The Danish Parliament has revealed that a supposed online meeting featuring leading Belarusian opposition figure Svetlana Tikhanovskaya actually involved an unknown prankster, who spoke to them about “animal brothels.”
In an embarrassing turn of events for Copenhagen, on Tuesday, a group of the country’s MPs were taken for a ride for an entire 40 minutes before they realized something was wrong. And that was despite the obvious giveaway that the fake Tikhanovskaya could not appear on camera, citing technical difficulties.
According to local media, reality dawned after over half an hour of questioning, when ‘Tikhanovskaya’ asked a question about “brothels with animals.” This ‘news story’ has been traced back as far as 2014, and was later spread by Russian politician Alexey Zhuravlev on TV.
In response, the Danish parliament has stressed that “nothing was said that could compromise the foreign policy of Denmark,” with Foreign Policy Committee Chairman Martin Lidegaard now deciding to make use of a camera a mandatory requirement for video conferences, going forward.
“I hope this was just a rude joke,” Lidegaard said.
Tikhanovskaya has been conducting a tour of Europe since she fled Belarus in August. In the past two weeks, she has met German Chancellor Angela Merkel in Berlin, French President Emmanuel Macron in Vilnius, and Slovakian President Zuzana Čaputová in Bratislava.
Glad to meet Sviatlana @Tsihanouskaya. Her determination to advance democratic change in #Belarus is inspiring. For this to happen, the regime should engage in open & meaningful dialogue with society. Violence and intimidation are unacceptable. pic.twitter.com/iqGUgXyLVj
— Zuzana Čaputová (@ZuzanaCaputova) October 8, 2020
On August 9, Alexander Lukashenko was elected for a sixth term as Belarusian president, in an election many consider to have been rigged. According to the official results, he received 80.10 percent of the vote, with opposition candidate Tikhanovskaya receiving just 10.12 percent. After the polling stations closed, mass protests began against the alleged falsification of the results. In the weeks since, the demonstrations have become less frequent and less violent, but still attract thousands of Belarusian citizens.
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