MINSK, December 13. /TASS/. Authorities in Belarus beefed up riot police patrols in downtown Minsk and other areas amid an unauthorized protest declared by the opposition on Sunday.
Trucks with the manpower and special police equipment, including water cannons, were sent to the center of Minsk from the Uruchye district, where the Interior Ministry's troops unit is based, according to the Belarusian portal Onliner’s Telegram channel.
The security forces were approached by the government’s supporters, who unfurled a large state red and green flag along the street. Patriotic songs sounded loud from their cars.
Anti-government activists are planning to stage another march on the 127th day of protests. Last month, the participants changed their tactics: initially they gathered in the yards, then they went to the district rally points, then on a joint march. This time, security forces’ cars and buses are deployed to the residential areas and shopping malls, where the protesters tried to gather last weekend.
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 the country. The opposition’s Coordination Council, established in the republic, calls for further protests, while the Belarusian authorities demand to stop these unauthorized demonstrations. The most attended marches are held in Minsk and in several other cities on Sundays.