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At least 900 people take part in Belarusian rallies on Saturday, 430 detained

Another 14 events "in support of peace, security and calm" in the republic’s territory drew more than 5,600 people

MINSK, September 20. /TASS/. At least 900 people took part in unauthorized rallies on Saturday in Belarus, and 430 demonstrators were detained, with 45 of them still in custody, Interior Ministry Spokesperson Olga Chemodanova said on Sunday.

"The total number of participants of 11 protests did not exceed 900 people. The Interior Ministry took all necessary measures to maintain order and ensure public security during them. <...> A total of 430 people have been detained across the country (415 in Minsk), and 385 of them have been released," the ministry said in a statement on its Telegram channel.

Another 14 events "in support of peace, security and calm" in the republic’s territory drew more than 5,600 people.

On September 9, the opposition held an event dubbed Brilliant March in downtown Minsk. Several thousand women attended the march wearing bright sparkling clothes and carrying colorful posters. The law enforcement agencies blocked the protesters’ way and detained them.

Nationwide demonstrations have engulfed Belarus following the August 9 presidential election. According to the Central Election Commission’s official results, incumbent President Alexander Lukashenko won by a landslide, garnering 80.10% of the vote. His closest rival in the race, Svetlana Tikhanovskaya, came in second, with 10.12% of the ballot. However, she refused to recognize the election’s outcome, and left Belarus for Lithuania. After the results of the exit polls were announced late on August 9, mass protests erupted in downtown Minsk and other Belarusian cities. During the early post-election period, the rallies snowballed into fierce clashes between the protesters and police. The current unrest is being cheered on by the opposition’s Coordination Council, which has been beating the drum for more protests. In response, the Belarusian authorities have castigated the ongoing turmoil and demanded that these unauthorized demonstrations be stopped. According to the Interior Ministry, hundreds of people were injured in the riots, including over 120 law enforcement officers.