At crossroads: Belarusians striking and protesting (photos, video)

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Belarusian enterprises continue to be involving in protest activity. Many plants and factories are a footstep away from striking, and some are looking for other forms of resistance.

‘Lukashenka should resign’. Rally in Hrodna. 17 August 2020. Photo: Vasil Malchanau /

The strike on Belarusian potash fertiliser producer Belaruskali is underway in Salihorsk, trade union activist Alyaksandr Danouski told

At Minsk Tractor Plant (MTZ), people are filing applications to get leave without pay en masse in order not to be accused of absenteeism and to go on strike, Syarhei Dyleuski, a representative of the MTZ strike committee, said. Today, a column of MTZ workers has passed through Minsk and reached Independence Square, where the House of Government is situated, to present their demands to the authorities once again.

‘We are not sheep, we are not cattle, we are not nobodies, we are MTZ workers, and there are 16,000 of us, not 20.’ Minsk, 17 August 2020. Photo: Svyatlana Far / /

Flagship chemical company Hrodna Azot is unlikely to go on strike in full, because this complete cessation of fertiliser production could cause great damage to crops in 2021, said worker Yury Ravavy.

Signatures for the strike are being collected at Minsk’s ceramic manufacture Keramin, but the issue is that if its main line is stopped, it will be very difficult to launch it again.

The strike at Belarusian automobile giant BelAZ in Zhodzina has not started yet. Now, according to our sources, the documents for its official start are being prepared.

There are also reports about strikes and protests at other enterprises, including Navapolatsk and Mazyr oil refineries, Zhabinka and Haradzeya sugar factories, Belposhta branches and others (see a map of strikes in Belarus).

Meanwhile, in parallel with establishming strike committees at enterprises, the Belarusian Congress of Democratic Trade Unions called for the creation of the National Strike Committee. “On its behalf, we are to directly enter into a dialogue with the authorities on the transit of power in the country,” the statement reads.

Tsikhanouskaya’s associate Maryia Kalesnikava come to support striking workers of Minsk Tractor Whel Plant. 17 August 2020. Photo: Iryna Arakhouskaya / /
Strike at Minsk Tractor Wheel Plant. 17 August 2020. Photo: Iryna Arakhouskaya / Belsat

On Tuesday, Svyatlana Tsikhanouskaya‘s associate Volha Kavalkova addressed Belarusians on Facebook:“The next few days are very important; we cannot lose our victory. Alyaksandr Lukashenka must leave as soon as possible so that we could resume the work of enterprises and businesses,” she said. In particular, workers and employees are asked to set up strike committees at enterprises, institutions and companies.

Strikes in Minsk: Helicoptering Lukashenka and angry workers (video, photos)