The March 25 rally was to commemorate the 100th anniversary of Belarus’s 1918 proclamation of independence from Russia and it is considered as the foundation of an independent Belarus. The Belarusian People’s Republic lasted until 1919, when it was effectively taken over by Soviet Russia.
Known as Freedom Day, the anniversary is traditionally a day for opponents of the authoritarian government of Alexander Lukashenko to stage protests. It accuses Lukashenko, who has been in office since 1994, of attempting to erase Belarusian identity and “Russifying” the country. (more…)