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Belarusian opposition leader and human rights advocate Sviatlana Tsikhanouskaya has expressed regret that President Alexander Lukashenko met with Russian President Vladimir Putin, as a leading human rights organization accused Belarusian security forces of unlawfully arresting thousands of people and torturing hundreds of others.

The two authoritarian leaders met Monday at a Black Sea resort in Sochi, when Putin granted the Belarusian government a $1.5 billion loan during a period of unrest in Belarus. The meeting was their first since mass protests erupted in Belarus after Lukashenko was reelected to a sixth term in an election widely viewed as rigged.

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