Disputed Elections – week 13

Well, from this very distant and poorly informed vantage point, things do not look good for the protest movement in Belarus. Tens of thousands protested again this weekend, but Lukashenko has detained or arrested more than 800 protestors and maybe more than a thousand. He has been arresting 200-300 each week, but this appears to be an increase in aggressiveness on the part of the government. They were very aggressive in the first week of protests with nearly 7,000 detained, but this seemed to fuel the protests. They then backed down and kept their detentions and arrests at a lower level. The fact that they have increased arrests now indicates to me that the government has grown more confident and thinks they can increase the pressure on the protestors and put an end to this.

Two weeks ago, and in a number of weeks before that, the opposition put out more than 100,000 protestors each weekend. They also called for strikes two weeks ago. I gather the strikes have not been widespread and the number of protestors in the street has been well less than 100,000 this weekend and on the previous weekend. Nobody seems to be reporting figures anymore on this, which I think is kind of significant. With the strikes not being widespread and universal, the number of protestors diminishing, and the arrests increasing, it appears that the balance has shifted towards Lukashenko and against the opposition.

By the way, there were also protests in Georgia this weekend (the Georgia mentioned in the Beatles’ song, not the Ray Charles’ song). The Georgian police fired water cannons at hundred of protestors calling for a re-run of the Oct. 31 parliamentary elections, which they claim were rigged. They also had tens of thousands of protestors this weekend and protests are continuing.


P.S. The picture of the detained protestor is from last month, I just happen to like it (“Beauty and the Beast”). She was identified over twitter (@A_Sannikov) as Natalia Petukhova. The arresting officer has not been identified. Picture came from @svirsky1 via @XSovietNews

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Christopher A. Lawrence
Christopher A. Lawrence

Christopher A. Lawrence is a professional historian and military analyst. He is the Executive Director and President of The Dupuy Institute, an organization dedicated to scholarly research and objective analysis of historical data related to armed conflict and the resolution of armed conflict. The Dupuy Institute provides independent, historically-based analyses of lessons learned from modern military experience.
Mr. Lawrence was the program manager for the Ardennes Campaign Simulation Data Base, the Kursk Data Base, the Modern Insurgency Spread Sheets and for a number of other smaller combat data bases. He has participated in casualty estimation studies (including estimates for Bosnia and Iraq) and studies of air campaign modeling, enemy prisoner of war capture rates, medium weight armor, urban warfare, situational awareness, counterinsurgency and other subjects for the U.S. Army, the Defense Department, the Joint Staff and the U.S. Air Force. He has also directed a number of studies related to the military impact of banning antipersonnel mines for the Joint Staff, Los Alamos National Laboratories and the Vietnam Veterans of American Foundation.
His published works include papers and monographs for the Congressional Office of Technology Assessment and the Vietnam Veterans of American Foundation, in addition to over 40 articles written for limited-distribution newsletters and over 60 analytical reports prepared for the Defense Department. He is the author of Kursk: The Battle of Prokhorovka (Aberdeen Books, Sheridan, CO., 2015), America’s Modern Wars: Understanding Iraq, Afghanistan and Vietnam (Casemate Publishers, Philadelphia & Oxford, 2015), War by Numbers: Understanding Conventional Combat (Potomac Books, Lincoln, NE., 2017) , The Battle of Prokhorovka (Stackpole Books, Guilford, CT., 2019), The Battle for Kyiv (Frontline Books, Yorkshire, UK, 2023), Aces at Kursk (Air World, Yorkshire, UK, 2024), Hunting Falcon: The Story of WWI German Ace Hans-Joachim Buddecke (Air World, Yorkshire, UK, 2024) and The Siege of Mariupol (Frontline Books, Yorkshire, UK, 2024).
Mr. Lawrence lives in northern Virginia, near Washington, D.C., with his wife and son.

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