Lukashenko Says He Made No Fundamental Mistakes During His Presidency

Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko stated that in over a quarter of a century of his presidency, the government has not made any fundamental mistakes, BelTA agency informed on Friday, as cited by TASS.

“Yes, I am not a saint. It is impossible to have been working as president for more than a quarter of a century and not to have stumbled somewhere, not to have made mistakes. But you and I have not made fundamental mistakes,” he said during a meeting with students, quoted by the BelTA agency.

“We have built – just think about it! – the first sovereign, independent state in the history of our country, on the ruins of the huge empire. We took a bleeding piece of this empire, brought it back to life and established a state on its basis. I was lucky to be the first president of our sovereign state,” the leader stated.

“This is the reason for my determination and resolution to defend this state. On a horse, on a tank, on an armored personnel carrier, with a machine gun or a gun in my hands – I will defend my country no matter what it takes,” he added.

Lukashenko has headed Belarus since 1994. The August 9 presidential election was the sixth in his career.

Nationwide demonstrations have engulfed Belarus following the August 9 presidential election. According to the Central Election Commission’s official results, incumbent President Alexander Lukashenko won by a landslide, garnering 80.10% of the vote. His closest rival in the race, Svetlana Tikhanovskaya, came in second, with 10.12% of the ballot. However, she refused to recognize the election’s outcome, and left Belarus for Lithuania.

After the results of the exit polls were announced late on August 9, mass protests erupted in downtown Minsk and other Belarusian cities. During the early post-election period, the rallies snowballed into fierce clashes between the protesters and police. The current unrest is being cheered on by the opposition’s Coordination Council, which has been beating the drum for more protests. In response, the Belarusian authorities have castigated the ongoing turmoil and demanded that these unauthorized demonstrations be stopped.