Two weeks after his release from prison, Belarus’s main opposition leader Alexander Milinkevich continues to speak out against the government. He came a distant second to president Alexander Lukashenko in March elections widely condemned as fraudulent. This month he spent 15 days in prison for staging an unauthorised opposition rally.
In an exclusive interview with EuroNews, he said the government had clearly felt threatened.
“The opposition’s success in the presidential elections, or should I say pseudo-elections, was a surprise for the authorities,” he said. “We won a great deal of support. I started the campaign with 1.5 per cent of the electorate behind me and wound up with the support of one third of Belarussians. The authorities reacted by suppressing the opposition. The leaders have lost touch with the Belarussian people, including its past supporters.”
Lukashenko has drawn fire from the EU and Washington for his government’s crackdowns on opposition activity.