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Lithuanians show support for protests in Belarus


Former Lithuanian President Dalia Grybauskaite, second from right, and others participate in a human chain in support of protesters against Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko in Medininkai, Latvia, near the border with Belarus on Sunday, Aug. 23, 2020.


More than 50,000 Lithuanians joined on Sunday in a human chain that stretched 32 kilometers (20 miles) from the capital Vilna to the Belarusian border to express solidarity with the pro-democracy demonstrations in Belarus.

The massive event, dubbed “Freedom Road” resembled another historical event on August 23, 1989, when more than a million people in Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania formed the Baltic Road, a human chain from Vilnius to Tallinn, Estonian capital, to demand the end of the Soviet occupation.

Sunday’s message was similar: the people of Belarus deserve free, fair and democratic elections.

“Thirty years ago, Lithuania broke the chains of oppression, showing the world that we are free and mainly free of spirit. Today, the time has come for our Belarusian brothers to say the beloved word ‘freedom’, ”declared Lithuanian President Gitanas Nauseda.

He was one of the prominent Lithuanians who participated in the human chain, along with former presidents Valdas Adamkus and Dalia Grybauskaite, diplomats and military officials from dozens of countries.