In Belarus, large-scale internet outages have occurred since Sunday. All kinds of organizations, social media and citizens of the country report this. This is probably related to the presidential elections and the protests against the result, which the regime wants to suppress.
Among other things, Twitter has confirmed that it suffers from blockades and throttling in Belarus. The social media company says this is in response to the protests targeting the results of the presidential election. NetBlocks, an organization that stands up for internet freedom, already reported large-scale, nationwide outages on Sunday and reported that the country was largely offline. The organisation says that this situation still persists.
Pavel Durov says Telegram has activated its anti-censorship tools in Belarus so that the platform remains available to most users there. He does say that the connection is still very unstable, because the internet is completely cut off in the country at times. A researcher reports that mobile internet connections are also offline and that only very limited VPN connections are possible.
Last Sunday there were elections in Belarus. The incumbent President Lukashenko, also referred to as the last dictator in Europe, won with more than 80 percent of the vote, according to the official result. The main opposition candidate, Svetlana Tikhanovskaya, is said to have received seven percent of the vote. Lukashenko has been the president of Belarus continuously since 1994.
Tikhanovskaya is the wife of a popular Belarusian blogger who is in jail. Large-scale fraud during the elections is assumed. The Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe was not welcome to monitor the elections. Tichanovskaya, who was previously not politically active, refused to acknowledge the result and large-scale protests soon erupted, many of them being cracked down. The opposition candidate was missing for several hours, but it is now clear that she is safe in Lithuania, so reports the Lithuanian Minister of Foreign Affairs.