Belarus protests: Your views

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Riot police clash with demonstrators trying to storm the government building in the Belarusian capital, Minsk
Image caption,
At least 10,000 anti-Lukashenko demonstrators gathered in central Minsk on Sunday

Security forces in Belarus have arrested hundreds of people who protested against the result of the country's presidential election.

At least seven presidential candidates were among those detained. Some of them were reportedly beaten by police.

BBC Russian and BBC News website readers have been sending their comments from Belarus:

I was at the protests and saw some people being beaten up. Just before they were arrested, the opposition leaders asked us to protest today at 1800 (local time), but I'm not sure if the protests will continue, people are scared after what happened. So we are monitoring the situation. I wasn't going to vote, but just gave it a go. I went to a voting poll where I don't live and haven't registered. They let me and added my surname in handwriting without asking for my permanent address. I realised this meant that people could go to as many voting polls as they wanted. Vital Voranau, Minsk

Alexander Lukashenko is a great president and I believe he handles the job really well. The opposition is inadequate and it did not stand a chance. Lukashenko is close to his people and they trust him. Nobody in Belarus is apprehensive about tomorrow, and that's all thanks to the president. Ellina, Gomel

What we feel now is dismay and disenchantment. Once again we lost our chance to get rid of Lukashenko. There were even people on wheel-chairs on the square. But we lost not because of the police, not because of slaughter or fear. We lost because our opposition didn't have any plan what to do, any goals to reach. My colleagues at work are silent, they don't want to discuss what happened yesterday, they're just happy with their salaries. It's disgusting, but today the most popular phrase among young Belarusians is "Can't change the power? Change the country". Stas Gorelik, Minsk

My parents voted against Lukashenko, but at the exit poll they said they voted for him. Do you know why? Because they were afraid someone might have been taking note of what they said. Lukashenko is not the reason, he is the consequence. I think anyone who comes to power in Belarus would turn into a Lukashenko in a couple of years. Pavel, Bobruysk

Belarus is a country with a high human development index, this is recognised by the UN. Belarusians do understand who is their enemy and who is their friend. They understand whose interests the opposition represents. Whether they do this for money or because of their beliefs, they are just puppets on a string. Aleks, Minsk

Fifty per cent of the residents in my apartment block didn't vote in this election. Neither did many of my friends. People just don't think it is worth going to vote. Anton, Gomel

Lukashenko's know-how is the system that he has built - of obedience and of people waging dirty tricks campaigns against each other. If Lukashenko steps down, this system will collapse, but the people inside the system don't want this to happen. Belarus hasn't had a real election since 1996. The opposition doesn't have a chance of winning, because it hasn't got a true leader, it is divided. It has no real plan for action. Pavel Yurinov, Molodechno

Lukashenko doesn't give a thought for his people. You should see the state of hospitals in Belarus - they cannot afford even most basic things. Natalia, Gomel

Generations change and in five years we will see life differently. Who knows, maybe then we will beat this government led by a single person? Unfortunately, in many cases crisis follows the falling of a dictator. Kiryl Yarash, Minsk

There is an opposition in Belarus. And it's quite a decent opposition. However we haven't got a democracy. The current system has been holding up the country's development by decades. Anna, Gomel

Lukashenko's political longevity is due to his total control of all branches of power, determined by his maniacal thirst for power, lack of moral values and strong charisma. It is also due to the social contract - people in Belarus live quite well and are afraid of losing what they've got. Tuteyshy, Navapolatsk

The reason why Lukashenko has been able to hold on to power for so long is his dictatorial regime. His whims and orders are obeyed by everyone, from teachers to the prime minister. They obey because they are afraid that otherwise they will lose their jobs and ruin their careers. Lukashenko has lost freshness of thinking. He should be replaced. Gennady, Minsk

People in Belarus are victims of Stockholm Syndrome. This is all I can say. Zmicer, Mogilev

I did not vote because since 1994 there have never been true elections and because results were already planned. On Sunday it was impossible to open almost all opposition websites and use Facebook, Twitter and Gmail services. All of them were blocked. Dzmitry Vincheuski, Hrodna