The buzzing bees in Belarus

Ella Tallett, News Assistant

Tens of thousands of people swarming together, the nation’s leader still holding steadfast, anger fizzing from both the young and old.

Protests continue to gain strength throughout Belarus, whose people are demanding a new leader and revised governmental system.

These protests were spurred by continued dissatisfaction with the Belarusian leader, Alexander Lukashenko, with the final straw for the Belarusian people being his rigged re-election in 2020. His manipulation of the polls, which showed he won 80 percent of the people’s votes, was blatant and corrupt. Lukashenko, who has been accused of multiple human rights violations throughout his authoritarian regime, has been in power for 26 years, and he is considered to be Europe’s last dictator.

A variety of people, whether the working class—who are currently on strike—or college-educated citizens, first took to the streets three months ago and are still gaining momentum.

“We have woken up to the fact that we want to be free, we want to be human. The government believed that they are the gods and we are nothing,” Olga V. Golovanova, an economist in Belarus who joined a protest against Lukashenko, said.

However, a majority of the Belarusian law enforcement system remains loyal to Lukashenko. Police have already forcefully arrested thousands of peaceful protestors, and they have been accused of beating and threatening to rape Belarusian citizens. Although, there have been small glimmers of hope for protestors, with there being one specific instance where law enforcement officers dropped their shields and were embraced by the anti-government demonstrators, according to

These protests are more than just a national issue, with countries in the European Union and Russia weighing in.

The European Union has voiced support with the Belarusian protestors—already starting to impose sanctions on certain government officials in Belarus—and warned Russia not to get involved in the former Soviet Republic.

Russia is more closely tied to Belarus than Western Europe, mainly because of their history with one another and similar cultures, with the outcome of the protests at the hands of the Kremlin.

President Vladimir Putin of Russia warned the protestors in late August, saying he had a reserve force of security officers ready to intervene if things got out of hand in Belarus.

However, it is unclear if Russia will actually get involved due to multiple factors including the backlash they will receive from Western Europe and the effects of associating themselves with Lukashenko.

One thing to be sure of is that the Belarusians will eventually be heard. Their swarms will multiply, their buzzes will grow louder, their workload will increase. They will continue on until Lukashenko is eventually dethroned.