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Belarusian opposition leader Svetlana Tikhanovskaya addresses European Parliament
Belarusian opposition leader Svetlana Tikhanovskaya (Svyatlana Tsikhanouskaya) gave a remote address to the European Parliament on Tuesday, August 25. The entire speech was live streamed by RBK.
“There’s a peaceful revolution happening [in Belarus]. It’s not geopolitical in nature. It’s neither pro-Russian, nor anti-Russian. Nor is it anti-European or pro-European. This is a democratic revolution […] It’s the people’s struggle to choose their leaders freely and determine their fate,” Tikhanovskaya said.
Tikhanovskaya also released another video address to Belarusians, marking the 29th anniversary of Belarus’ declaration of independence. Tikhanovskaya addressed her compatriots in Belarusian, congratulating them on the holiday and calling on them to come to Independence Square in Minsk on the evening of August 25.
During the recent presidential elections in Belarus, which ended on August 9, Svetlana Tikhanovskaya was incumbent President Alexander Lukashenko’s main rival. According to election officials, however, he won 80 percent of the vote and she came in second place with just 10 percent.
Independent observers and the media reported widespread electoral violations and fraud during the vote. Protests sparked after the elections, with opposition demonstrators demanding Lukashenko step down. His opponents believe that Tikhanovskaya actually won the election.
Tikhanovskaya left Belarus for Lithuania a few days after the vote — according to her aides, she fled under pressure from the Belarusian authorities. She has continued to call for protests from abroad.
European Union leaders have refused to recognize the results of the presidential elections in Belarus.
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