Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko on Monday claimed victory in Sunday’s elections, in which he won a sixth term while defending police’s crackdown on opposition protests, warning that “there will be no Maidan” alluding to the demonstrations that toppled Viktor Yanukovych’s government in Ukraine.
“There will be no Maidan, no matter how much some want it. So it is necessary for them to calm down,” Lukashenko said in press statements about the protests that broke out on Sunday evening as the initial elections made progress in re-election, which caused serious disruptions led. According to the NGO Viasna, there is at least one dead, dozens injured and more than 200 detained, while the Interior Ministry denies the deaths and pegs the balance at around 50 injured and 3,000 arrested.
Lukashenko claimed that the mobilizations on election night were not spontaneous. “Of course it’s not what the organizers wanted. They wanted to start a fire in the center of Minsk and spread it in Minsk, but they weren’t successful,” he said according to the Belarusian official news agency BelTA.
The current president has also spoken of alleged outside interference, directly accusing the Czech Republic, Poland and the United Kingdom, and of “some influx of people from Russia”, although in this case he was “certain” that ” this is not the case “a state policy”.