Tuesday, April 18, 2006

100 Belarusian Opposition Activists Protest Russia's Backing Of President Alexander Lukashenko's Rigged Reelection

MINSK -- "About 100 Belarussian opposition activists rallied at the Russian Embassy in Minsk to protest the Kremlin's support for President Alexander Lukashenko's re-election last month.

The protesters stood silently for about 40 minutes late Sunday, holding candles. Police took down their names but did not try to disperse them.

Participants in the protest said the rally was intended to show solidarity with opposition activists jailed by the government and to express their disdain for the Kremlin's support for Lukashenko.

"This is an action of solidarity with those who are in jail," said Yekaterina Korbut, a 21-year old student who took part in the protest. "Repression is going on with Russia's tacit content."

Another participant in Sunday's protest, Igor Rusnov, a 22-year old web designer who had spent 15 days in jail for taking part in the post-election protest, criticized President Vladimir Putin for backing Lukashenko.

"Putin is responsible for what is going on in Belarus," he said.

Irina Khalip, an opposition activist who helped organize the protest, said that Western leaders should cancel their participation in the summit of the Group of Eight leading industrialized nations, which is hosted by Russia this year. The summit is to be held in July in St. Petersburg. "Putin can't shake hands with leaders of democratic nations and support Lukashenko with another hand," Khalip said." ...

Associated Press " 100 Blast Russia at Embassy in Minsk" via The Moscow Times April 18, 2006


Two boys lighting candles Sunday outside the Russian Embassy in Minsk to protest Russia's support of Lukashenko. The Russian Embassy is next to the American Embassy, and directly across the street from Ukraine's beautiful new Embassy to the European Nation of Belarus. Next to the new Ukraine Embassy, is Minsk's large new modern Synagogue.

Photo credit: Associated Press. With thanks.


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