Popular Russian YouTuber Yury Dud has urged law enforcement officials in neighboring Belarus to stop violence against civilians following three violent nights of protests against the re-election of its longtime authoritarian leader.
Nationwide demonstrations broke out in Belarus after election officials declared President Alexander Lukashenko the winner in Sunday’s vote. Authorities said they have detained around 6,000 protesters, many of whom were filmed being beaten, shot with rubber bullets and attacked with stun grenades by riot police.
“Something tells me you didn’t exercise your strength and became supermen to maim your unarmed countrymen,” Dud wrote on social media, addressing Belarusian police, military and security forces.
“If you’re doing this of your own free will, I think you’re wrong. If you’re doing this on the orders of your superiors, then tell them to f*** off,” the influential YouTuber said late Tuesday.
Another popular Russian blogger Stalingulag called Dud’s appeal misguided and predicted that “Lukashenko’s orcs will only laugh at his naivete.”
“That’s exactly what they trained for, not for some great purpose of protecting the world from evil,” said Stalingulag, who revealed his identity last year after authorities raided his parents’ home.
Dud, however, predicted that Lukashenko faces “the hatred of his own people and total isolation from all progressive countries” following the beatings; jailing and disappearance of journalists; and a video address by Belarus' main opposition candidate that has been likened to a hostage video.
“These are about the same prospects for all who supported him,” Dud said. “Is it worth depriving your future over?”