MINSK, October 30. /TASS/. Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko called on the national security officers and all people to defend the sovereignty of the country amid the ongoing situation in the republic and ensure its consecutive development for future generations.
"Those who do not want – so be it. I can only reiterate what I said ahead of the elections: Don’t ever be a turncoat! Not only are traitors loathed by God, but also by those who call on you today urging: ‘drop everything, and join our side!’ Even though, it’s unclear where to go. So, see for yourselves. It’s a matter of principle. Because what is going on is details. The important thing is sovereignty, and the independence of our country, where we, our children and grandchildren will be tomorrow," the Belarusian leader said Friday.
He underscored that he "does not try to pull anyone towards his side" and is only interested in voluntary followers.
"I do not force anyone, it is not my principle. Neither the students who are allegedly on strike out there, nor the workers, nor the peasants, nor the officials, nor the military. I do not pull anyone towards me. If you want, stand beside me. I won’t even hide behind your backs. I will go where I must, where you tell me, so that you don’t fear anyone and defend this country," he said.
The President reminded the audience about the history of the white, red and white flag, often used by the opposition.
"We were being torn to pieces, to shreds. Thanks to our national minorities mostly. They asked [various powers] to give them sovereignty and independence. As a result, they joined the murderous Nazis under these white, red and white flags, and now they justify it saying they wanted independence. Did they get it? What they got is every third person killed, mutilated and later dead," the head of state underscored.
According to Lukashenko, the collaborationists have turned the country into ruins.
"And today they raise this flag over their heads. Who are they? The flag is not the culprit, I’ve already said that. It is what this flag is associated with. We do not fight flags. We fight alien ideas and the people with these ideas in their heads," he concluded.
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.
The white, red and white flag is one of historic national symbols of Belarus, the official flag of the Belarusian People’s Republic (1918-1919), and the state flag of the Republic of Belarus between 1991 and 1995. Today, the flag is widely used by the Belarusian opposition.