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OOC: Based off rl pro-democracy protests in Belarus, including the Jeans Revolution.

 

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Elections Completed in Lithuania

 

Election results for the recently created Vilnius and Klaipeda Voblasts have been announced. The ruling Stabiĺnasć Party has won 58 of the 60 new House of Representatives seats, with the remaining two going to the Communist Party of Belarus, which supports the President. 15 of the 16 new Council seats have gone to the Stabiĺnasć Party as well. The Republican Party of Labour and Justice, another ally of the President, has won one seat. Local Selsoviet and Raion level offices were also mainly captured by Stabiĺnasć and its allies, although here the opposition United Democratic Forces of Belarus managed to see some success.

 

Meanwhile, governors for the Vilnius and Klaipeda Voblasts have been appointed by the President. 

 

These election results come just before the Presidential Candidates begin their own campaign. The sudden inclusion of Lithuania has greatly affected the composition of the electorate, and the Lithuanian populace has become a target for Presidential candidates that are jostling to gain their support. The recent elections in Lithuania demonstrate that the Stabiĺnasć Party and its allies have clearly succeeded in capturing the votes of the new electorate.

 

General elections are also coming up for the rest of Belarus.

 

- Pravda(OOC: The government run media)

 

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Another Round of Fraudulent Elections Completed

 

The Belorussian constitution clearly states that the President has the authority to appoint governors. The President had been very good at fulfilling that duty. In fact, he has been so skilled at it that he has also gone ahead and effectively chosen who won the Council and House of Representative seats for Lithuania. The Lithuanian people have been effectively robbed of their right to choose their representatives by rigged election and corrupt officials.

 

Charter97's reporters in Lithuania, have, despite the government's usual repression of free media, informed us of fraud, ballot stuffing, and crimes committed by election officials loyal to the Regime. It is doubtful that the Presidential or even the General elections will be any freer than the ones in Lithuania.

 

Vilnius was once a bastion of democracy in Eastern Europe. Now, it is little more than another emerald in Lukachenko's ill gotten crown.

 

- Charter97(OOC: That opposition group I rp'd back in cnrp2. Also an rl Belorussian opposition group.)

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Bomb Explodes in Vitebsk

 

A bomb attack occurred in the Eastern City of Vitebsk, and wounded 46 people, the Ministry of Emergency Situations said today. The attack occurs in the lead up to the national elections, and it is possible that the attack was politically motivated.

 

A KGB spokesperson said in an announcement today that it believed that the bomb was planted by lone wolf terrorists, but refused to name any suspects. The government has stated that it did not believe that the attack was carried out by Lithuanian nationalists, a possibility that was suggested by some analysts.

 

- Pravda

 

Attack on Vitebsk 

 

Belarus is not known for frequent terrorist attacks. Yet, in some ways, the recent attack on Vitebsk is not entirely unexpected.

 

For too long, the government has oppressed its people. Now, the pressure is building.

 

In the north of Belarus, there are the Lithuanians, in the south, the Ukrainians, in the east, the Poles, and in the west, the Russians. Only the center can truly be considered ethnically Belorussian.

 

And yet, the government insists on acting not as the multi-ethnic state it should represent, but as a solely Belorussian state. The government opposes the nationalists, all right, but at the same time, it fights to absorb other cultural groups living in Belarus. It fears that which may be different, for differences mean dissent, and dissent means an end to dictatorship.

 

And so, the Polish, Lithuanian, and Ukrainian languages are not considered to be official languages, despite there being over a million Poles, and a million Ukrainians, and two million Lithuanians. These three languages are only taught as "foreign" languages in schools, and only Belorussian and Russian are considered to be official languages. The distinct cultures of the variety of groups is ignored, and only conformity is promoted.

 

The result of this repression? Acts of violence like the ones in Vitebsk. Contrary to Minsk's expectations, the Lithuanians, and the Poles have both experienced freedom and democracy, and they will not easily bow to the government's demands. They will fight back.

 

And so the question is, how many more bombings will it take for Lukachenko and his cronies to realize that they are driving the nation down a path that will cause it to tear itself apart?

 

- Charter97

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Opposition Leader Commits Suicide
 
Opposition candidate Siarhei Navumchyk was found hanged this morning. His death appears to have been a suicide.
 
Navumchyk was the Presidential candidate for the opposition Belorussian Popular Front. His suicide has had a devastating effect on the BPF, and has effectively taken the party out of the presidential race.
 
- Pravda
 
Siarhei Navumchyk Death not a Suicide
 
Opposition candidate Siarhei Navumchyk did not, as the government owned media suggests, kill himself.
 
Navumchyk had made a mistake, the mistake of attempting to politically oppose the government. This, was the cause of his death.
 
Navumchyk represented one of the few candidates who stood a chance against Lukachenko. He was not only a member of the opposition BPF, but he was also the co-director of this publication, Charter97. Many people at our offices knew Navumchyk, and all of them can attest to him being in a good state of mental health. Many of his friends reject claims that he committed suicide, and some have said that they believed that he was murdered by the secret police, the KGB.
 
One of his associates, Mikalaj Damaškievic, said that no suicide note had been found, and that "There were no signs either physically or emotionally that Navumchyk would have taken such a step."
 
He also stated that he believed that text messages sent shortly before the death may have been faked, as Navumchyk rarely sent such messages.
 
The opposition is seeking a full investigation into the death.
 
- Charter97
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Elections Kick Off

 

Voters have begun to flock to the voting booths as the Presidential elections kick off. The Central Election Commission has stated today that polls show that the incumbent President Lukachenko is expected to gain some 70% of the popular vote.

 

In other news, opposition candidate Alaksander Kazulin was arrested today for disorderly conduct, when he attempted to force his way into a meeting of the All Belorussian People's Assembly, which was being hosted by the President.

 

Local elections are to take place one week after the national ones.

 

- Pravda

 

One Last Chance for Democracy

 

For the past ten years, Belarus has been held in a state of emergency triggered by the fall of dictatorships across Europe and Asia. This state of emergency denied all freedoms to ordinary Belorussians, and prevented any kind of elections, national or local, from being held.

 

Now, for the first time in a decade, Belorussians once again have the ability to choose their leaders and representatives. For the first time in history, both the national and local elections are being held at the same time.

 

For the first time in history, Belorussians have a chance to remove the ruling party, which has shown itself to be autocratic and corrupt, from every level of power, both national and local.

 

This is not a chance that will come again. If the regime wins this referendum, it will plunge the country into yet another decade of darkness and despair. The only hope for Belarus is to vote to remove Lukachenko and his cadre from power.

 

Already, one candidate has been killed, and another has been arrested for attempting to enter a meeting in which every Belorussian citizen has the right to take part in, as per the Presidential decree that formed the All Belorussian People's Assembly. The opposition is weakened, but it is not down. It can still win if the people stand behind it.

 

We, the people of Belarus, have one, last chance, for freedom.

 

- Charter97

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Lukachenko Wins Presidential Elections, Opposition Seizes Governorship

 

The incumbent President Alexander Lukachenko has won the Presidential elections with 79.65% of the popular vote. The Stabiĺnasć Party has also won a majority of the seats in the National Assembly. The opposition did manage a small victory, and the BPF's candidate for governor in the Grodno Voblast. Grodno has been a traditional opposition stronghold, mainly due to its large Polish and Lithuanian population. The opposition also won a number of Selsoviet offices in Grodno. Most other positions for the local elections were won by the Stabiĺnasć Party, with a handful being picked up by the Communist and Agrarian Parties.

 

- Pravda

 

Another Fraudulent Election

 

Belarus' elections have once again, turned out to be little more than a joke. KGB officials towered over the voting booths, opposition candidates have been arrested, and there have been reports of ballot stuffing and forgery.

 

The main opposition candidate, Alaksander Kazulin, has called for a recount, and Belorussians have taken to the social media to protest the results. A large security presence could be seen today in Minsk, suggesting that the government intends to ignore the cries of its people and maintain control over the country at all costs.

 

- Charter97

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President Removes Governor Hilevich, Appoints New Governor for Gomel

 

The President has announced the removal of Governor Hilevich of the Gomel region, and has appointed a new Governor for the region. Under the constitution, the President is empowered to remove and appoint elected Governors, if he has the approval of the local Council of Deputies. The opposition failed to gain a majority in the Gomel Council, which was mostly controlled by the Stabiĺnasć Party.

 

The President stated in a press conference today that he had removed Governor Hilevich because he did not feel that the Governor was capable of running such a large region of Belarus.

 

The move is expected to create some backlash from the opposition.

 

President Forces Governor Hilevich to Step Down as the People Protest

 

President Lukachenko has announced today that he has removed Governor Hilevich from his post. Hilevich was elected by a majority of the people in the region, and our polls show that the populace has little to no confidence in the newly appointed governor, who is little more than a puppet of Minsk.

 

Many people, outraged by this decisions, have announced their intention to take to the streets of Minsk until Governor Hilevich is restored, and the government holds another, more transparent round of elections.

 

Internal(You can still see this)

 

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The KGB's OMON troops, dressed in special riot gear, guarded the front of the Palace of the Republic, as the first protesters began to flood the city. Here, surrounded by the symbols of Belarus' Soviet past, hundreds, and then thousands of men, woman, and even children would gather to support the cry of freedom. 

 

Some had gathered in support of the former Governor. Others had come to call for a redo of the elections as a whole. Still others wanted a full governmental and constitutional reform, with more transparency and guarantees of the rights of the people. About 400 Germans from Lithuania would rally in October Square to protest the Government's policies towards Alvonia. These would be quickly rounded up and arrested. At one point, it appeared that the number of Poles demonstrating in support of Polish independence would soon grow to be the largest group. However, several dozen Polish protesters would make the mistake of rallying in support of the White Army, a group that had been disliked by both Belorussians and Poles alike. The incidents that followed between the White Army supporters, the more moderate Poles, and the OMON would eventually result in most of the Poles dispersing, with some joining the growing ranks of those calling for a full reform of the government, which included the Polish Authority. Those announcing their support to the White Army would be arrested.

 

Thus, from dozens of different backgrounds, and with hundreds of different motives, thousands of Belorussian citizens would march into Minsk, and cry out with one voice, that they had had enough.

 

Their cries would everywhere, from the cold and foreboding Palace of the Republic, to the feared KGB headquarters.

 

Sometimes, a little rebellion could be a good thing.

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Interview with the President

 

As per tradition, the  President has held a post-election interview with the press concerning Belorussian policies towards current and past issues in the region.

 

Q: "Let's start with the usual issues that have faced the government, namely issues in Poland and relations with Alvonia. How does the government see its relations with Vienna moving forward?"

 

A: "As always, Belarus promotes peace and cooperation with all nations. We are already cooperating with Alvonia on the reconstruction of infrastructure in Poland, and we will work to maintain amicable ties with our counterparts in Vienna."

 

Q: "Some analysts have begun to suggest that Belorussian politics has become poisoned by an unhealthy obsession with Poland and Alvonia. What would be your response to these criticisms?"

 

A: "I do not believe that Belorussian politics has become poisoned by anything. We remain a stable and secure nation, in which all issues receive the amount of attention they require."

 

Q: "Continuing on the subject of ties with Alvonia, how does Belarus feel about Alvonia's actions in Bulgaria? A number of analysts have expressed concerns that Alvonia is attempting to project power in Eastern Europe."

 

A: "Firstly, you will have to keep in mind that Alvonia at least partially lies in Eastern Europe. We do not feel that the situation in Bulgaria has any bearing on Belarus at this time."

 

Q: "No bearing? But surely Hungary's alliance with Yugoslavia would mean that one of Belarus' closest allies has a stake in the situation?"

 

A: "In the unlikely situation that Hungary becomes involved in Bulgaria, we will of course give our full backing to our allies. Until this unlikely event occurs, we will maintain our position that Bulgaria has nothing to do with us."

 

Q: "Alright then, let's move back to Poland. The recent bombings in Vitebsk have resulted in some fears that Belarus will become the target of attacks from the remains of the White Army and other radical groups that once operated in Poland. What is your response to this?"

 

A: "Well, first of all, we are not sure if the attacks were launched by Polish terrorists. Secondly, Belarus has always been a target of Polish terrorists such as the White Army, and will remain one for the conceivable future. The being said, these groups have been badly crippled by our forces, and any future actions will most likely come from lone wolf attackers, and will not pose a major security threat. I have every confidence in our intelligence agency's ability to counter and prevent potential attacks."

 

Q: "What of the accusations of a genocide against the Poles being perpetrated by Belarus?"

 

A: "The only genocide that occurred during the period of our involvement in Poland was launched by the White Army against ethnic Belorussians in Poland. The majority of civilian deaths during the conflict occurred at the hands of the White Army, and were mainly Belorussian civilians. We have requested that the French government provide proof of its accusations, but they have opted not to respond."

 

Q: "Speaking of France, what is the government's position on the ongoing civil war there?"

 

A: "As always, we wish only for peace and prosperity for all peoples, including the French."

 

Q: "But what of your stance of the various factions fighting in France?"

 

A: "We wish them the best of luck in finding a reasonable resolution to the war."

 

Q: "There has been some speculation that Belarus may move to restore order in the Western Ukraine, which is still without any government."

 

A: "On the contrary, the Western Ukraine does have a number of functioning local governments. We will maintain our diplomatic and economic relations with them, and will not get involved in the region unless there is a serious threat to our nation, or our assistance is asked for by the Ukrainian people."

 

Q: "I would like to end off on a note from our past. What is the government's opinion of the legacy of the East Bloc? The Bloc has often been considered a negative influence on Europe, even by our own allies."

 

A: "We believe that the East Bloc served its purpose in ensuring security and stability in Eastern Europe."

 

Interviewer: "Well, thank you for your time, Mr. President, and the best of luck for your new term in office."

 

President: "Thank you for having me."

 

- Pravda

Edited by Mr Director
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250px-Belarus-Minsk-Opposition_Protests_

 

 

The number of protesters in Minsk had grown to 45,000 people, marching and shouting for freedom in front of the Palace of the Republic. The KGB had made several attempts to remove them, but each time it was driven back by the crowds. In one part of Minsk, large numbers of riot police would clash with a group of protesters, and 100 people would be arrested, including some protest leaders. A number of leaders from the opposition would begin leading large scale demonstrations against the government in the capital.

 

A number of the opposition presidential candidates would state their intent not to recognize the results of the elections. The government would respond by accusing the opposition of being radicals that had links to the former White Army.

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Belarus-protest-580_107290k.jpg

 

The Belorussian government had hoped that the protests would simply fizzle out. Their hopes had been in vain.

 

The opposition forces camped out in the capital had grown to some 45,000 people. Worse yet, they were beginning to harm the local economy, as it was becoming more and more difficult to move through the streets. Government personnel were having to come and go in helicopters. The Air Force had set up something of a public transit system for people who worked for the government, and would send massive Mi-26 and Mi-8 helicopters around Minsk, picking up dozens employees at a time, and flying them to the various departments at which they worked. 

 

All in all, the situation needed to be resolved, soon.

 

Hundreds of OMON troops would be sent out to storm the opposition camps, and to clear them out of Minsk. Brutal street fights between protesters and the OMON, which were essentially military units loyal to the KGB, would erupt around the capital.

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Belarus--Minsk--Protesters-clash-with-ri

 

Street battles would erupt around Minsk, as the OMON and the protesters fought each other street to street. The protesters had the numbers on their side, but the OMON were absolutely brutal in their quest to clear the streets. Some 2,000 OMON would be called in to help quell the protests. Meanwhile, the Belorussian military's cyber warfare division, Unit No. 5, would hack numerous opposition websites and bring them down, badly affecting coordination among the protesters. Belorussian internet service providers, which were owned by the government, would also begin blocking opposition sites.

 

A number of protesters would attempt to break into the Central Elections Committee's offices. Some windows would be broken, but police would arrive quickly and force the protesters from the area.

 

Many members of the opposition, including several presidential candidates, would be rounded up. The offices of the Charter97 group would be raided, and several of its journalists would be detained. As many as 600 people would be arrested.

 

It was a cold day in Minsk, and the streets were covered in ice and snow, leading to many injuries, and even deaths. some 30 OMON officers would be injured by the adverse conditions and by the protesters, and would have to be taken to the hospital. Many opposition activists who were injured would find themselves unable to gain access to the government owned hospitals.

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_50504549_010882071-1.jpg

 

As the number of injuries and arrests rose, the number of protesters would drop. The opposition activists that had flooded the streets had numbered at 45,000 at their height. Now that number had sunk back down to 30,000. The hacking and blocking of opposition sites had reduced coordination among the activists, and had also taken its toll.

 

A number of important streets had been reopened, and economic activity in the capital resumed. However, there were still large portions of the city under the opposition's control.

 

The government wanted the activists gone once and for all, and in Belarus, the government usually got its way. The OMON would begin to use a new tactic: Water cannons. Trucks from the city;s fire department would be requisitioned, and their hoses would be turned on the activists in Minsk. The cold temperatures in the city would mean literally hundreds, if not thousands of cases of pneumonia in the first stages of the water cannon's use. It would be, in other words, very effective.

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belarus_police372.jpg

 

The number of protesters in Minsk had dropped again, down to 20,000 and then to 15,000 people. OMON troops would storm dozens more camps, forcibly breaking them up. 

 

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Belarus Government In Exile Makes Statement

 

The Rada of the Belorussian Democratic Republic has recently made a statement over the social media condemning the government for its "heavy handed response" to the recent waves of riots and criminal activity in Minsk.

 

The Rada was formed during Belarus' bid for independence after the first world war. It was quickly forced out of the country by advancing Polish and Soviet armies, and in 1919, it became a government in exile. It is currently the world's oldest government in exile, and its current whereabouts are unknown. Its last known location was in Canada. Many question whether it still exists.

 

The government has dismissed the Rada as a nonexistent entity, and has accused the opposition of attempting to reform the Rada in an effort to impersonate the government.

 

- Pravda

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2803914_original.jpg

 

The number of activists in Minsk had dwindled to a mere 5,000 people camped out in the streets. The nights had been getting colder, and the OMON more forceful, and it was expected that the whole affair would be wrapped up in a couple of weeks.

 

In the meantime, the KGB would begin to hint down associates of the Belorussian Rada in exile. These associates would be taken to the infamous Bereza Kartuska prison, where they would be interrogated. Belarus wanted to know where the government in exile was, and more importantly, it wanted to shut down its organizations and contacts within the Republic. In addition to these arrests, a number of bank accounts and assets belonging to the Rada would be seized.

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The number of activists had been worn down to just a few hundred young protesters camped out in the capital. Several hundred OMON would storm the camp, arrest everyone, and clear the area. The whole affair took no more than 15 minutes, and effectively ended the protests.

 

OOC: No time/out of ideas.

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