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Politics

In Belarus, protesters show pride, worry, empathy

Updated : 2020-08-24 14:36:06

Behind each protester in Belarus is a surprising story of awakening. Holding signs or personal tokens of resistance, they described their fears and hopes, after nearly two weeks of protests against President Alexander Lukashenko's 26-year rule.

Tatyana, 29, an ambulance paramedic poses for a photo holding white roses during an opposition rally near Independence Square in Minsk.  (AP Photo/Evgeniy Maloletka)
Tatyana, 29, an ambulance paramedic poses for a photo holding white roses during an opposition rally near Independence Square in Minsk.  (AP Photo/Evgeniy Maloletka)
Mihail Zui, 39, an actor of the Yanka Kupala National Theater poses for a photo showing his resignation letter in Minsk. After the theatre's influential and popular director decided to support the protesters, he was fired — and Zui and most of the other performers quit in solidarity and anger. (AP Photo/Evgeniy Maloletka)
Mihail Zui, 39, an actor of the Yanka Kupala National Theater poses for a photo showing his resignation letter in Minsk. After the theatre's influential and popular director decided to support the protesters, he was fired — and Zui and most of the other performers quit in solidarity and anger. (AP Photo/Evgeniy Maloletka)
Nikolay, 30, poses for a photo wearing a Batman mask during an opposition rally at Independence Square in Minsk. (AP Photo/Evgeniy Maloletka)
Nikolay, 30, poses for a photo wearing a Batman mask during an opposition rally at Independence Square in Minsk. (AP Photo/Evgeniy Maloletka)
Ales Varhamiev, 62, a pensioner and singer plays the guitar during an opposition rally in Independence Square in Minsk. Varhamiev brought his guitar to play the protesters' anti-Lukashenko anthem
Ales Varhamiev, 62, a pensioner and singer plays the guitar during an opposition rally in Independence Square in Minsk. Varhamiev brought his guitar to play the protesters' anti-Lukashenko anthem "Cockroach, Get Out!" (AP Photo/Evgeniy Maloletka)
Pavel Stavpinskiy, 43, a worker who was an election observer during the last presidential election poses for a photo during an opposition rally in Independence Square in Minsk, Belarus. (AP Photo/Evgeniy Maloletka)
Pavel Stavpinskiy, 43, a worker who was an election observer during the last presidential election poses for a photo during an opposition rally in Independence Square in Minsk, Belarus. (AP Photo/Evgeniy Maloletka)
Alexander Ahremchyk, a former policeman poses for a photo showing his medals and officer's epaulets in Minsk. Ahremchyk displayed his insignia and medals, which he no longer wears after quitting the service in the wake of the protests.
Alexander Ahremchyk, a former policeman poses for a photo showing his medals and officer's epaulets in Minsk. Ahremchyk displayed his insignia and medals, which he no longer wears after quitting the service in the wake of the protests. "My resignation is a protest itself," he said. He said he doesn't object to his bosses, but to "the unjustified violence toward those who were detained."(AP Photo/Evgeniy Maloletka)
Viktoria Bogutenko, an employee at the refrigerator factory
Viktoria Bogutenko, an employee at the refrigerator factory "Atlant", poses for a photo during an opposition rally in front of the factory in Minsk. "I am against the current authorities, but I am not for this strike," she said. Her voice choked with emotion as she described the importance of keeping the conveyor belts moving, for the sake of salaries and "ordinary people" like her. (AP Photo/Evgeniy Maloletka)
A man plays the guitar in front of riot police line during Belarusian opposition supporters rally near the Palace of Independence in Minsk. A vast demonstration with many thousands of protesters demanding the resignation of Belarus' authoritarian president are rallying in the capital, continuing the public dissent since the disputed presidential election. (AP Photo/Evgeniy Maloletka)
A man plays the guitar in front of riot police line during Belarusian opposition supporters rally near the Palace of Independence in Minsk. A vast demonstration with many thousands of protesters demanding the resignation of Belarus' authoritarian president are rallying in the capital, continuing the public dissent since the disputed presidential election. (AP Photo/Evgeniy Maloletka)
Maria Kolesnikova, one of the opposition leaders, walks past riot policemen blocking the streets during protests in Minsk. More than 100,00 protesters demanding the resignation of Belarus' authoritarian president are rallying in a vast square in the capital, continuing the massive outburst of dissent that has shaken the country since dubious presidential elections two weeks ago. (AP Photo/Dmitri Lovetsky)
Maria Kolesnikova, one of the opposition leaders, walks past riot policemen blocking the streets during protests in Minsk. More than 100,00 protesters demanding the resignation of Belarus' authoritarian president are rallying in a vast square in the capital, continuing the massive outburst of dissent that has shaken the country since dubious presidential elections two weeks ago. (AP Photo/Dmitri Lovetsky)
Demonstrators stand under a large historical flag of Belarus in Minsk. Demonstrators are taking to the streets of the Belarusian capital and other cities, keeping up their push for the resignation of the nation's authoritarian leader, President Alexander Lukashenko, in a massive outburst of dissent that has shaken the country since dubious presidential elections two weeks ago.(AP Photo/Sergei Grits)
Demonstrators stand under a large historical flag of Belarus in Minsk. Demonstrators are taking to the streets of the Belarusian capital and other cities, keeping up their push for the resignation of the nation's authoritarian leader, President Alexander Lukashenko, in a massive outburst of dissent that has shaken the country since dubious presidential elections two weeks ago.(AP Photo/Sergei Grits)
Alexander Laubert, 18, a student poses for a photo on crutches due to a broken knee after being beaten by police during a protest in Minsk, Belarus. Wary at first, Laubert eventually opened up about two days of being beaten, trampled on, nearly suffocated and doused in gasoline before volunteers finally brought him to a hospital for treatment and a leg cast. Instead of cowing him, though, the experienced emboldened him. (AP Photo/Evgeniy Maloletka)
Alexander Laubert, 18, a student poses for a photo on crutches due to a broken knee after being beaten by police during a protest in Minsk, Belarus. Wary at first, Laubert eventually opened up about two days of being beaten, trampled on, nearly suffocated and doused in gasoline before volunteers finally brought him to a hospital for treatment and a leg cast. Instead of cowing him, though, the experienced emboldened him. (AP Photo/Evgeniy Maloletka)
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