Live Feed | 18 Aug, 10 pm – 1 am

10:00 pm GRODNO: The Grodno City Executive Committee responded positively to the demands presented by the citizens and civic organizations of Grodno. As a result:

  • A Civic Cooperation Council was created which includes representatives of civil society.
  • Protests and mass events are now allowed in Lenin Square and Sovetskaya Square, with medical, technical and informational support from the government.
  • All 777 citizens detained during protests have been freed, and the police department has apologized for arresting them.
  • Representatives of the democratic community of Grodno, including trade unions, political parties, and others will be provided with the opportunity to appear and speak on “Grodno Plus” TV and radio.
  • There will be no punishment for strike participants.

10:05 pm BREST: Employees of Brest Academic Drama Theatre recorded a video appeal in support of the Yanka Kupala Theatre cast, who voluntarily resigned from their jobs earlier today.

They stated: “It is impossible to dictate a happy future to a society by using force, fear and thought police. These days, outrage and prison abuse are the [regime’s] way to exert control over the situation. But in reality, torturing your own community is a sign of weakness and helplessness.”

GOMEL: Two public protests were held simultaneously at the same place: one crowd shouted “For Lukashenko!”, while another shouted “Long Live Belarus!”

10:10 pm The Coordination Council formed by opposition representatives states it is unaware of the alleged program for Belarus which Alexander Lukashenko claimed earlier today. Council member Maria Kolesnikova called Lukashenko’s declarations “an attempt at manipulation and fraud.”

10:15 pm MINSK: Protesters started leaving Independence Square. It is becoming quiet in the city.

10:30 pm Around 200 Belarussian attorneys demanded new elections and the release of all political detainees.

They issued an appeal saying that the police are infringing on citizens’ right to legal defence in both criminal and administrative process, and point to the “horrifying evidence of torture, murder, and inhumane conditions in custody.”

11:15 pm The Swedish government decided to put on hold $3 million in aid for the Belarus Central Bank and the business community, according to the Twitter statement of Peter Eriksson, Swedish Minister for International Development Cooperation:

“Sweden’s aid to Belarus has mainly gone to the country’s civil society, those who are now on the streets and demanding change. We are now freezing the smaller part that has gone to projects in which state actors have participated”, the Minister wrote, emphasizing that this is an important signal to the regime.

11:30 pm MINSK: A group of residents have tried to interview the Chief of Police for the Pervomaisky District of the city regarding his opinion on the torture and killings of peaceful protesters. However, no one has answered. The group’s representative entered the police station for negotiation at 2 PM and never returned. There is no connection with him now.

12:50 pm The State Border Committee of Belarus confirmed that, considering the current situation in the country, a “very careful attitude” is maintained towards foreigners who wish to enter the territory of Belarus.

“If foreigners are not able or have trouble explaining their purpose in visiting Belarus, additional questions might be asked. If they cannot answer these questions, they will be denied entrance,” the official representative of the Committee Anton Bychkovsky explained.

01:00 pm Artyom Panasyuk, a campaign staff volunteer for ex-presidential candidate Viktor Babariko, has been released from the detention center late this evening. He had been arrested a day before the elections on suspicion of coordinating mass riots. Lawyers from Babariko’s headquarters had appealed Artyom’s arrest, detention and denial of access to him in detention.