MOSCOW, January 9. /TASS/. Moscow absolutely supports Brazilian President Lula da Silva and condemns the actions of riot instigators in that country, Russian presidential press secretary Dmitry Peskov said on Monday.
"Naturally, we resolutely condemn the actions of the instigators of the riots and absolutely support Brazilian President Lula da Silva. We support his actions aimed at restoring law and order in the country," he said.
The Kremlin spokesman recalled that Russian President Vladimir Putin had recently congratulated his Brazilian counterpart. "We highly value Mr. da Silva’s efforts toward the development of bilateral relations," he stressed.
Supporters of Brazil’s former leader Jair Bolsonaro staged clashes with the police in the country’s capital of Brasilia on Sunday and broke into the buildings of the National Congress (parliament), the presidential palace and the Supreme Court. The few security guards at the administrative buildings, which were empty on the non-working day, failed to rebuff the protesters who refused to recognize the results of the October presidential polls. According to preliminary data, about 5,000 people took part in the riots.
Law enforcement forces dropped smoke bombs and tear gas grenades from helicopters to disperse the protesters. The police were able to retake control of the buildings and the rioters were pushed out of the central part of the city. More than 400 people were arrested. The rioters may face up to 12 years in prison. No official data on possible casualties is available so far. The local media say that the plunderers may have damaged or stolen various objects of art of historical value.
Socialist Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, who defeated Bolsonaro in a runoff presidential election, took office as President of Brazil on January 1. The gap between the two was about 2 million votes. The ex-leader did not concede defeat, and Bolsonaro supporters flooded the streets and garrisons of the armed forces, seeking to prevent Lula da Silva from taking office. The former Brazilian president left for the United States in late December 2022.