Alexander Lukashenko Belarus gatherings president Alexander Lukashenko Belarus

Belarusian leader vows to defeat foreign-backed 'rebellion'

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KYIV – Belarus' authoritarian leader on Thursday denounced six months of protests against his rule as a foreign-directed “rebellion” and vowed to resist the pressure.

Speaking to 2,700 participants of the All-Belarus People's Assembly, President Alexander Lukashenko charged that “very powerful forces” abroad were behind the protests.

Lukashenko didn’t elaborate, but over the past several months he has repeatedly accused the West of fomenting the protests. “We must stand up to them no matter what, and this year will be decisive,” he said.

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