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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.

A tweet previously embedded here has been deleted or was tweeted from an account that has been suspended or deleted.

Go deeper: EU threatens Belarus with sanctions amid third night of unrest

Go deeper

Sep 24, 2020 - Politics & Policy

"Unacceptable": Romney reacts to Trump's power transfer remarks

Sen. Mitt Romney during a July Senate hearing in Washington, D.C. Photo: Greg Nash-Pool/Getty Images

Sen. Mitt Romney (R-Utah) reacted Wednesday night to President Trump's refusal to commit to a peaceful transition of power should he lose November's election by saying to do so would be "unthinkable and unacceptable."

The big picture: "Fundamental to democracy is the peaceful transition of power; without that, there is Belarus," Romney tweeted. "Any suggestion that a president might not respect this Constitutional guarantee is both unthinkable and unacceptable." Trump has repeatedly baselessly insisted that mail-in ballots would lead to widespread fraud and made unfounded claims that he'd only lose the election if it were "rigged."

Dave Lawler, author of World
8 mins ago - World

True COVID-19 death toll is double the official numbers, study finds

Expand chart
Data: IHME; Chart: Will Chase/Axios

There have been twice as many deaths from COVID-19 around the world as have been reported, according to the University of Washington's Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME), which analyzed excess mortality and other factors.

The big picture: The U.S. has undercounted by over 300,000 deaths, while the death tolls in India and Mexico — second and third on the list, respectively — are nearly three times the official numbers, according to the analysis.

Top Wall Street cop says report on meme stocks is coming

Photo: Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Wall Street's top regulator says a report examining meme stock mania will be coming "sometime this summer."

The big picture: It will "detail the range of activities" that came out of the January events," SEC chair Gary Gensler said Thursday at a third congressional hearing held to dissect the GameStop trading phenomenon.