Lukashenka speaks at rally in Hrodna. Main points

In Hrodna, Alyaksandr Lukashenka addressed a rally of his supporters organized by the local authorities.

According to BelTA, Lukashenka urged people not to put pressure on the police: “Do not be too hard on these people. These are your people. Even if they made a mistake, forgive them”.

He said that most of the information about the beatings, received by the protesters from riot police, were fakes. Among other things, Lukashenka mentioned the story of a girl injured in a collision with a military vehicle:

“Recently, we showed a story about a girl from Hrodna, who was allegedly beaten by riot police and the whole country was crying! The country cried for five days about the “riot police scoundrels”. And what turned out to be the truth? Well, thanks to the father, who found courage and honestly said: no riot police beat me up, we got into a car accident. Thank him very much, he is a brave man”.

Lukashenka spoke about pressure on officials and the military, and called the media “part of a hybrid war” against Belarus. “I’ve just told them: you have Saturday and Sunday to think. Let them not be offended starting from Monday. Authorities must be authorities,” he added.

Alyaksandr Lukashenka in Hrodna, August 22, 2020. Photo: Vasil Mauchanau / Belsat.

However, in the other part of his speech, he hinted that the repression would start this weekend. Lukashenka instructed the Interior Ministry and KGB of the Hrodna region to ensure order in the streets of Hrodna and other cities in the region on Saturday and Sunday.

“No matter how someone dislikes it, we should carefully (not in crowds) identify all instigators and provocateurs. We have all the lists of them. We need to identify them,” he said.

Lukashenka once again said that he and Vladimir Putin have a common view on the situation in Belarus: “Putin and I have agreed on the opinion: we are being poisoned here to later switch to Russia. This is a springboard, and we must destroy it. This is our common opinion with President Putin.