President of Belarus Alexander Lukashenko criticized the spontaneous memorials that the protesters arrange in the courtyards of the country’s capital Minsk.
“They see that nothing is working on the streets, the protest actions have started to leave. What to do? .. They, not getting the street, went into the courtyards. They will come to your apartments tomorrow. In the courtyards, they will also fail. But what is alarming from this information: why go to the yard? Second: why to create memorials in Minsk under the guise of cemeteries,” Lukashenko asked at a meeting devoted to topical issues of foreign policy.
“A person walking by a cemetery in wonderful, beautiful Minsk – what kind of psychological mood he will have, even against the background of panic from the pandemic …”, – said the Belarusian dictator.
Lukashenko also stressed that such memorials become the center of the radicalization process and places of the showdown. “Someone clings to pro-fascist ribbons, someone, hating it, comes to cut them off. Fights and fights begin,” Lukashenko explained.
“This is the main goal – if nothing works out, as they write, peacefully, then we need to start a civil war. It was a hundred years ago. We went through this. And our Belarus will turn into an abyss of fights with weapons of struggle, and they will come here in order to finally close this cordon sanitaire. Who wants this? You? I think no. I definitely do not want this,” the Belarusian dictator said.
Of the “protest courtyards” in Minsk, the most famous is the courtyard of high-rise buildings along Chervyakova Street and Smorgovsky tract, which was named “the square of changes”. On November 11, there was a clash between law enforcement officers filming ribbons with white-red-white opposition symbols and activist Roman Bondarenko. He was pushed away, he fell and hit his head. The next day, the victim died in the hospital.
A spontaneous memorial was erected at the scene of the incident. On November 14, the Belarusian security forces removed him. At first, it was claimed on social networks that they “mocked” the memorial, and later information appeared that law enforcement officers transported flowers and lamps to the Northern Cemetery in Minsk.