Tikhanovskaya calls for global protests Saturday

Belarusian opposition leader Svetlana Tikhanovskaya has called for global protests on Saturday against the government led by President Alexander Lukashenko.

In a video message released on Wednesday, Tikhanovskaya urged people across the world to join demonstrations to increase pressure on the Lukashenko administration. Opposition leaders said the Lukashenko regime is nearing isolation like never before.

The call for action against Lukashenko follows the detention of dissident journalist Roman Protasevich on Sunday after his plane was ordered to land in the Belarusian capital of Minsk while it was crossing through the country's airspace. Many countries have denounced the move.

Observers say Tikhanovskaya wants to regain the momentum of anti-government protests that have continued since summer last year.

Lukashenko is scheduled to visit Russia on Friday to hold talks with President Vladimir Putin. Lukashenko is expected to step up his confrontational stance against Western nations with support from Moscow.