Belarus protests enter 6th week, still demand leader resign

Belarus protests enter 6th week, still demand leader resign

KYIV, Ukraine — More than 100,000 demonstrators calling for the authoritarian president of Belarus to resign marched through the capital of Minsk on Sunday as the daily protests that have gripped the nation entered their sixth week.

Many in the crowd, which the human rights group Viasna estimated as numbering more than 150,000, carried placards critical of Russia, reflecting concerns about President Alexander Lukashenko’s planned meeting on Monday with Russian President Vladimir Putin.

It would be their first face-to-face contact since the unrest broke out in Belarus after the Aug. 9 presidential election that officials say gave Lukashenko a sixth term with 80 percent support. Protesters and some poll workers say the results were rigged.

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Putin has said he stands ready to send Russian police into Belarus if the protests turn violent, stoking fears that Moscow could use the political dissent as an excuse to annex its neighbor like it did in Crimea in 2014. The countries have a

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