MOSCOW, October 18. /TASS/. Overall damage done to the Belarusian capital city Minsk by ongoing protests is estimated at some 900,000 Belarusian rubles, or about 350,000 US dollars, the city’s prosecutor, Oleg Lavrukhin, said on Sunday.
"I can say that the damage done to the city’s budget, its utilities services is estimated at about 900,000 [Belarusian] rubles, beginning from August 9 up till today," he said in an interview with the STV television channel.
He said that part of the sum stems from "actions that are determined as criminal offenses."
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.