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Tags: Belarus | Protests

Belarus Leader Accuses Neighbors of Waging "hybrid War"

Belarus Leader Accuses Neighbors of Waging "hybrid War"

Thursday, 27 August 2020 07:39 AM

MINSK, Belarus (AP) — Belarus' authoritarian president on Thursday accused the country's neighbors of waging a “hybrid war” against the ex-Soviet nation, as the authorities have continued their efforts to stem weeks of protests against his reelection.

Alexander Lukashenko said that Belarus' neighbors are openly interfering in its affairs, demanding a new election in what he described as “diplomatic carnage.” He charged that Poland was harboring plans to take over the Grodno region on the border, saying that it prompted the deployment of additional Belarusian troops to the frontier.

The United States and the European Union have criticized the Aug. 9 election that extended Lukashenko's 26-year rule as neither free nor fair and encouraged Belarusian authorities to engage in a dialogue with the opposition.

The Belarusian leader, who has ruled the nation of 9.5 million with an iron fist since 1994, has dismissed the protesters as Western puppets and refused to engage in dialogue with the opposition, which is contesting his reelection to a sixth term.

After a brutal crackdown on demonstrators in the first days of post-election protests, which caused international outrage and helped swell protesters’ numbers, the authorities changed tactics and let daily demonstrations go unhindered for nearly two weeks. The government, meanwhile, has maintained pressure on the opposition with threats and selective jailing of its leaders.

On Wednesday, police dispersed protesters who gathered on the capital's main Independence Square, detaining dozens. The action signaled a return to force, albeit without violence that marked the post-election crackdown, when nearly 7,000 people were detained, hundreds were injured and at least three protesters died.

© Copyright 2021 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


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Belarus' authoritarian president on Thursday accused the country's neighbors of waging a "hybrid war" against the ex-Soviet nation, as the authorities have continued their efforts to stem weeks of protests against his reelection.Alexander Lukashenko said that Belarus'...
Belarus,Protests
263
2020-39-27
Thursday, 27 August 2020 07:39 AM
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