For Alexander Lukashenko the demonstrators in Belarus are easy to classify: “The basis of all these so-called protesters are people with a criminal past who are now unemployed,” said the head of state, described as “Europe’s last dictator”, in Minsk on Wednesday.
Despite the bloody protests over the controversial presidential election Lukashenko therefore sees no reason for dialogue with his opponents. At a meeting on national security issues, he said in the state media that the most important thing now was to protect the constitutional order and ensure the “normal functioning of state organs”. 26 years ago, the head of state was declared the winner of the presidential election for the sixth time in a row. Since then there have been protests throughout the country, with calls for dialogue and a recount of votes. Security forces have been beating the demonstrations bloody again and again for days. Water cannons, tear gas, stun grenades and rubber bullets are used.
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