There is nowhere to retreat, Alyaksandr Lukashenka said on Friday. During today’s meeting, he introduced newly appointed Interior Minister Minister Ivan Kubrakou and Chief of the Minsk City Police Department Mikhail Hryb to the staff of the ministry.
A day earlier, he initiated reshuffling of top siloviki. Former Interior Minister Yury Karayeu became Lukashenka’s aide in Hrodna region. Deputy Interior Minister Alyaksandr Barsukou was appointed Lukashenka’s aide in the city of Minsk; former Security Council Secretary Valery Vakulchyk – in Brest region. The politician has instructed the newly appointed aides to take care of order and discipline in the regions.
According to him, Belarusian authorities have been long on patience, but the opponents have repeatedly crossed the ‘red lines’ in many areas, the politician believes.
“This is why those who disrupt railway signal systems today, those who put up fascist flags on overhead power lines, in other words, those who are trying to destroy and destabilise the infrastructure of the state, must be aware of this: as of today we are going to take no prisoners particularly in people’s apartments where they hide. If someone touches a military man (I’ve already reprimanded the generals), they should leave the place without hands at least. I say it publicly to make everyone understand our further resolve. This is it. We have nowhere to retreat and we are not going to retreat. We are ready and we will act,” state-run news agency BelTA quotes Lukashenka.
In his opinion, the Belarusians have already faced seven or eight stages of a textbook colour revolution staged by ‘masterminds’, and the last stage involving ‘radicalisation’ is on the horizon.
“It’s dark, people are scared. Some people went outside with the kids at seven o’clock. Is it normal when the crowd is drunk, maddened, drugged? Hundreds of people rushed to these areas. What did the police have to do? This was my order to keep people safe. They began to open the apartments, rushed there, and had to pull these drug addicts out of the apartments. ”
Post-election protests broke out in the cointry on August 9; since then, Belarusians have been holding protest rallies and marchess, demanding Alyaksandr Lukashenka’s resignation, holding a free and fair election, releasing political prisoners, putting an end to police violence as well as state-run TV stations’ providing people with unbiased and reliable information.
Amid the protests, more than 1,000 persons filed complaints against siloviki’s violence. On August 26, an interdepartmental commission was set up to probe into police abuse cases reported by citizens. However, there have been no public reports on the work of the commission or criminal proceedings brought against policemen over resorting to excessive force yet. Moreover, hundreds of criminal cases have been initiated against the protesters, the number of political prisoners exceeded 100.