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26 Aug, 2020 12:03

‘I don’t want people to die’: Ukrainian President Zelensky warns Belarus not to follow example of Kiev's Maidan

‘I don’t want people to die’: Ukrainian President Zelensky warns Belarus not to follow example of Kiev's Maidan

While international commentators compare the ongoing unrest in Belarus with the 2014 Ukrainian Maidan, President Volodymyr Zelensky hopes his northern neighbour won't follow in Ukraine's footsteps.

“I wouldn't want them to have similar events to what we had in 2014,” Zelensky told France-based news network Euronews. “I don't want the Belarusian people to die. I don't want them to be shot dead or to have some other serious bloodshed caused by the government.”

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In February 2014, Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych was removed from office after months of protests on the streets of Kiev.  At one point, clashes between demonstrators left over 100 dead and many more injured. Zelensky hopes Belarus will avoid a similar fate.

“I really think that it is not too late for the authorities and society to start a dialogue,” he said, clarifying that “Ukraine will not intervene.”

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Belarus is currently experiencing mass unrest following the disputed results of the August 9 presidential election, deemed by the opposition to have been falsified. Since Election Day, protesters have clashed with police on the streets of the country, with the security forces using tear gas and rubber bullets against citizens. According to the official result, incumbent President Alexander Lukashenko won 80 percent of the vote, while opposition candidate Svetlana Tikhanovskaya came second with 10 percent.

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