Two Belsat TV journalists, Katsyaryna Andreyeva and Darya Chultsova, are detained when reporting from the scene and livestreaming the event.

Amnesty International: Belarus authorities used torture, ill-treatment against detainees, but no police officer charged yet

November 19. TUT.by journalist Katsyaryna Barysevich and doctor Artsyom Sarokin are arrested over revealing the details of Bandarenka’s death.

February 18. Belsatters Katsyaryna Andreyeva and Darya Chultsova are sentenced to two years of imprisonment.

Darya Chultsova and Katsyaryna Andreyeva. Мinsk, 18 February 2021. Photo: Belsat

March 2. Journalist Katsyaryna Barysevich is sentenced to 6 months in jail; Artsyom Sarokin gets suspended sentence.

May 20. Political prisoner Vitold Ashurak dies in the penal colony in the town of Shklou. Security forces break into a Minsk studio, where Belsat’s shows were often recorded.

Response to ‘silencing remaining dissident voices’: EU ready to consider new sanctions against Lukashenka regime

May 23. A Ryanair plane flying from Athens to Vilnius is forced to land in Minsk. Two passengers, Belarusian blogger Raman Pratasevich and his girlfriend Sofia Sapega, are detained.

Rally in support of Raman Pratasevich in Warsaw. 24 May 2021. Photo: Belsat

May 26. 18-year-old orphan Dzmitry Stakhouski commits suicide in Minsk, blaming the Belarusian Investigative Committee.

June 1. Political prisoner Stsyapan Latypau tries to commit suicide in the courtroom.

More torture, recruitment attempts and resistance in Minsk jail

June 4. The EU officially bans Belarusian airlines from flying in its airspace.

June 12. The border with Belarus is temporarily blocked by protesters in three countries – Poland, Lithuania and Ukraine. They demand that the European Union step up the imposition of sanctions on the Lukashenka regime.

Photo: Belsat readers

June 24. The EU introduces the fourth package of sanctions against Belarus. Extensive restrictions are slapped on entire sectors of the Belarusian economy, not just individual companies and officials.

June 30. The EBU board suspends the Belarusian TV and Radio Company’s membership in the European Broadcasting Union.

July 6. The Supreme Court of Belarus sentences might-have-been presidential candidate Viktar Babaryka to 14 years in a medium security penal colony. He also gets a fine of 145,000 rubles. Babaryka does not have an opportunity to appeal the verdict.

July 8-16. Security forces search homes of journalists and human rights activists, editorial offices of independent media and human rights watchdogs all over Belarus.

July 16. The verdict is delivered in the so called students’ case. Judge Maryna Fyodarava sentences 12 defendants to 2 – 2.5 years of imprisonment in a minimum security penal colony.

At least 327 persons detained in Belarus in July – human rights activists

July 27. Belsat’s website and social networks are recognised as ‘extremist’ by the decision of Chyhunachny district court of Homiel. The court took heed of the materials of the inspection conducted by the Main Directorate for Combating Organised Crime and Corruption (notorious GUBAZiK/GUBOPiK).

July 28. Svyatlana Tsikhanouskaya meets with US President Joe Biden.

August 1. Belarusian sports officials try to take sprinter Krystsina Tsimanouskaya out of Tokyo. She criticized the leadership of the Belarusian national team after being ordered to run a longer distance. At the airport, Tsimanouskaya asks the Japanese police for help and then goes to Poland.

Krystsina Tsimanouskaya. Warsaw, 5 August 2021. Photo: Belsat

August 2. Lithuanian border guards decide to turn migrants back to Belarus. Since the beginning of 2021, more than 4,000 migrants have been detained at the Belarusian-Lithuanian border.

Lithuania starts to divert persons who illegally crossed Lithuanian-Belarusian border