Protest Spread In Belarus, As Putin Resolves to Back Belarus

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  • Bloomberg QuickTake News published this video item, entitled “Protest Spread In Belarus, As Putin Resolves to Back Belarus” – below is their description.

    The Belarus capital was filled with tens of thousands of protesters on Sunday to call for the resignation of President Alexander Lukashenko. Russian President Vladimir Putin is tightening his embrace of beleaguered ally Alexander Lukashenko as the Belarusian ruler intensifies a crackdown on month-long protests. Putin, who hosts Lukashenko for talks in Sochi on Monday, is determined opposition demonstrators won’t topple the Belarusian president, said five people close to the Kremlin, who asked not to be identified discussing internal policy. It’s their first face-to-face meeting since daily protests erupted in Belarus demanding Lukashenko’s resignation after claiming a landslide win in Aug. 9 elections. The demonstrations show no sign of fading and Lukashenko, who is looking to extend his 26-year rule, has made no concessions. “Belarus is of huge importance,” said Mikhail Vinogradov, who heads the St. Petersburg Politics Foundation. “Putin doesn’t want to end up on the losing side.” The crisis engulfing Moscow’s closest partner echoes revolts that swept away pro-Kremlin leaders in Ukraine and Armenia since 2014, and comes weeks after Putin changed Russia’s constitution to allow him to extend his two-decade rule, potentially to 2036. The Russian leadership was taken aback by the scale of the unrest in Belarus, the people close to the Kremlin said. While Moscow doesn’t trust Lukashenko, it can’t accept the opposition coming to power via street protests and will back him while encouraging steps toward an eventual succession, they said.

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