Lukashenko closes Belarus's borders with Poland and Lithuania
Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko announced today that he would close the borders with Poland and Lithuania, which are among the strongest critics of his regime. He wants to strengthen border protection with Ukraine. An authoritarian leader who faces suspicions of winning the head of state’s August election by fraud, he has also sworn that the election was not rigged.
“We are forced to withdraw troops from the streets, call half the army in arms and close the state border from the west – especially with Lithuania and Poland,” Lukashenko said at a forum held in the cultural and sports complex to support him, according to the independent news server Tut.by. in the capital Minsk. He added that “with great regret” must also strengthen the state border with “brotherly Ukraine.”
“I swear there were no lies in the elections, and you can’t falsify the elections to 80 percent,” Lukashenko said. He claimed that his opponents did not need the vote results to “attack the peaceful capital.”
After the disputed presidential election on August 9, Protests erupted in Belarus after the authorities declared Lukashenko the winner. The opposition considers it a fraud, and the EU did not recognize the election result. Lukashenko reportedly won 80 percent of the vote with an 80 percent turnout.
The authoritarian president, who has ruled the country hard for 26 years, has ignored the fact that protests have continued in several Belarusian cities for six weeks now, despite the crackdown by security forces. Every Sunday, according to estimates by the opposition and journalists in Minsk, 100,000 people demand Lukashenko’s departure and re-election of the head of state.