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22 Aug, 2020 15:39

Lukashenko calls Belarus protests ‘Color Revolution,’ accuses foreign countries of meddling

Lukashenko calls Belarus protests ‘Color Revolution,’ accuses foreign countries of meddling

President Alexander Lukashenko has likened recent events in Belarus to color revolutions, saying protesters are trying to follow a similar, foreign-backed template to overthrow the government.

“Everything is clear. As we expected, everything is following the plan of color revolutions by whipping up domestic political tensions in the country,” Lukashenko said.

The embattled leader, who has headed Belarus for 26 years, also accused foreign countries of interfering with its internal affairs and of seeking “regime change.”

‘Color Revolution’ is a term used to describe anti-government movements throughout the world, particularly in the former Eastern Bloc. Upheavals in countries like Armenia, Georgia, Ukraine, and Kyrgyzstan have been described as color revolutions. While the term is usually defined in the media as a “non-violent” change of government with mass popular support, these movements have often been tied to Western interests in a particular region, and their opponents tend to describe them as regime-change operations. The Belarusian leader claims that there is open foreign influence in the country's protests, rather than a spontaneous internal decision to overthrow the government, and has previously singled out Poland and Lithuania as the main culprits.

“The peculiarity of the situation lies in the fact that an external factor is involved, which is not always the case,” Lukashenko said. 

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Several European nations, including the likes of France and Germany, have been demanding that Lukashenko enter into negotiations with the opposition, which they have offered to mediate. Another option proposed was to get the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) as a middleman.

Lukashenko has previously rejected such offers, while at the same time claiming there’s an ongoing NATO build-up on the Belarusian borders, which he has tied to protests. On Saturday, he ordered his military command to take the "toughest measures" to defend the country's territorial integrity, instructing his defense minister to protect the country's western borders while visiting a military training ground near Grodno.

"Military support [for the destabilization of Belarus] is evident. NATO troops are moving towards the borders," Lukashenko claimed.

Belarus is currently experiencing mass unrest following the results of a national election on August 9, deemed by many to have been falsified. When voting closed, citizens around the country took to the streets and were met by the police, who used tear gas, stun grenades, and rubber bullets, with reports of multiple fatalities. The authorities have insisted that the tough response was justified, while Lukashenko claimed at the Saturday rally that “60 percent” of the widely-publicized instances of police brutality were “fake.”

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