Belarusian students, factory workers and pensioners answered a call by exiled opposition figure Svetlana Tikhanovskaya to launch a nationwide strike this week — a fresh move to force Lukashenko to hold new elections after months of mass protests.
Belarus is facing its biggest political crisis since the breakup of the Soviet Union, with tens of thousands of demonstrators saying veteran leader Alexander Lukashenko rigged the August 9 election to win.
The EU held an emergency summit on the crisis, rejecting Lukashenko's re-election in a disputed vote and announcing financial sanctions against officials the bloc blames for election fraud and a cracking down on protests.
Clashes broke out for the second straight night after the opposition accused President Alexander Lukashenko of rigging his re-election victory.
Discontent over a worsening economy and the government's dismissive response to the coronavirus pandemic has helped fuel the country's huge opposition rallies.
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