During Tuesday’s visit to military unit #3214 in Uruchcha near Minsk, incumbent president Alyaksandr Lukashenka got another chance to size the capacities of Belarusian internal security forces.
State-run TV station Belarus-1 has aired a demonstrative dispersal of the ‘protest rally’ attended by the head of state (watch the video above starting 00:56).
A tactical exercise involving a special purposes troops battalion was shown: OMON soldiers in full gear were using water cannons to disperse ‘protesters’.
In Uruchcha, Alyaksandr Lukashenka was accompanied by Interior Minister Yury Karayeu, his deputy Yury Nazaranka, Commander of military unit #3214 Uladzimir Zhyzneuski, as well as senior riot police officers Alyaksandr Bykau and Dzmitry Balaba. At the meeting, they were reported to discuss the issues of national security.
The 2020 presidential voting is to take place on August, 9. Since the beginning of the election campaign, incumbent president Alyaksandr Lukashenka’s would be rival Viktar Babaryka, might-have been opponent Syarhei Tsikhanouski, politicians Mikalai Statkevich and Pavel Sevyarynets, as well as dozens of people have been placed into custody. In late June, the Belarusian Interior Ministry also launched a probe into ‘illegal activities’ in which presidential hopeful Valery Tsapkala was allegedly involved.
According to Belarusian human right watchdogs, about 190 people have been arrested for a total of 2,607 days under administrative code articles used for political persecution. As many as 333 people have been fined for more than 265,275 rubles (more than $110,000). Human rights defenders also report at least 1,140 cases of arbitrary detentions that took place between 6 May and 20 July.