MINSK, February 11. /TASS/. Belarus is going through a pivotal time, comparable to the dissolution of the Soviet Union, the country's President Alexander Lukashenko said Thursday.
"We are at a turning point in the life not only of our state, but the entire Belarusian people. Such moments were few in our history, both as a part of the Soviet Union and during the time of independence. The current period could be compared to the dissolution of the Soviet Union and its consequences," Lukashenko said Thursday, speaking at the All Belarusian People's Assembly.
Lukashenko also likened the current period to that of the first Assembly that took place in October 1996. "The only difference is that back then, it was total hopelessness. We had no country, we had nothing at all. A tipping point, chaos in the minds of the people," he underscored.
The president noted that Belarus withstood a very brutal attack from the outside. "Using certain internal powers - I will not tell you their exact number, you can judge on your own - an attempt was made to stage not a ‘color revolution,’ but a ‘blitzkrieg’-type coup," he underscored. "We must endure no matter the cost, and year 2021 will be the defining one."
On August 9, 2020, presidential elections took place in Belarus. 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. She refused to recognize the election outcome and left the country. Immediately after the elections, mass protests erupted across Belarus, which initially resulted in clashes with police. Localized protests continue up to this day.