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People attend a rally following the presidential election in Minsk, Belarus August 11, 2020. The opposition rejected official election results handing President Alexander Lukashenko a landslide re-election victory.  - Sputnik International

Live Updates: Belarus Opposition Leader Tikhanovskaya is 'Safe' in Lithuania, Foreign Minister Says

According to the country's election committee, early results of the election show that incumbent president Alexander Lukashenko has received 80.23 percent of votes, while his main contender, opposition candidate Svetlana Tikhanovskaya has won 9.9%.

Mass protests began in central Minsk on Sunday evening with people taking to the streets to express their dissatisfaction with the election results. Opponents of the Belarusian incumbent president Lukashenko claim that the votes were rigged. 

Commenting on the election results earlier in the day, the office of opposition candidate Svetlana Tikhanovskaya demanded the "peaceful" transition of power from Alexander Lukashenko amid ongoing protests in the country. 

The protests turned into clashes with riot police and, according to the country's interior ministry, some 3,000 people were detained during the rallies. At least 50 protesters and 39 police officers were injured during the clashes, the ministry added. 

*Follow Sputnik's live feed to find out more.

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10:15 GMT 11.08.2020

"People of Belarus, I am urging you to be reasonable and comply with the law. I do not want blood and violence. I am asking you not to resist the police, not to take to squares so as not to put your lives in danger. Protect yourself and your loved ones", Tikhanovskaya said.

10:14 GMT 11.08.2020

"Pitalev is not among those injured. He is among those taken to a detention center in [Minsk region's] Zhodino yesterday. Presumably, he is in good health. The reasons of his detention are unknown. No indictment has been brought in", the source told Sputnik Belarus.

08:19 GMT 11.08.2020
08:13 GMT 11.08.2020
07:38 GMT 11.08.2020

Olga Kovalkova, a representative of the Belarusian opposition presidential candidate Svetlana Tikhanovskaya, told Sputnik that the politician had no choice but to leave the country, and her departure was "organised" by the Belarusian authorities.

“Svetlana is in Lithuania. Svetlana continues to be with the Belarusian people, she won... She had no other choice [but to leave Belarus]. The Belarusian authorities took her out of the country, the authorities organised her departure", she said.

07:19 GMT 11.08.2020

The Russian Embassy in Belarus told Sputnik on Tuesday it was trying to establish the whereabouts of Rossiya Segodnya information agency photojournalist Ilya Pitalev, who went missing in Minsk, and also gathering information on other possible detentions of Russian citizens in the rallies, emerging after the presidential election.

"We are establishing the whereabouts of photojournalist Ilya Pitalev. We are also clarifying information about other possible detentions [during the rallies]", a spokesperson for the embassy said.

07:14 GMT 11.08.2020

Belarusian politicians Andrey Dmitriev and Sergey Cherechen, who ran for the presidency, told Sputnik on Tuesday they did not recognise the results of the election and would file complaints.

"We are now drafting a complaint for the Central Election Commission that says we do not recognise the election. We are drafting the text and gathering facts. We will file the complaint tomorrow”, Dmitriev told Sputnik.

Cherechen is preparing a similar complaint.

"My campaign office has already filed complaints with the Central Election Commission and the Office of the Prosecutor General over falsifications ... We are drafting such a complaint, based on the data we have gathered, and we plan to lodge it, lawyers are now working on it”, Cherechen said.

05:41 GMT 11.08.2020

The New York City-based Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) urged the Belarusian authorities to stop attacking journalists covering protests in Belarus following presidential elections being contested by the country's opposition.

“Belarusian authorities must stop attacking members of the press covering protests, and should ensure that police officers who attack journalists are held to account,” Gulnoza Said, CPJ’s Europe and Central Asia program coordinator said.

“Journalists must be able to report on this pivotal moment in the country’s history freely and safely,” Said added.

05:37 GMT 11.08.2020
22:24 GMT 10.08.2020

Rossiya Segodnya transmitted information about the photojournalist Ilya Pitalev, who went off the radars on Monday evening, to the Russian embassy in Minsk.

It is assumed that if Pitalev is detained, information about him in the relevant lists will not appear until Tuesday morning.

Pitalev stopped being in touch at around 6 p.m. local time, on Monday, as he and his colleagues were around the 'Minsk Hero City' stele, where protesters were expected to gather.

He has not been sent to the Emergency Hospital, where victims of mass actions in the Belarusian capital are brought.

22:18 GMT 10.08.2020

In the area of the Minsk 'Sportivnaya' metro station, where clashes between police and protesters continue, groups of young people continue to arrive, including those in protective armor.

Some are wearing helmets and protective knee and elbow pads, while the majority do not have any protective armor. People say they have arrived to the area to observe and express their opposition to the election results.

Police are using light-noise grenades and tear gas to disperse protesters. Ambulances and prisoner transport trucks are seen, constantly leaving the scene.

21:20 GMT 10.08.2020

Protesters on Pritytskaya Street are attacking riot police with Molotov cocktails, according to a Sputnik correspondent. The police have not responded to the attacks. 

Pritytskaya Street leads to Pushkinskaya Square. Earlier, a Sputnik correspondent reported that clashes between protesters and police had taken place at that location.

21:04 GMT 10.08.2020

Using flash and noise grenades, as well as tear gas, security forces pushed people from the street to the courtyards, a Sputnik correspondent reported.

20:58 GMT 10.08.2020

MOSCOW (Sputnik) - Minsk residents blocked by their cars two trucks of Belarusian Interior Ministry troops, which were trying to drive to the square near Pushkinskaya subway station, where clashes between police and protesters continue, a Sputnik correspondent reported.

Police are using rubber bullets and stun grenades, as well as tear gas against protesters.

Earlier, the Sputnik correspondent reported that an interior troop convoy had moved to the site of the clashes at Pushkinskaya square in Minsk.

20:49 GMT 10.08.2020

One protester was killed in clashes in Minsk, Belarusian Interior Ministry spokeswoman Olga Chemodanova said on Monday.

“Today, 10 August, at about 23.00, during the riots in Minsk on Pritytsky Avenue, the crowd built barricades to block movement. During a confrontation with special forces, who had arrived to unblock the square, one of the protesters tried to throw an unidentified explosive device at law enforcement officers. It exploded in his hand. The man received injuries incompatible with life", she wrote in her Telegram channel.

She added that an investigation into the incident is ongoing.

20:48 GMT 10.08.2020

MINSK (Sputnik) - A Belarusian interior troops convoy has moved to the scene of clashes with protesters at the Puskinskaya Square in Minks, a Sputnik correspondent reported on Monday.

Meanwhile, protesters and the riot police continue fighting with each other on the square. The law enforcement officers are using rubber bullets, and flashbang grenades. Some opposition supporters are being arrested. Both ambulance cars and paddy wagons are leaving the scene.

20:40 GMT 10.08.2020
20:35 GMT 10.08.2020

Belarus' presidential candidate, Svetlana Tikhanovskaya, got in touch, the Sputnik correspondent reported, citing her headquarters.

"Everything is fine with her", headquarters said.

20:28 GMT 10.08.2020
20:18 GMT 10.08.2020

Protesters are building trash can barricades near the "Riga" shop in Minsk, as ambulance sirens are heard, a Sputnik correspondent reported. There is a large number of protesters, and law enforcement has begun to force people out into the courtyards. 

Demonstrations in Pushkinskaya are still ongoing.

20:12 GMT 10.08.2020

MOSCOW (Sputnik) - Popular messenger Telegram enabled anti-censorship tools for residents of Belarus, which now sees a wave of protests after the presidential election, however, Internet connection in the country is still unstable, the company's founder and CEO Pavel Durov said on Monday.

"We enabled our anti-censorship tools in Belarus so that Telegram remained available for most users there. However, the connection is still very unstable as Internet is at times shut off completely in the country," Durov said on Twitter.

19:57 GMT 10.08.2020

MOSCOW (Sputnik) - Rossiya Segodnya International Information Agency photojournalist Ilya Pitalev, who is in Minsk, does not get in touch for more than five hours, the agency's photo department told Sputnik.

"The last contact with him was at about 17:40 [14:40 GMT], he was going to go to the obelisk on Pobediteley Avenue, since then he has not been in touch," the department said.

19:53 GMT 10.08.2020
19:46 GMT 10.08.2020

MINSK (Sputnik) - The police drove Belarusian opposition supporters from the center of Minsk, the car traffic was blocked, a Sputnik correspondent reported.

Now the center of Minsk, in particular the areas of ​​Nemiga, Pobediteley Avenue, Independence Avenue, is completely empty. There are rare passers-by, including opposition supporters. Car traffic in this area is also closed, metro stations do not work.

Police crews are on duty at crossroads. Opposition supporters have been pushed back to the area of ​​Masherov Avenue and Pushkinskaya Square, where clashes between riot police and protesters continue, and the police use stun grenades.

19:45 GMT 10.08.2020

A large number of people are walking along Kalvariyskaya Street towards Pushkin Avenue, while in the area of the Molodezhnaya metro station the explosions of light-noise grenades can be heard. Passing cars are honking. People are being pushed back towards the Minsk Ring Road. Explosions are heard. 

19:33 GMT 10.08.2020

WASHINGTON (Sputnik) - The United States is deeply concerned over the conduct of the Belarusian presidential election and does not consider the vote free or fair, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said in a statement on Monday.

“The United States is deeply concerned about the conduct of the August 9 presidential election in Belarus, which was not free and fair,” Pompeo said. “Severe restrictions on ballot access for candidates, prohibition of local independent observers at polling stations, intimidation tactics employed against opposition candidates, and the detentions of peaceful protesters and journalists marred the process.”

19:16 GMT 10.08.2020

"Three stringers of our Ruptly remain under arrest since yesterday. Among them is a woman. There is no contact with them - neither for us, nor for their relatives. Release immediately!", Simonyan said in her statement via Telegram.

19:01 GMT 10.08.2020
18:53 GMT 10.08.2020

MOSCOW (Sputnik) - More than 100 people have gathered near the Belarusian embassy in Moscow to express protest against the results of the presidential election recently held in the country that triggered violent protests, a Sputnik correspondent reported on Monday.

The protesters, most of whom are people under 30, lined up in front of the embassy with banners and flashlights on smartphones, from time to time they applaud and chant "Live, Belarus." Passing cars are stopping and honking to greet the protesters, the correspondent said.

Police cars are on duty near the embassy, and security in the area has been reinforced, the correspondent said.

18:51 GMT 10.08.2020

WARSAW (Sputnik) - Hundreds of people are participating in a rally in the center of Warsaw to express support for the Belarusian opposition amid the protests erupted after the presidential election, a Sputnik correspondent reported.

Participants of the rally, including representatives of the Belarusian diaspora and activists of Polish non-governmental organizations, gathered at the Nicolaus Copernicus Monument in central Warsaw, the correspondent reported. Participants are carrying huge white-red-white flags — similar to those used by the Belarusian opposition — as well as portraits of opposition activists imprisoned in Belarus.

At the same time, the situation near the Belarusian embassy in Warsaw stabilized with a tent city organized there on Monday morning was dismantled, according to the correspondent.

Protests were held throughout Belarus on Sunday night after preliminary results showed incumbent President Alexander Lukashenko winning the election with over 80 percent of the vote, while the campaign team of opposition candidate Svetlana Tikhanovskaya has refused to recognize the results.

18:39 GMT 10.08.2020

MINSK (Sputnik) - Protesters in groups of 100-150 people continue flocking to central Minsk from the outskirts, riot police are trying to prevent their concentration in one place, a Sputnik correspondent reported from the scene.

Since a number of central metro stations are closed, and traffic on some streets is blocked, opposition supporters head to the centre on foot, in particular, from metro stations Uschod and Instytut Kultury.

At the same time, the police and riot police are trying to prevent the concentration of large groups of citizens in the city centre. They urge people to disperse, try to push them back into lanes and use tear gas. Detentions also continue, as riot police officers in masks and bulletproof vests grab most active protesters, put them in prison trucks and black minibuses, and then take them away.

18:36 GMT 10.08.2020

MOSCOW (Sputnik) - The Canadian government is gravely concerned over the actions of the Belarusian authorities amid mass protests that erupted following the country's presidential election, Francois-Philippe Champagne, the Canadian foreign minister, said in a statement on Monday.

"Canada is deeply concerned by the actions of Belarusian authorities following yesterday's presidential elections which have reportedly left at least one person dead, seen many arrested and further eroded the democratic legitimacy of the vote," the statement reads.

The foreign minister also urged the Belarusian authorities to respect human rights amid the escalated tensions.

"The people of Belarus have demonstrated their desire for democracy through their unprecedented mobilization over the past few weeks. Free, fair and inclusive elections are critical to any functioning democracy. Prior to the election, Canada had voiced its concern over the arrests of opposition candidates, prominent Belarusian bloggers and activists for participating in peaceful protests. We call on the government of Belarus to exercise restraint and uphold respect for human rights," the minister stressed.

Belarus held its presidential election on Sunday with incumbent President Alexander Lukashenko winning 80.23 percent of the vote.

The results sparked mass protests in the country, resulting in 3,000 people arrested. The campaign headquarters of Svetlana Tikhanovskaya, another candidate, told Sputnik that it did not recognize the official results, saying that she had won about 70-80 percent of the vote.

18:32 GMT 10.08.2020

Explosions of smoke bombs can be heard there. Rubber bullets have been used by police.

18:21 GMT 10.08.2020
18:19 GMT 10.08.2020

Explosions of smoke bombs can be heard, some of the protesters are throwing bottles and trash cans at security officers. 

Clashes are erupting from time to time. However, riot police are standing steady, protected with shields. 

18:15 GMT 10.08.2020
18:10 GMT 10.08.2020

MOSCOW (Sputnik) - Russian journalist Semyon Pegov, who was detained in Minsk, has been released, Russian Ambassador to Belarus Dmitry Mezentsev said on Monday.

"He is free ... Tomorrow, I believe that the guys [Pegov and Lasenko] will be at home. There are no reasons to worry," Mezentsev told the Rossiya 24 broadcaster.

18:09 GMT 10.08.2020

WASHINGTON (Sputnik) - Twitter in a statement on Monday said its platform is being restricted in Belarus in light of protests against the outcome of the controversial presidential election.

"We're seeing blocking and throttling of Twitter in Belarus in reaction to protests contesting the election result," the company statement said. "Internet shutdowns are hugely harmful. They fundamentally violate basic human rights and the principles of the Open Internet."

Belarus held its presidential election on Sunday with incumbent President Alexander Lukashenko winning 80.23 percent of the vote.

The results sparked mass protests in the country, resulting in 3,000 people arrested. The campaign headquarters of Svetlana Tikhanovskaya, another candidate, told Sputnik that it did not recognize the official results, saying that she had won about 70-80 percent of the vote.

17:41 GMT 10.08.2020

Eyewitnesses say that police are detaining almost everyone in Grodno's central square.

People are being guided or even carried into police vans.

17:38 GMT 10.08.2020

WASHINGTON (Sputnik) - The White House is concerned by the unrest surrounding the Belarus elections and is looking into the situation, Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany said in a press briefing on Monday.

"We are looking at that and we're deeply concerned by the Belarus presidential election," McEnany said.

The White House urges the Belarusian government to allow protesters to peacefully assemble and to refrain from the use of force, McEnany added.

17:20 GMT 10.08.2020

MINSK (Sputnik) - About 100 opposition supporters gathered at the Yubileinaya hotel not far from Minsk Hero City Obelisk in the Belarusian capital, the police began detaining them, a Sputnik correspondent reported from the scene.

Earlier it was reported that the police on Monday evening blocked the movement of cars in the area of ​​Minsk Hero City Obelisk along Masherova and Pobediteley avenues, where a new opposition rally was expected. The patrols of the Belarusian riot police called on passers-by and onlookers, who had gathered in the area, to disperse.

A large group of about a hundred opposition supporters was unable to approach the obelisk because of police cordons and stopped near the Yubileinaya Hotel, about 400 meters from the monument. The riot police buses and prison trucks arrived there.

The security forces started detentions, one prison truck with the detainees has already left the scene. Riot policemen are dressed in plastic protection.

Several tens or hundreds of opposition supporters are watching what is happening from a safe distance, a large group gathered on the other bank of the Svisloch River.

The movement of cars along Pobediteley Avenue and Melnikaite Street in this area is stopped.

17:06 GMT 10.08.2020

KIEV (Sputnik) - A rally against the results of the presidential election in Belarus is taking place outside of the Belarusian Embassy in Kiev.

The rally in Kiev is attended by both Belarusian and Ukrainian citizens, who are asking for an election recount. Many Ukrainians say they have come to support Belarusians out of solidarity.

The city police have arrested several people who attempted to throw eggs at the embassy. While being arrested, young men joined hands together in a human chain, causing the police officers to separate them with force.

Belarus held its presidential election on Sunday with incumbent President Alexander Lukashenko winning 80.23 percent of the vote. The results have sparked mass protests in the country, resulting in 3,000 arrests.

16:55 GMT 10.08.2020

WARSAW (Sputnik) - Donald Tusk, the president of the transnational European People's Party and a former president of the European Council, on Monday urged Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko to release the alleged real results of the recent presidential election.

16:52 GMT 10.08.2020

Some 300 people have gathered in central Brest.

Three people were detained on the embankment and placed in a police van. 

16:48 GMT 10.08.2020

MINSK (Sputnik) - RT journalist Konstantin Pridybailo said that he had been released soon after being detained in Minsk.

"They [police officers] acted very softly, did not beat me. They took me to Bangalore square," Pridybailo told the agency.

Earlier, Sputnik Belarus reported that correspondent Evgeny Oleinik after the night riots in Minsk. RT earlier reported that a stringer who collaborated with the Ruptly video agency, she was in a temporary containment cell, there was no connection with her. Prior to this, another two Ruptly stringers were detained while filming the opening of polling stations. RT and Rossiya Segodnya Editor-in-Chief Margarita Simonyan called on the Belarusian authorities to release detained Russian journalist Semyon Pegov.

16:45 GMT 10.08.2020
16:41 GMT 10.08.2020
16:29 GMT 10.08.2020
16:24 GMT 10.08.2020
16:22 GMT 10.08.2020

MINSK (Sputnik) - The team of Belarusian presidential contender Svetlana Tikhanovskaya did not request protection from the authorities of the republic amid post-election protests, the politician's spokeswoman Anna Krasulina said.

Earlier, Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko said that the "joint opposition headquarters" had asked the country's authorities for protection, and such protection had been provided. Lukashenko noted that among the supporters of Tikhanovskaya "there is still a person who ... is on friendly terms with his head," and that person allegedly asked the state to take under protection the office where representatives of the headquarters and journalists gathered after the elections. According to the president, someone needed a "sacred sacrifice."

"No," Krasulina said, answering whether Tikhanovskaya’s team had asked the authorities for protection during protest actions after the presidential elections.

"We demanded that they [law enforcement agencies] protect civilians on the streets of the city, as they should do. They are supported by our taxes, and they are obligated to protect peace and quiet of civilians, this is their direct task," the spokeswoman said.

15:59 GMT 10.08.2020

RT correspondent in Minsk, Konstantin Pridybailo, took to Telegram to say that he has been detained. 

15:53 GMT 10.08.2020
15:50 GMT 10.08.2020

A young man has been detained by police on Victory Square in Vitebsk. 

15:31 GMT 10.08.2020

Police have started detaining people, a Sputnik correspondent said. 

15:19 GMT 10.08.2020

MINSK (Sputnik) - The police have cordoned off a square and gardens next to a stele in central Minsk where opposition rally was held a day earlier, as unrest may continue on Monday.

The police are patrolling nearby streets and letting people pass through the gardens only after a search.

The car traffic around the stele has not been suspended. Some of the vehicles passing by honk in support of the opposition.

Law enforcement officers are also being deployed in other towns across Belarus.

14:31 GMT 10.08.2020

MOSCOW (Sputnik) - Vasily Polonsky, one of the journalists of Russia's independent Dozhd channel, also known as TV Rain, detained in Minsk, has described how he and his colleagues were treated by the Belarusian security forces during detention in Minsk.

Two correspondents and one cameraman working for TV Rain were detained on Sunday in Minsk for covering the presidential election without due accreditation. They were released late on Sunday and deported to Russia. TV Rain Editor-in-Chief Tikhon Dzyadko said on Monday that these journalists were banned from entering Belarus for five years.

"After we were taken to the [police] department itself ... they treated us humanely. My hands were very sore from the ties, and the officers who then processed us ... they quickly uncuffed us but then handcuffed me again. I started to defend my rights, then and they removed the handcuffs," Polonsky said, as aired by TV Rain.

However, "a terrible incident," according to the journalist, happened to his colleague, Vladimir Romensky, who was "stripped naked and entirely checked."

According to Polonsky, the official reason for the expulsion of the Russian journalists was formulated to be "in the interests of public order" in Belarus.

14:22 GMT 10.08.2020

PRAGUE (Sputnik) - Czech Foreign Minister Tomas Petricek on Monday refuted allegations by Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko of Prague's involvement in protests in Belarus.

Lukashenko said earlier in the day that the protests that began in Belarus late on Sunday after the presidential election was held in the country were managed from Poland, the UK and the Czech Republic.

"The Czech Republic and its agencies have nothing to do with organizing protests in Belarus," Petricek told reporters.

13:26 GMT 10.08.2020

MOSCOW (Sputnik) - Svetlana Tikhanovskaya has filed a complaint with the Belarusian Central Election Commission over the results of the presidential vote, the electoral watchdog said Monday.

According to the latest update from the commission, incumbent Belarusian president Alexander Lukashenko is leading with 80.08 percent, Tikhanovskaya is in second place with 10.09 percent.

"Svetlana has been to the CEC today, the complaint has been submitted," a representative of the commission said.

13:22 GMT 10.08.2020

MOSCOW (Sputnik) - Incumbent Belarusian president Alexander Lukashenko is leading with 80.08 percent in the presidential vote, opposition candidate Svetlana Tikhanovskaya is in second place with 10.09 percent, the latest update from the Central Election Commission showed on Monday.

According to the commission, the turnout is estimated to have been at 84.17 percent.

12:53 GMT 10.08.2020

MOSCOW (Sputnik) - The Russian Foreign Ministry's spokeswoman, Maria Zakharova, qualified on Monday as disproportional the Belarusian police's actions against Russian journalists covering the rallies following the presidential election.

"Today marks the fifth anniversary of my appointment to the post of the head of the Russian Foreign Ministry's Information and Press Department. I could not imagine that on this day I would focus on protecting Russian journalists from disproportional actions of law enforcement agents in brotherly Belarus," Zakharova wrote on Facebook, commenting on the recent detentions.

Journalists should comply with the legislation of a country they are working in, the diplomat stressed.

"And their activities cannot be legitimate if they have no authorizing document. However, many of them have honestly requested accreditation beforehand, in compliance with all the rules. They were denied accreditation but were beaten with bludgeons on their heads instead," Zakharova said.

"This is certainly not brotherly behaviour. They should not act like this," Zakharova concluded.

11:43 GMT 10.08.2020

MOSCOW (Sputnik) - The European Union condemns the use of force by the security services and law enforcement officers against demonstrators in Belarus, who took to the streets on Sunday evening following the country’s presidential election, the bloc’s foreign policy chief, Josep Borrell, said on Monday.

"The election night was marred with disproportionate and unacceptable state violence against peaceful protesters. This reportedly resulted in the loss of life of one citizen and many others have been injured. We condemn the violence and call for the immediate release of all detained during last night. The Belarusian authorities must ensure that the fundamental right of peaceful assembly is respected," Borrell said in a statement, which was published on the European External Action Service website.

Earlier in the day, European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen also criticized the crackdown on protesters in Belarus, adding that harassment and "violent repression" have no place in Europe.

In Sunday’s presidential election, incumbent Alexander Lukashenko secured 80.23 percent of the vote, according to the country’s Central Election Commission. Opposition candidate Svetlana Tikhanovskaya finished with 9.90 percent of the vote.

The Belarusian Interior Ministry said on Monday that roughly 3,000 people were detained during the weekend's protests. Reporters from multiple news outlets, including Sputnik Belarus, were detained in Minsk while attempting to cover the demonstrations.

Lukashenko has said that the United Kingdom, Poland, and the Czech Republic were behind the protests that took place on Sunday evening.

11:35 GMT 10.08.2020

MINSK (Sputnik) - Belarusian opposition candidate Svetlana Tikhanovskaya does not recognize the official presidential election results announced by the Central Election Commission, her campaign office said on Monday, adding that the opposition's estimates showed Tikhanovskaya had secured between 70 and 90 percent of the ballots at some polling places.

According to the preliminary results by the Belarusian Central Election Commission, incumbent President Alexander Lukashenko is leading with 80.23 percent of votes, while Tikhanovskaya has received 9.9 percent.

"Yesterday, we received the information from those polling stations where the votes were really counted and nothing was falsified. Svetlana has won. She has gained from 70 percent up to 90 percent of votes at some of them. How do you think we can normally perceive what CEC is saying today, given this information?" spokeswoman Olga Kovalkova said.

She stressed that it was impossible for a candidate in Belarus to gain 90 percent at one polling station and some 3 percent at another one.

According to the preliminary vote count organized by the Belarus embassy in Moscow, Lukashenko gained 54 percent of the vote, while Tikhanovskaya received 44.5 percent. A spokesman for the embassy previously said that the premises failed to accommodate all those wishing to cast their ballots. A huge crowd of protesters gathered near the Belarus embassy in Moscow on Sunday evening to file complaints over the embassy's refusal to prolong the vote.

In Estonia, Belarusian nationals gave 52.9 percent to Tikhanovskaya and 41.5 percent to the incumbent Belarus leader, according to the embassy adviser in Tallinn, Yuri Bulavko.

Press conference of Belarusian presidential candidate S. Tikhanovskaya - Sputnik International
11:20 GMT 10.08.2020

MOSCOW (Sputnik) - The Russian Union of Journalists criticized on Monday Minsk for detaining Russian journalists covering the rallies after the Belarusian presidential election and called for releasing them immediately.

"On August 9 and 10, Russian journalists covering the presidential election were detained in Belarus. The Russian Union of Journalists expresses its firm protest against our colleagues' detention and calls for releasing the Russian journalists immediately," the Russian Union of Journalists said in a statement.

11:16 GMT 10.08.2020

MINSK (Sputnik) - Belarusian police did not act violently while suppressing the recent rallies, but they were forced to use rubber bullets once, President Alexander Lukashenko said on Monday.

"Law enforcement agents acted gently. However, in one incident, they had to use rubber bullets, when protesters wanted to besiege the capital's district office of internal affairs and attacked a police officer," Lukashenko said, as quoted by the state-run news agency Belta.

The Belarusian leader assessed the situation during the rallies as tense and praised the police for "coping fine."

10:48 GMT 10.08.2020

MOSCOW (Sputnik) - Belarus' opposition deployed up to 300 people to the country's south, where there was an attempt to overthrow local authorities, President Alexander Lukashenko said on Monday.

"Border control officers had to interfere, ... since they tried to overthrow governmental authorities," Lukashenko said, as quoted by the state-run news agency Belta.

10:38 GMT 10.08.2020

MOSCOW (Sputnik) - Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko said on Monday that the Internet was shut down from abroad, stressing this was not an initiative of the government.

The Belarusian capital of Minsk started experiencing Internet disruptions on Sunday, the day of the presidential election. As of Monday, websites of government agencies and state-run media outlets are operating normally, but there are still some problems with access to popular messengers.

"Some people are itching, they keep calling for taking to the streets. They even shut the Internet down from abroad, to make our people displeased. Our experts are now making effort to establish where the blocking attempts come from. So, if the Internet operates badly, this is not our initiative, it is coming from abroad," Lukashenko said, as quoted by state news agency Belta.

The Belarusian leader also pointed to "hybrid" attacks on Belarus, pledging that the country would "withstand."

10:23 GMT 10.08.2020

"Sanctions will definitely be one of the options to consider," Polish Foreign Minister Jacek Czaputowicz told a press conference.

Earlier in the day, Czaputowicz said that ambassadors from the European Union member states were holding talks in Minsk that focus on the Belarusian presidential election.

"EU nations' ambassadors are now holding a meeting in Minsk," Czaputowicz said at a press conference, also noting he could only reach Polish Ambassador Artur Michalski through a satellite phone.

Czaputowicz added that ambassadors were "disappointed" with the events in Belarus.

10:22 GMT 10.08.2020

MINSK (Sputnik) - A representative of the campaign of Belarusian opposition presidential candidate Svetlana TIkhanovsksya said Monday the protests could become long-term.

Late on Sunday, after a presidential election was held in the country, several Belarusian cities saw unauthorized protests.

"This did not end yesterday when the violence was used. We are ready for a long-term protest," Maria Kolesnikova said.

10:20 GMT 10.08.2020

MOSCOW (Sputnik) - Harassment and oppression have no place in Europe, Ursula von der Leyen, the head of the European Commission, said Monday, following the night of unrest in Belarus.

Late on Sunday, after a presidential election was held in the country, several Belarusian cities saw unauthorized protests. In Minsk, protesters were building barricades from garbage bins. The police used tear gas, flash grenades and water cannons.

09:47 GMT 10.08.2020
09:38 GMT 10.08.2020
09:37 GMT 10.08.2020

MINSK (Sputnik) - Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko said on Monday that Poland, the United Kingdom and the Czech Republic were behind the protests that rocked Belarus after the presidential election.

According to preliminary results of the election, revealed by the Central Election Commission, Lukashenko secured 80.23 percent of votes, followed by opposition candidate Svetlana Tikhanovskaya with 9.90 percent.

"To be honest, I feel touched when people come [to polling places] with little kids. You see, this is a feast. Some people wanted to spoil the feast. We have noticed them, they were shining bright this night. We have ... registered calls from abroad. There were calls from Poland, the UK and the Czech Republic, they were manipulating our sheep, who do not understand what to do and are manipulated," Lukashenko told Commonwealth of Independent States Executive Secretary Sergey Lebedev.

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