[JURIST] For the fourth day in a row, hundreds of protestors gathered [JURIST report] at a central square in Minsk on Wednesday to oppose what they claimed were the rigged results of the Belarus [JURIST news archive] presidential election, defying threats of a government crackdown and the possibility of arrest [JURIST report]. Belarusian president Alexander Lukashenko [official website; BBC profile], who has ruled for 12 years, won Sunday's elections with an official vote tally of 82.6 percent though independent monitors declared the election severely flawed [JURIST report] earlier this week. Opposition leader Alexander Milinkevich [Wikipedia profile; campaign website] who received 6 percent of the vote has rallied supporters to protest for a re-run of a poll.
In contrast to many Western nations, Russian President Vladimir Putin [official profile] has offered support for Lukashenko in a telegram [transcript], saying that "The results of the election that has just taken place are evidence of the voters' confidence in the course you have chosen to ensure rising prosperity for the Belarusian people." The US has said it does not accept the results of the elections [transcript]. Reuters has more.