Unidentified forces seeking ‘massacre in Minsk’, claims Belarus’s under-fire president

Europe’s ‘last dictator’ uses major pre-election speech to direct fire at Russia and the opposition, explains Oliver Carroll

Wednesday 05 August 2020 00:28 BST
(Nikolai Petrov/BELTA/TASS)

In his last major speech before Sunday’s presidential elections, Alexander Lukashenko made an emotional pitch to Belarusians, asking them to trust his “stable” hand in a world that was “sleepwalking into the abyss” .

“Our planet is shaking, with sparks and fire everywhere,” the five-term president said during his annual state-of-the-nation address on Tuesday, coinciding with the first day of voting.

Belarus remained an “island of calm” because of the “stable and strong hierarchy” holding it together, he said. But all that was being threatened like never before – with unidentified, well-funded forces seeking a “massacre” on the streets of Minsk.

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