Tens of thousands of people joined hands forming a human chain in Vilnius to Medininkai in Lithuania, as a show of solidarity with Belarusians fighting for democracy in their nation.
Dubbed the Freedom Way, it was only 1 event from many occurring in around 30 nations in support of Belarus, after the contested re-election of President Alexander Lukashenko, who some have predicted the last dictator in Europe.
The Freedom Way extended 32 kilometers from the capital Vilnius into some museums on the Belarusian border.
It happened about the anniversary of this Baltic Way, August 23, 1989, which saw over a million individuals form a human chain throughout Lithuania, Latvia, and Estonia, as individuals campaigned for an end to the Soviet occupation.
On the Freedom Way series, many wore white, held Lithuanian and Belarusian flags and maintained blossoms, while ten air balloons flew over the procession, together with motorbikes and cyclists forming a pillar on the street.
1 person present was that the Lithuanian foreign ministry, who advised Euronews”that we aren’t likely to replace the authorities”.
“The very least we could do is simply to express moral support, also to demonstrate solidarity,” explained Linas Linkevicius.
1 protester named Karina from Belarus said: “I’m quite grateful for Lithuanians, we’ve got a whole lot of friends who encourage us, they arrived with us. They encourage us in a manner that nobody could in Belarus, so I am thankful for this.”
Lukashenko was enticed by several independent observers of rigging the August 9 election, which saw him win a sixth consecutive term in office with, according to the country elections entire body, an overwhelming majority. His principal competitor meanwhile fled the nation to Belarus.
Protests were met with force from Belarusian authorities, who detained thousands. There were rumors that calm protesters were beaten and tortured in detention.