MINSK, September 16. /TASS/. Independent media outlets and Telegram channels are destroying the people’s trust in the state amid the coronavirus pandemic, Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko said at a meeting with political activists on Wednesday.
"The authorities were completely focused on the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic that had suddenly taken over the world. And instead of standing side by side with us in this global fight, the so-called independent media outlets and Telegram channels did everything they could to complicate the work and destroy the people’s trust in the state," the BelTA news agency quoted Lukashenko as saying.
The Belarusian president has repeatedly said that the administrators of Telegram channels based overseas are in control of the opposition’s protests, telling protesters where and when to gather.
Situation in Belarus
Belarus held its presidential election on August 9. According to the Central Election Commission’s data, incumbent President Alexander Lukashenko received 80.1% of the vote. Svetlana Tikhanovskaya, who garnered 10.12%, refused to recognize the election’s results and left Belarus. Protests erupted in the country's capital of Minsk and several other cities following the presidential vote, leading to clashes between protesters and law enforcement officers. The opposition’s Coordination Council keeps calling on the country’s people to carry on with protests, while the authorities are emphasizing the need to put an end to unauthorized activities.