Influenced by events in Ukraine, protest activity in Belarus has reduced
‘The Chernobyl Path’, an annual opposition-led demonstration and meeting to commemorate the anniversary of the Chernobyl disaster, took place in Minsk on April 26th.
Around 500 participants took part in the demonstration and 100 in the meeting - only around half of last year’s turnout. Amid events in Ukraine, protest activity in Belarus has declined. In addition, every year the authorities narrow the framework for opposition-led demonstrations, which also reduce their popularity.
During searches of social and "green" activists and anarchists, law enforcement has seized computers, mobile phones and publications. The authorities have also exerted additional pressure on supporters of unauthorized street protests and independent lawyers, who represented defendants in the White Legion case. The security services have stepped up the persecution of opponents before the street protests announced by the opposition. Apparently, the Belarusian authorities aspire that participants in street protests would reduce in number and that the low interest of the population to socio-political agenda before the local election campaign would retain.