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Tikhanovskaya confirms departure from Belarus in video address

She said that she made this decision completely on her own
Svetlana Tikhanovskaya Valeriy Sharifulin/TASS
Svetlana Tikhanovskaya
© Valeriy Sharifulin/TASS

MINSK, August 11. /TASS/. Belarusian presidential candidate Svetlana Tikhanovskaya in a video address published on YouTube on Tuesday confirmed her departure from Belarus, stressing that it was her own decision.

"I made this decision completely on my own. Neither friends, nor family, nor the [electoral] headquarters, nor Sergey [Tikhanovsky, spouse - TASS] could have influenced it in any way," she said.

"I know that many will understand me, many will judge me, and many will hate me. But, you know, God forbid to face the choice I faced. So, people, take care of yourselves, please. Not a single life is worth what is going on now. Children are the most important in our life," she added.

Earlier on Tuesday, the State Border Committee of the Republic of Belarus confirmed that Tikhanovskaya departed for Lithuania on Monday night through the Kotlovka checkpoint.

The presidential election was held in Belarus on August 9. According to the preliminary data of the Belarusian Central Election Commission, incumbent president of Belarus Alexander Lukashenko got 80.08% of the vote. Svetlana Tikhanovskaya who was considered his main opponent, was second with 10.09%. She stated that she didn’t accept these results, considered herself the elected head of state, and filed a complaint with the Central Election Commission. After exit poll results were announced in the evening of August 9, protests erupted in downtown Minsk and other regions of the country, leading to clashes between protesters and law enforcement forces. As a result, according to the republic’s Interior Ministry, about 3,000 people were detained, dozens of policemen and protesters were injured.