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World Belarus great-grandmother protest star defies police

21:36  19 september  2020
21:36  19 september  2020 Source:   msn.com

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The small, sprightly great - grandmother is frequently at the frontline of anti-government protests and altercations with masked riot police who tower over her. On Saturday, police detained her as she took part in a "Shiny March" where women protested in sparkling accessories, demanding an end to

The small, sprightly great - grandmother is frequently at the frontline of anti-government protests and altercations with masked riot police who tower over her. On Saturday, police detained her as she took part in a "Shiny March" where women protested in sparkling accessories, demanding an end to

a man in a military uniform: Nina Baginskaya has become one of the protest movement's most famous symbols © - Nina Baginskaya has become one of the protest movement's most famous symbols

At 73, Nina Baginskaya is one of Belarus's most prominent veteran activists, facing regular detention by police as she marches in support of the opposition.

The small, sprightly great-grandmother is frequently at the frontline of anti-government protests and altercations with masked riot police who tower over her.

a group of people standing on a sidewalk: Nina Baginskaya was briefly detained on Saturday © - Nina Baginskaya was briefly detained on Saturday

On Saturday, police detained her as she took part in a "Shiny March" where women protested in sparkling accessories, demanding an end to President Alexander Lukashenko's 26-year rule.

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The small, sprightly great - grandmother is frequently at the frontline of anti-government protests and altercations with masked riot police who tower over her. On Saturday, police detained her as she took part in a "Shiny March" where women protested in sparkling accessories, demanding an end to

Riot police in Belarus on Saturday bundled hundreds of women, including a great - grandmother who has become an icon of the protest movement, into vans as opposition marchers rallied in Minsk seeking an end to President Alexander Lukashenko's 26-year rule.

a man wearing a uniform: Belarus police detain Baginskaya, hundreds of others at women's protest © Provided by AFP Belarus police detain Baginskaya, hundreds of others at women's protest

They took away the flag and bunch of flowers she was carrying and pushed her into a van as the petite activist with cropped grey hair and glasses shouted angrily.

She was released shortly afterwards.

- 'I couldn't not go' -

Since huge protests broke out in Belarus over Lukashenko's disputed re-election last month, Baginskaya has resisted arrest, sparred with riot police and stood in front of a police van to block its path.

Parading through the streets of the capital Minsk carrying the opposition's white-and-red flag, Baginskaya has become one of the protest movement's most famous symbols.

"I couldn't not go," she told Nasha Niva newspaper shortly before her detention on Saturday. "How could I just sit there? How could I sleep easily?"

In August, a video of the activist pushing past two masked riot policemen with a flag in her hand went viral on social media.

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Belarus police detain veteran activist Nina Baginskaya, hundreds of others at women's protest Photo: TUT.BY. "Europe won't help us get rid of Lukashenko "I hope this won't die down. We come out every time, it's such a breath of fresh air," said Maxim Karpov, 33. Baginskaya, a great - grandmother , is a

Tens of thousands of opposition supporters marched in the Belarusian capital of Minsk Sunday, defying a heavy security presence that included water cannon and armoured vehicles. More than 100 people were arrested on the sidelines of that demonstration and similar protests in other major cities

"I am going for a walk," she defiantly told two policemen towering over her.

At a protest this month, she tore off the black balaclava of a security agent to reveal his face, as he was wearing a uniform without a name badge or identifying insignia.

A mother-of-two, Baginskaya lives with her son, granddaughter and great-grandson.

She sews her protest flags herself, and has become a Belarusian celebrity, with strangers often thanking her and protesters greeting her with chants of "Nina! Nina!"

- 'It's my duty' -

Tens of thousands of Belarusians have flooded the streets of Minsk and other cities after Lukashenko, who has ruled the ex-Soviet state for 26 years, claimed re-election with 80 percent on August 9.

His opposition rival Svetlana Tikhanovskaya also claimed the victory.

Lukashenko has refused to step down and turned to Russian President Vladimir Putin for support.

His security forces have detained thousands of protesters, many of whom have accused police of beatings and torture.

Several people have died in the crackdown.

Baginskaya studied geology at the National Oil and Gas University in the western Ukrainian city of Ivano-Frankivsk.

She became politically active in the twilight years of the Soviet Union, attending her first protest rally in Belarus in 1988 against Soviet rule.

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Riot police on Saturday detained hundreds of women as opposition protesters marched through the Belarusian capital Minsk demanding an end to President Alexander Lukashenko's rule. Belarus Great - grandmother Protest Star Defies Police .

Among those detained at a women's protest in Belarus on September 19 was Nina Bahinskaya, a frail but resolute figure amid the crowds protesting presidential She's been a regular feature at various demonstrations since 1988, and despite unprecedented police brutality against protesters , has been

A self-described nationalist promoting the use of the Belarusian language, she was fired from her job at a state research centre after Lukashenko came to power in 1994.

The Belarusian opposition has traditionally called for greater use of the national language in order to create a stronger sense of identity. Russian, though, is more widely spoken and used by state media.

Baginskaya has paid a heavy price since for her activism.

She has been arrested many times and spent nights in jail, and half of her tiny monthly pension goes towards paying off thousands of dollars worth of fines she has received over the years.

In 2016, court bailiffs seized her microwave and washing machine and later put her two dachas, or country cottages, on sale.

"I can't say I get a kick out of diving in head-first," Baginskaya said in a 2018 interview with Belsat, a Warsaw-based opposition television channel.

"It's my duty. I'm not an animal who just eats and doesn't think about future generations."

The elderly woman encourages the young to keep protesting and says she herself will demonstrate for as long as she can.

"As long as I've got a healthy mind and no Alzheimer's, I'll be coming out with a flag," she told kyky.org, a local news site.

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Great-grandmother forcibly arrested as women take to streets in Belarus protests .
Hundreds of women have taken to the streets of Belarus' capital to demand authoritarian leader Alexander Lukashenko step down - with a great-grandmother who has become an icon of the protest movement among scores of people arrested. © Getty Masked officers arrest and detain opposition activist Nina Baginskaya, 73 Police blocked off the centre of Minsk and detained more than 80 demonstrators on Saturday, according to the Viasna human rights organisationIt was the latest in a series of major rallies that have rocked the country since early August, by far the largest and most persistent protest movement it has seen si

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