Belarusian journalist explains how regime is 'beginning to crumble' after rigged elections

17 August 2020, 14:54

Ewan Quayle

By Ewan Quayle

A Belarusian journalist - sacked by the state broadcaster for speaking out against rigged elections - has told James O'Brien why his country's regime is "beginning to crumble".

Dimitry Kakhno posted a defiant message on Instagram following the recent elections in Belarus, which saw the country's leader Alexander Lukashenko return to office with 80% of the vote, which saw him lose his job.

He tried to appeal to police and protesters to stop the violence, but lost his job of 13 years as a news presenter on the country's state news channel.

He told LBC's James O'Brien about how he and hundreds of thousands of workers have poured onto the streets of Belarus to protest against the regime and recent elections.

Mr Kakhno said: "All the people, all over the country, even in small villages do not work - it's like an endless boycott waiting for the honest result.

"All the people in my country, right now... they don't want to live like it was before and we want to change.

"Even old people - even my granny - she's 84 years old and right now she's in hospital, but her doctor called me and said 'do you know your granny voted against the president?'."

A Belarusian journalist has told LBC about his experience of the his country's regime
A Belarusian journalist has told LBC about his experience of the his country's regime. Picture: PA Images

Mr Kakhno described how up to 300,000 people walked out of work over the weekend - the largest strike in the country's history - to peacefully protest against the regime.

"There was no garbage, there was no police officers, no burnt cars - it was so peaceful because Belarusian people don't want war - we just want one person to leave," he said.

James spoke about the videos and images he had seen coming out of Belarus - entire groups of people openly defying the regime for the first time.

He said: "I saw some striking workers shouting over Lukashenko during his visit to their factory - they were shouting 'resign, resign, resign' - so there is a sense of courage and a sense of movement."