She goes on to plead to her supporters, “I ask you not to confront the police, or to go out onto city squares so as not to put your lives in danger. Look after yourselves and your loved ones.”
It has been speculated that the video was recorded during Tikhanovskaya’s detainment by authorities. Forcing political opponents to issue false statements in support of the regime is a standard maneuver in Lukashenko’s playbook.
While Lukashenko claims to have achieved victory, opponents have argued that the election results are fraudulent, with multiple instances of electioneering occurring at polling stations across the country.
According to a report by Honest People, an independent election monitoring organization, over 5,096 election violations were witnessed by observers over the course of the weekend, effectively crushing any hope Svetlana Tikhanovskaya had stirred in Belarusians.
For Lukashenko, the weekend’s results have given the dictator further impetus to maintain his grip on the presidency, even as protests continue throughout the country.