On Monday the Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko was seen brandishing a Kalashnikov assault rifle wearing combat kit as he thanked his security forces.
Belarus is on a knife edge as hundreds of thousands are protesting against his controversial victory which has now captured the world’s attention
China and Russia are monitoring the situation closely and have offered help to send hard lined Communist military forces into Belarus.
Russia’s Foreign Minister as accused the opposition politicians of wanting “bloodshed” as more than 200,000 protestors are lining the streets across the capital, Minsk demanding Lukashenko resigns.
Lukashenko’s Defence Ministry have called in the military who now deal with demonstrators as the mass civil unrest has raged for two-weeks following the result of July’s results of the presidential election.
Two opposition figures were detained by police on Monday. Olga Kovalkova and Sergei Dylevsky were picked up outside the Minsk Tractor Factory. Staff at the factory were involved with an anti-Lukashenko strike.
Kovalkova and Dylevsky are on a co-ordination council which was set up by the exiled opposition leader, Svetlana Tikhanovskaya. Tikhanovskaya is currently in Villnius, Lithuania which has sparked a diplomatic row with Belarus causing sever friction between the two governments.
It is feared that Minsk will see bloodshed as the military have warned Belarusian’s they “will not hesitate to use force.”
The Ministry gave a grave warning “that if the peace is disturbed you won’t be dealing with the police, but the army.”
Independence Palace has been threatened as protestors have said they will storm Lukashenko’s home, the military will almost certainly use lethal force with a shoot to kill order.
The head of the Minsk police force warned, that “Youthful maximalism and rebellious behaviour are inappropriate and dangerous.”
The anti-Lukashenko protestors have been described as “fascists” by the Defence Ministry for marching near the President’s home and the memorial.
The military and security services have created a ring of steel around the Presidents home, with heavy machine guns, armoured vehicles and tanks.
We have been informed that Russian special forces have been assigned to help protect Lukashenko, although there is no direct confirmation of this currently.
Lithuania’s Foreign Ministry have summons the Belarus ambassador on Monday as the Belarusian military sent M1-24 heavily armed helicopters to intercept balloons in Lithuanian airspace.
It has been alleged that the military helicopter shot at eight balloons as according to the Belarusian Defence Ministry, they were “anti-state symbols.”
With “thanks to the crews of Mi-24 helicopters the balloons’ flight was intercepted without recourse to weapons,”the Belarusian Ministry added.
The “provocation” happened at about 19:30 (16:30 GMT) in Ashmyany district.