Defiant Lukashenko defends plane diversion, blasts critics

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Minsk (AFP) – A defiant President Alexander Lukashenko on Wednesday defended Belarus’s diversion of a European flight and arrest of a dissident on board, lashing out at critics at home and abroad. In his first public statement since the Ryanair flight was diverted and opposition journalist and activist Roman Protasevich arrested on Sunday, Lukashenko dismissed the international outcry the incident provoked. “I acted lawfully to protect our people,” Lukashenko said in an address to parliament. The criticism was nothing more than another attempt by his opponentfs to undermine his rule, he said, …

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