The citizens of Belarus questioned as “rigged” elections in which President Alexander Lukashenko obtained his sixth mandate, and demanded his resignation.

“We have just two demands: fair elections and stop the violence,” said Igor, a 32-year-old citizen, as he participated in the mass demonstrations in Independence Square in the capital, Minsk, to the clamor of “freedom” and “We will not forget, we will not forgive,” according to the South China Morning Post of Aug. 23.

The EU rejected the results of the elections and promised to punish those responsible for the fraud and the police repression that arrested about 7,000 people. There were also accusations of terrible torture and abuse in police custody.

Lukashenko, 65, the longest-serving European leader, ordered the repression and ruled out repeating the elections.

European High Representative for Foreign Affairs Josep Borell, warned that Belarus should not be allowed to become a “second Ukraine.”

“We do not recognize him as a legitimate president [Lukashenko]. Nor do we recognize Nicolás Maduro. From this point of view Maduro and Lukashenko are in exactly the same situation,” Borell said, explaining that since 2006 they have been sanctioning Lukashenko, according to the Times24 News.

The large demonstrations carried out by the defenders of democracy in Belarus may have unsuspected repercussions in the region, which could even affect Russia.

Business Ukraine Mag tweeted that the demonstrations could be imitated in Russia, harming President Vladimir Putin, who recently secured his mandate until 2036.

“Putin’s worst nightmare: huge crowds have gathered again in Minsk today to demand an end to the Lukashenko dictatorship and a democratic transition. The Kremlin is backing Lukashenko amid fears that events in Belarus could inspire a similar people power uprising in Russia itself,” the media reported.

Likewise, in Lithuania, about 50,000 citizens formed a human chain in support of the Belarusian cause, which extended from the capital Vilnius to the border with the neighboring country seeking democratic guarantees.

“Freedom is not only a fundamental human right but also a nation’s fundamental right,” said Lithuanian President Gitanas Nauseda.

He added, “It’s also a daily commitment to defend it from any attempt on it by those who would replace freedom with darkness, oppression, and fear.”

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