Following the 9 August Presidential Elections, Belarus is witnessing the largest public protests in its history.

Hundreds of thousands of people are protesting in the capital Minsk, cities and towns across Belarus demanding the release of political prisoners, investigation of police brutality, the resignation of Aleksander Lukashenka and fair elections.

From the very beginning, the protests had no clear organisers, as many opposition leaders are in prisons or in exile. The peaceful nature of the protests, their scale, self-organisation and persistency are unprecedented in Belarusian history.

Belarusian photographer Siarhei Leskiec prepared a series of pictures about the protests for BelarusDigest.

 


14 August 2020. Entrepreneurs protest at the largest market in Minsk “Zhdanovichi”. Minsk, Belarus. Photo by Siarhei Leskiec for BelarusDigest.

 

 

 

Entrepreneurs protest at the largest market in Minsk “Zhdanovichi”. Minsk, Belarus. Photo by Siarhei Leskiec for BelarusDigest.

 


 

Belarusian women became a symbol of the protest. Minsk, Belarus. Photo by Siarhei Leskiec for BelarusDigest.

 


 

Bikers express solidarity with the protesters with long beeps. Minsk, Belarus. Photo by Siarhei Leskiec for BelarusDigest.

 


 

The protesters leave their flowers and petitions on the steps of the Minsk City Executive Committee. Minsk, Belarus. Photo by Siarhei Leskiec for BelarusDigest.

 


 

A column of protesters led by MAZ workers. Since that day industrial giant announced an indefinite strike. There hasn’t been a protest of such scale since the early 1990s. Minsk, Belarus. Photo by Siarhei Leskiec for BelarusDigest.

 


 

A column of protesters led by MAZ workers. Since that day industrial giant announced an indefinite strike. There hasn’t been a protest of such scale since the early 1990s. Minsk, Belarus. Photo by Siarhei Leskiec for BelarusDigest.

 


 

A column of protesters led by MAZ workers. Since that day industrial giant announced an indefinite strike. There hasn’t been a protest of such scale since the early 1990s. Minsk, Belarus. Photo by Siarhei Leskiec for BelarusDigest.

 


 

Protesters raise a flag at the Lenin monument on Independence Square. Minsk, Belarus. Photo by Siarhei Leskiec for BelarusDigest.

 


 

Belarusian girls give flowers as a sign of reconciliation to soldiers of the internal troops who came out to guard the Parliament building. Minsk, Belarus. Photo by Siarhei Leskiec for BelarusDigest.

 


 

Protesters on Independence Square. Minsk, Belarus. Photo by Siarhei Leskiec for BelarusDigest.

 


 

Protesters on Independence Square. Minsk, Belarus. Photo by Siarhei Leskiec for BelarusDigest.

 


 

16 August 2020. More than 200,000 people gathered near Minsk Stella despite the heat. Minsk, Belarus. Photo by Siarhei Leskiec for BelarusDigest.

 


 

The heat did not hinder the protest. Volunteers deliver drinking water to the protesters. Minsk, Belarus. Photo by Siarhei Leskiec for BelarusDigest.

 


 

A protester decorates the monument with a national flag. Minsk, Belarus. Photo by Siarhei Leskiec for BelarusDigest.

 


 

Former servicemen of the special forces spoke in support of the people. They promised to protect the people in case of provocations and attacks by security forces. Minsk, Belarus. Photo by Siarhei Leskiec for BelarusDigest. Minsk, Belarus. Photo by Siarhei Leskiec for BelarusDigest.

 


 

A column of protesters marches from Stella to the government house through the city streets. Minsk, Belarus. Photo by Siarhei Leskiec.

 


 

A column of protesters marches from Stella to the government house through the city streets. Minsk, Belarus. Photo by Siarhei Leskiec for BelarusDigest.

 


 

National symbols are no longer associated with opposition parties. Today it is the most popular and appreciated symbol for Belarusians. Minsk, Belarus. Minsk, Belarus. Photo by Siarhei Leskiec for BelarusDigest.

 


 

Protesters tired after the hot day are resting on the Independence Avenue in Minsk, Belarus. Minsk, Belarus. Photo by Siarhei Leskiec for BelarusDigest.

 

 

About the photographer: Siarhei Leskiec is a freelance photographer whose work focuses on everyday life, folk traditions, and rituals in the Belarusian countryside. Originally from the Maladzeczna Region, he received a degree in history from Belarusian State Pedagogical University.

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