Crushing Liberty's Cry

IVAN SEKRETAREV / AP

Riot police crack down on Lukashenko protesters in Minsk

In Belarus, March 25 is celebrated as Liberty Day, commemorating the short-lived independent People's Republic of Belarus, proclaimed in 1918, but crushed by Russia's Bolsheviks six months later. This year, the anniversary was marked by a protest rally against the poll held six days earlier, in which — according to official figures — President Alexander Lukashenko, first elected in 1994, won 82.6% of the votes.

Lukashenko's opposition, which considers the election results fraudulent and had been holding peaceful protests all week, had planned to hold the March 25 rally in Oktyabrskaya Square, in the center of the capital...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now

Subscribe
Subscribe

Get TIME the way you want it

  • One Week Digital Pass — $4.99
  • Monthly Pay-As-You-Go DIGITAL ACCESS$2.99
  • One Year ALL ACCESSJust $30!   Best Deal!
    Print Magazine + Digital Edition + Subscriber-only Content on TIME.com

Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!