Belarus’ Lukashenko Threatens to Kick Out Foreign Press Over Protest Coverage

Belarussian President Alexander Lukashenko has threatened to kick out foreign journalists he accuses of stirring up protests against him ahead of next month’s election.

Lukashenko, 65, faces what analysts call the toughest re-election campaign in his 26 years in power. Three of his main election rivals have been either jailed or barred from running, prompting the opposition to rally around the wife of a detained candidate instead. news

At a government session Thursday, Lukashenko accused foreign journalists of “calling for riots” and hurling “insult after insult.”

“Why do you tolerate this?” Lukashenko said, singling out the BBC and the U.S.-funded Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty (RFE/RL) news outlet, according to a Reuters translation.

“There is no need to wait for any end of the electoral campaign. Expel [them] from here if they do not comply with our laws and call people to the Maidans.”

Lukashenko’s threat referenced a wave of protests in neighboring Ukraine that forced out its Russian-backed president in 2014. Russian and Belarussian leaders, as well as U.S. President Donald Trump’s campaign this week, have used the imagery of the Maidan violence to warn against protests.

Authorities in Belarus have cracked down on the opposition and detained more than 250 people at protests last week.

Instead of the protests, Lukashenko said foreign reporters should focus their coverage on the harvest “where there is really a battle going on today.”

“Take a picture of a combine harvester,” Lukashenko said.

“Tell us about these ordinary people — hard workers who feed the country. They’ll all run to the shops tomorrow, these hacks, to buy a piece of bread for themselves, relatives, friends, children.”

(c) The Moscow Times

3 comments

  • Typical dictator, blames everyone in the West because the people hate his guts. Like the dwarf next door, if they had democratic elections, they would never get elected. No wonder Belarus has the nickname of Little Russia.

    Liked by 3 people

    • In the unlikely event of Belarus ever becoming a democracy, the rodent will invade.
      The SU Russia vassals only left notionally. Belarus, Armenia, Moldova, the stans and the Azeris have remained under Russian control ever since; being run by criminal puppet regimes. The three Baltic states escaped because they were granted Nato membership. With them, the rodent has (so far) contented himself with cyber attacks, lies, propaganda attacks, kidnapping etc, so they have got off lightly. Georgia was by far the most successful; they got rid of putler puppet Shevardnadze and became a successful and happy democracy. So the little rat invaded, thieved 20% of its land, inflicted death, horror and misery and turned it back into a miserable lackey state. The success of that operation and the indifference of the west of course prompted the rape of Ukraine.
      Everything has gone putler’s way because of western indifference and western agents of influence, whose numbers are steadily increasing.
      Will the ‘sanctions from hell’ ever be expedited? And even if they are, they are still nowhere near enough to force the putinazis off the lands they occupy.

      Liked by 3 people

      • Those sanctions from hell have still to go through Congress and the Senate. By the time they go through, Trump could be out of office, and Biden in charge. So who knows if they will ever get implemented.

        Liked by 2 people

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