Aug 16, 2020 - World

Belarus president: Putin promises security assistance amid protests

Belarus' President Alexander Lukashenko (L) welcomes his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin prior to the Collective Security Treaty Organisation in 2017

Belarus' President Alexander Lukashenko with his Russian counterpart, Vladimir Putin, at a 2017 summit in Minsk. Photo: Mikhail Metzel/AFP via Getty Images

Belarus' President Alexander Lukashenko said Saturday his Russian counterpart, Vladimir Putin, had pledged "comprehensive security assistance," as protests over last week's elections continue to sweep the country, per state news agency Belta.

Why it matters: The statement adds to tensions in Belarus, where authorities have cracked down on demonstrations over last Sunday’s presidential elections, which Lukashenko claimed to have won in a landslide but which has been widely viewed as rigged. At least one protester has died, hundreds have been injured and thousands have been arrested during the unrest. Many have been tortured, the Financial Times notes.

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