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Unprovoked brutality against Belarusian demonstrators impermissible — Kremlin

The spokesman said Moscow was closely following the events in the "fraternal" country
Law enforcement officers are seen during an unauthorised protest in Minsk Stringer/TASS
Law enforcement officers are seen during an unauthorised protest in Minsk
© Stringer/TASS

MOSCOW, November 17. /TASS/. Police brutality against demonstrators in Belarus, unprovoked by protesters, is impermissible, but the very instances of provocations must not be ruled out, Russian presidential spokesman, Dmitry Peskov told the media on Tuesday.

"It goes without saying that brutality, unprovoked by some actions of the protesters, is undesirable and impermissible. But it is impossible to turn a blind eye to the instances of provocations against the law enforcers, which do take place, too," he said.

Peskov added that Moscow was closely following the events in Belarus. "It’s an allied country. It’s a fraternal people. We would like to see a calm, stable and prospering Belarus and we hope that it will be so," the Kremlin spokesman said. "Belarus must be free from any external influence."

Nationwide demonstrations have engulfed Belarus following the August 9 presidential election. According to the Central Election Commission’s official results, incumbent President Alexander Lukashenko won by a landslide, garnering 80.10% of the vote. His closest rival in the race, Svetlana Tikhanovskaya, came in second, with 10.12% of the ballot. However, she refused to recognize the election’s outcome, and left Belarus for Lithuania. After the results of the exit polls were announced late on August 9, mass protests erupted in downtown Minsk and other Belarusian cities. During the early post-election period, the rallies snowballed into fierce clashes between the protesters and police. The current unrest is being cheered on by the opposition’s Coordination Council, which has been beating the drum for more protests. In response, the Belarusian authorities have castigated the ongoing turmoil and demanded that these unauthorized demonstrations be stopped.