Former Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachyov made a political statement in support of the citizens of Belarus trying to get fair democratic elections in the country. He confessed his love for the residents of the republic and with great bewilderment perceived the ceremony of Alexander Lukashenko's inauguration held in secrecy on September 23, saying that "it will not work so easily".
- My dear republic and Belarusians whom I love. I know a lot about them, even from the times when they came to earn money for bread in the Stavropol Territory... Well done Belarusians. Now they already have character. It is very good. I am watching closely. Today they describe what happened the day before - what the devil is that. I think it will not go so easily: what happened these days, and how with the formation of elections... A colossal matter is opening up. But it still needs to work a lot. This is all for today's youth, - the portal TUT.BY quotes Gorbachyov's statement.
The official Belarusian media have not yet reported on Lukashenko's reaction to Gorbachyov's words.
The secret inauguration of Lukashenko, to which for the first time in history neither heads of state nor foreign diplomats were invited, took place on September 23 at the Palace of Independence. The TV channels did not broadcast the ceremony live. What is happening caused a negative reaction not only from Gorbachyov, but also from the heads of a number of European countries, who said that "a secret inauguration will not add legitimacy to Lukashenko".
On the day of the ceremony, a new wave of protests swept across Belarus. Some citizens put on crowns on their heads with the inscription: "Then I am the president", emphasizing their negative attitude towards Lukashenko, who took the presidency against the background of numerous electoral fraud and brutal actions of the security forces towards the protesters.
During the rallies, the police detained several hundred people who had come out to peaceful processions against Lukashenko under the slogan: “We are not cowards, we are Belarusians”.
Protests have rocked the country since August 9. Citizens continue to express disagreement with the results of the presidential elections, in which the CEC gave the victory to the country's longtime leader, Alexander Lukashenko. This happened despite the fact that the results of exit pools testified to Lukashenko's loss. The main rival of the head of state in the elections, Svetlana Tikhanovskaya, was forced to leave the country under pressure from the security forces. Hundreds of opposition protesters were arrested, about 10,000 people, including minor children, were injured from the atrocities of the security forces supporting Lukashenko, and seven were killed. Despite this, peaceful protests of the citizens of the republic continue.