Belarusian opposition leader Svyatlana Tsikhanouskaya called on Russia to back “the will of the Belarusian people” and said that it was “a pity” that the Kremlin was on the side of the country’s authoritarian president, Alyaksandr Lukashenka. Speaking to Current Time via Skype from the Lithuanian capital, Vilnius, on September 14, Tsikhanouskaya’s comments came as the embattled Belarusian leader was meeting Russian President Vladimir Putin in Sochi, Russia. Lukashenka has faced more than a month of mass protests after claiming victory in an election widely seen as rigged.

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