August 14, 2020
President Lukashenko claims demonstrators are pawns of foreign powers as he attempts to retain grip on country
- Women in Belarus take protests into their own hands
- ‘It’s like a war’: armed men roam streets of Minsk
The standoff in Belarus appeared to be entering a decisive phase on Friday evening, as tens of thousands of protesters marched towards government buildings in central Minsk, holding flowers and signs demanding an end to violence and the resignation of president Alexander Lukashenko.
In a sign that more violence could be imminent, an angry Lukashenko appeared on television on Friday evening, ordering Belarusians not to take to the streets. “You are being used, and our children are being used, as cannon fodder,” he said, blaming shadowy forces from “Poland, the Netherlands and Ukraine” who had arrived in Russia, and mentioning the anti-Kremlin politician Alexei Navalny. “Aggression against the country has already started,” he said.