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'If Belarus protests succeed, Russia will be next' warns Lukashenko

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Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko, left, speaks during his interview with Russian journalists in Minsk, Belarus, Sept. 8, 2020. (Nikolai Petrov, BelTA via AP)
Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko, left, speaks during his interview with Russian journalists in Minsk, Belarus, Sept. 8, 2020. (Nikolai Petrov, BelTA via AP)   -   Copyright  Nikolai Petrov/BelTA
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Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko is standing firm and says he has no intention of stepping down, despite weeks of massive protests over his disputed re-election in August.

He has previously blamed the US for instigating the demonstrations and later had a warning for Russia.

"All of this is very painful and even tragic for me, but it doesn't mean that I'm giving up," Lukashenko told Russian media on Tuesday. "Because I look at this philosophically, someday [God] will call me up there. But now I must protect what has been built with our hands, protect the people who have built it, and they are an overwhelming majority."

"If Belarus collapses today," Lukashenko added, "Russia will come next."

President Lukashenko is expected to visit Moscow next week.