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Security Council head mulls over possible internet block
Presidential candidate Andrei Dzmitryeu
Presidential candidates and their representatives on Thursday morning were called for an ad hoc meeting at the Central Election Commission and informed that the introduction of additional security measures during mass events. The move comes after the authorities said that 33 militants from the Russian private military firm were detained near Minsk and two other groups in Russia were about to be deployed for terrorism activities in Belarus. The measure was announced by State Secretary of Security Council Andrei Raukou who also alerted the candidates about possible provocations during street rallies, according to presidential hopeful Andrei Dzmitryeu who talked to reporters after the meeting. He said:
I asked Mr. Raukou if he realized that regardless of the meeting with us people would get to the streets on August 9 anyway. It doesn't matter how many people [will come]. First of all, it always happens after the presidential elections. Secondly, I travel around the country, talk to people and I see that many people look at it as the only option when they have realized that the elections are not fair. I asked him how safety would be guaranteed, because if there are 170 militants ar large in the country - or maybe even more because the border with Russia is open, this number can be bigger.
I also asked if the internet restrictions would be possible. The answer was that if they see that there is a direct threat to national security from the internet, they would not rule this option out.
Mr. Dzmitryeu also asked Andrei Raukou why military vehicles like armored personnel carriers floating in the river were deployed in Minsk.
He said that those were preparations for the Paratrooper's Day celebrations on August 2. The military vehicles would leave Minsk after the celebrations are over. I hope it will be like he said. My stance is that the armed forces cannot be a tool for domestic issues.