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No need for brutality to restore order in Belarus now, says Lukashenko

According to the president, the police officers do not react to provocations, exercise restraint, calm and reasonable flexibility

MINSK, October 9. /TASS/. Restoration of order in Belarus currently does not require harsh actions, President Alexander Lukashenko said during a meeting Friday, according to BelTA news agency.

"Many people demand that we restore order brutally. I would like to calm them down: there is no need for such harshness, even brutality. Should such need arise, it will be exercised immediately. We must preserve the country; unless we want what is happening on the perimeter, there should be no inadequate brutality," Lukashenko said, according to the report.

"I apologize, of course, before some residents of Minsk and I ask them to endure a little," the leader added.

He noted that the law enforcement learned how to operate in the new environment that emerged after the presidential elections. According to the president, the police officers do not react to provocations, exercise restraint, calm and reasonable flexibility.

"Still, the law enforcement must protect the law-abiding citizens first and foremost. The law-abiding citizens must not complain in any case. I expect precise, adequate response from the law enforcement: every violation must be thwarted. It is even more unacceptable if the radical part of the protesters throws stones, pavement, sticks at our servicemen," Lukashenko pointed out.

He also claimed that the protesters tactic of calling for destruction of the national economy in order to be heard is pointless. The head of state noted that the protesters persecute supporters of the current authorities, as well as state employees and the law enforcement officers.

"They speak about honesty, but look at all the fakes. And even when we debunk these fakes, they have no intent to apologize," Lukashenko noted.

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.