Lukashenko closes borders amid security shakeup

Security forces have arrested more than 16,000 people since the August election. Both the closure of the borders and the next appointments are signals of a weakening of his power. You know it and you will have to deal with it”, Lukashenko told the new interior minister, Ivan Kubrakov, who as head of police in the capital Minsk has led the crackdown on the biggest demonstrations. “The situation in Minsk is the most difficult today. “The regime destroys itself. Long-time president Lukashenko, in a defiant speech on 16 August, rejected calls to step down amid mounting pressure after unrest erupted in the country over alleged poll-rigging and police violence at protests following election results claiming that he had won a landslide victory in the 09 August elections. Kubrakov’s predecessor, Yuri Karayev, was one of three men named to new roles as presidential aides and inspectors responsible for key regions of the country. EPA-EFE/ANDREI STASEVICH / BELTA / POOL

Belarusian President-elect Alexander Lukashenko chairs the Security Council meeting in Minsk, Belarus, 19 August 2020. The opposition says that Lukashenko’s main challenger, Svetlana Tikhanovskaya, was the rightful winner and wants new elections. The former head of Belarus’ KGB security police, Valery Vakulchik, will be deployed at Brest, and former deputy interior minister Alexander Barsukov, will be responsible for Minsk. Long-time president Lukashenko, in a defiant speech on 16 August, rejected calls to step down amid mounting pressure after unrest erupted in the country over alleged poll-rigging and police violence at protests following election results claiming that he had won a landslide victory in the 09 August elections. Alexander Lukashenko has ordered the Belarusian State Security Committee (KGB) to identify organizers of protests. On Thursday, Minsk announced restrictions at its borders with Poland, Latvia, Lithuania and Ukraine, citing the COVID-19 pandemic. The country has been rocked by months of protests after Lukashenko, who has led the country since 1994, won a landslide victory in the August 9 election. Alexander Lukashenko has ordered the Belarusian State Security Committee (KGB) to identify organizers of protests. Tikhanovskaya, who fled to Lithuania after the vote, won only about 10% to Lukashenko’s 80%, according to the election committee. EPA-EFE/ANDREI STASEVICH / BELTA / POOL

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Belarus’ president Alexander Lukashenko partially closed the country’s borders, replaced his interior minister and named three security hawks to new roles on Thursday. He makes inconsistent decisions because he is in a panic “, Tikhanouskaya said. The vote was denounced by EU and US officials, and forced Lukashenko to look to Moscow for support. style=”font-size:40px; line-height: 1.3em; font-weight: 800; padding:7px;”>Lukashenko closes borders amid security shakeup

By Elena Pavlovska
Journalist

epaselect epa08612762 Belarusian President-elect Alexander Lukashenko chairs the Security Council meeting in Minsk, Belarus, 19 August 2020.