On 23 September 2020, anti-government protests broke out in the capital Minsk, and also in the cities of Grodno, Gomel, Mogilev, Polotsk, Borisov, Baranovichi, Stolin, Postavy and Smilovichi, following the surprise announcement of President Alexander Lukashenko’s inauguration for a sixth consecutive term. In the capital, as demonstrations continued into the evening near the Minsk Hero City Obelisk, security forces launched a crackdown. Riot police officers deployed water cannons and tear gas to disperse the protesters. Authorities arrested at least 250 people nationwide. Following the inauguration announcement, officials in the Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Germany, Latvia, Lithuania, Slovakia and the U.S. stated that they do not recognize Lukashenko as president.