Protests in Belarus: BBC journalists among hundreds detained in Minsk as Lukashenko emboldened by Putin’s support

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Belarusian police kettled and arrested hundreds of protesters and detained dozens of journalists in an apparent show of force after Alexander Lukashenko was emboldened by Vladimir Putin’s earlier public promise of military support.

Warnings were delivered over loudspeakers overlooking the Minsk’s Independence Square before the mass arrests began on Thursday evening. Then, shortly after 7.20pm local time (4.20pm GMT), police who had been waiting nearby in vans sprang into action.

Protesters who felt they had a chance ran, while the rest were locked in a kettle. Women and children were released almost immediately, but most stayed behind in solidarity. The men began to be detained at around 7.30pm, pushed onto green police trucks in their dozens.

The Independent witnessed more than 200 arrests in total.

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Article submitted by, Muethos.