More than 100,000 protesters faced down riot police and water cannons in Minsk to converge on the residence of President Lukashenko of Belarus, defying his efforts to stifle dissent by arresting opposition leaders or forcing them into exile.

The regime responded with water cannon, and in at least one case riot police fired live ammunition into the air as the protest, dubbed the “March of Heroes”, swelled throughout the afternoon, with huge columns of demonstrators repeatedly changing their route in an attempt to avoid roadblocks set up by the security services.

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