RFE/RL: Hundreds protest in Minsk for second day against deeper integration with Russia

Minsk is heavily reliant on Moscow for cheap oil and billions of dollars in annual subsidies to keep its mostly state-run, Soviet-legacy economy afloat. REUTERS Hundreds of protesters have gathered in the Belarusian capital on December 8 for a second day to oppose “deepening integration” with Russia, despite warnings from police that they risked possible arrest.


The initial turnout appeared to be lower than the many hundred who showed up for a similarly unsanctioned march through Minsk a day earlier but still marked for a secret-police state where dissidents and protesters are ruthlessly persecuted, RFE/RL’s Belarus Service said.

The rallies were timed to coincide with a meeting between Presidents Vladimir Putin of Russia and Alexander Lukashenko of Belarus in connection with the 20th anniversary of a union treaty meant to create a unified state.

Read also Putin, Lukashenko agree on single parliament, govt – envoy Putin and Lukashenko emerged from their meeting in the southern Russian city of Sochi on December 7 without announcing any decisions but with officials saying the leaders would convene again on the topic in St. Petersburg on December 20, according to TASS.


The Spring rights group claimed around 600 people began the synchronized march at its noon start on December 8, with police using a megaphone to order the gathering crowd to disperse. There were minor skirmishes but none reportedly involved uniformed officials.

Later video from the rolling protest showed some in the compact column carrying red-striped white banners, the banned flag of the first independent Belarusian state, and other symbols of national pride in a march toward the Russian Embassy there. REUTERS

Nearby traffic police were ensuring that roads were not blocked to traffic but otherwise appeared to be allowing the column to proceed. Occasional calls of “Long live Belarus!” and “Independence!” rang out. Minsk is heavily reliant on Moscow for cheap oil and billions of dollars in annual subsidies to keep its mostly state-run, Soviet-legacy economy afloat.

(C)UNIAN 2019


  1. Could this be the start of another peoples willing to risk all for freedom?

    Belarus needs to look for the example set by Ukraine to realise reliance upon the shithole state is not necessary!

    Revolution is in the air Belarus, gain your freedom now or forever be enslaved!

    • Beloved Belarus does not have an army as powerful as Ukraine’s. Luka knows if he shits on Putin’s case Belarus will be invaded and 100% annexed. So he prefers the soft annexation. Sad but true.

      • Isn’t it the case though that Ukraine didn’t have any armed forces as such at one point mike?

        Now look.

        So I say all they need is the courage to fight for their freedom, their proper freedom, but the rest of the World has to help just as much of the World has helped Ukraine.

    • Problem is, the KGB runs “security” in Belarus. Lukashenko has not power in his own country, but he does have a microphone, we’ll see what happens. I’m for Minsk maidan, it might take the pressure off Ukraine…

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