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‘Undesirable and unacceptable’: Putin’s spokesman condemns unprovoked brutality of Belarusian security forces against protesters

‘Undesirable and unacceptable’: Putin’s spokesman condemns unprovoked brutality of Belarusian security forces against protesters
Violence against Belarusian protesters by law enforcement is unacceptable, but some officers were provoked. That’s according to Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov, noting that Moscow is monitoring the situation in Minsk very closely.

“As President Lukashenko said himself, brutality that was not provoked by the actions of protesters is undesirable and unacceptable, of course” Peskov noted. “But we cannot ignore the fact that there are also provocations against law enforcement officers.”

According to the spokesman, Russia wants to see Belarus return to stability, and free from any external influence. “We are very closely following what is happening in Belarus. This is our Union State and our fraternal people – Belarus,” he explained, "Of course, we would like to see Belarus calm, stable, and prosperous, and we hope that this will be the case." Peskov said.

Belarusian police have also been condemned by the European Union, which, earlier this month, slapped a second wave of sanctions on prominent Belarusian officials, including President Alexander Lukashenko. When the first measures were imposed, European Council President Charles Michel explained that the measures were chosen to punish Belarus for “violence against protesters” and “election fraud.”

Belarus has seen large protests every weekend since August 9, after the country’s presidential election was won by the incumbent, Lukashenko. According to the official results, 80.1 percent of voters voted for the long-time president, with just 10.12 percent voting for his most prominent opposition, Svetlana Tikhanovskaya.

After polling stations closed, demonstrations began against what many believed were falsified results. Protesters were met with tear gas, water cannons, stun grenades, and rubber bullets, and many were detained. In the weeks since, protests have become less frequent, but still attract thousands of participants every weekend.

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