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Lukashenko says not going to ‘surrender or kneel’ even if left alone

MOSCOW, November 13. /TASS/. Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko is not going to surrender back down before his political opponents but recognizes that he has little "political time" left, he said in an interview with foreign media Friday.

"You understand that I don’t have much political time left, likely," he noted. "Meanwhile, I am not going to surrender or kneel even if everyone abandons me. I have repeatedly told my so-called entourage and all those who stand firm to protect our Belarus that even if I am left alone I will fight for, sorry for being immodest, what I have been creating 25 years with my own hands."

Belarus held presidential elections on August 9. 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, but they have been continuing for more than 3 months now.