MINSK, October 12. /TASS/. Belarusian First Deputy Interior Minister Gennady Kazakevich said Monday that law enforcement officers stand ready to use lethal weapons to uphold public order in Minsk.
"The protests that largely shifted to Minsk have become organized and highly radicalized. In light of this, officers of the internal affairs agencies and servicemen of the internal troops will not leave the streets and will use special equipment and lethal weapons if need be," he said in a video address published by the agency’s official Telegram channel.
Kazakevich noted that the ministry sees that "the protests are slowly dying down in territory and scale." However, the Minsk protests became radicalized according to the agency. "The rallies in the capital last Sunday prove that. In the daytime and in the evening, there were stones, bottles, knives and shivs. As we got closer to the night, there were barricades and burning tires. This has nothing in common with a civil protest," the official added. According to him, attempts are made to throw Belarus "into the chaos of the 1990s, make it go down the regretful path of countries that lived through color revolutions."
Earlier on Monday, spokesperson for the national Interior Ministry, Olga Chemodanova reported that around 11,000 people took part in the protests in Minsk on October 11, leading to 713 detentions by law enforcement agents.