Belarus President Alexander Lukashenko Photograph:( Reuters )
Belarus has been rocked by mass protest since presidential elections in August which Lukashenko claims to have won. His opponents say that the election was rigged and are demanding his resignation ever since
Thousands of protesters marched in Belarus capital Minsk and elsewhere on Sunday as protests continued against President Alexander Lukashenko. Police detained more than 300 people.
Belarus has been rocked by mass protest since presidential elections in August which Lukashenko claims to have won. His opponents say that the election was rigged and are demanding his resignation ever since.
Lukashenko is considered close to Russia, which sees Belarus as a buffer against NATO.
On Sunday, most protesters marched in remote residential areas of Minsk. They clapped hands, shouted "long live Belarus" and waving white flags with a red stripe in the middle, a symbol of the opposition.
"This (protest) does work as it is impossible to rule the country when the majority does not accept you. With protests we are showing that we are the majority," said one of the protesters Alisa, 21.
Lukashenko has remained in power for 26 years. He has shrugged off the protests saying they are sponsored by the West. He has shown little signs of any willingness to start dialogue with the opposition.
Military vehicles and water cannons were seen on the streets of Minsk on Sunday while uniformed men, many in helmets, grabbed people in civilian clothes, a witness aid and videos posted on social media showed.
In Minsk alone, the police detained more than 300 people accused of "violating the law on mass events", Russia's TASS news agency quoted the Belarus interior ministry as saying.
Russian President Vladimir Putin has urged political forces in Belarus to try to resolve differences through dialogue, and also said the ex-Soviet republic, a close Moscow ally, was facing unprecedented meddling by external forces.
(With Reuters inputs)