Youth resistance movement ZUBR opened an Internet action “Send greeting behind bars”. Today, reads their web-site, they keep in jail three guys from Borisov – Sergei Pezkin, Igor Zakrevsky and Ales Golub. They got convicted on August 19, receiving 5-10 days of arrest for picketing the Russian embassy in Minsk. Protesting against the arbitrary sentence, the imprisoned activists went on a hunger-strike. Anyone who feels like passing regards to the inmates can send their messages to firstname.lastname@example.org. All your letters will be handed over to the three prisoners.
Trial proceedings over the activist of the youth resistance movement ZUBR Evgeny Afnagel were postponed till 3p.m. August 27. In no time after the trial started judge of the Central district court Tatiana Pavlichuk announced the postponement of court hearings to a later date, motivating her decision by the defendant’s claim to be given a lawyer. Evgeny Afnagel was set free pending trial.
Shortly after his reelection as country’s president Alexander Lukashenko announced massive anti-corruption campaign. The authorities are using a tested maneuver, distracting the attention from the failed economic policy – today over 70% of Belarusian companies are operating at a loss; the private business is half dead under the heavy 40% taxation; inflation hit the record level of 65%, while the promised $100 wages had been paid not to all of the country’s workers, but rather to certain employees from certain structures. In total, in 2001 over 20 thousand individuals were brought to legal responsibility for economic crimes, including over 400 directors and responsible workers. Our site’s new section presents materials, touching upon loud economic crimes and anti-corruption campaign, carried out by the authorities.
Alexiy-II reacted to Lukashenko’s promise to invite the Pope to Belarus by convening in Moscow a delegation of Catholic priests and believers and telling them that it is necessary to solve problems in the relations between the Orthodox and Catholic churches, especially the problem of proselytism (he probably meant the United church, whose followers are in abundance in Western Belarus).
Specialists claim that in 2003 the number of jobless people in Belarus will exceed 230,000, said at the August 22 press-conference in Minsk deputy Minister of labor and social protection Valery Pavlov.
This morning police broke into the apartment of the youth movement ZUBR activist Evgeny Afnagel and arrested him. The man is accused of taking part in the Tuesday action against Belarus’ incorporation into Russia. At the moment Evgeny Afnagel is being held in the Central police station custody, awaiting trial. There’s no doubt that he will be sentenced to arrest, for three other his fellow-mates are serving their five/ten days of arrest for picketing the Russian embassy not so long ago. Yesterday night police patrols were seen on watch at the house, where the press-secretary of ZUBR Alexander Otroschenkov lives. Police is arresting people on the basis of video materials, seized at the offices of the Russian TV channels in Minsk.
Alexander Lukashenko continues to voice loud statements concerning Belarus’ inclusion into the Russian Federation. If yesterday he called such proposals to be an insult, then today he referred to this very idea as “idiotism”. The new vision of the Russian-Belarusian integration was shared by Lukashenko during his yesterday’s visit to the Raubichi sport complex.
At last, the new horizons of the Belarusian-Russian integration are being clarified. The unfinished union state is doomed to turn into a semi-finished type of foodstuff. Such a conclusion can be drawn after yesterday’s visit to Moscow by the Foreign Minister of Belarus Mikhail Khvostov and today’s briefing in the Belarusian FM.
Yesterday’s issue of “Zvezda” published an announcement of the Frunzensky district court of Minsk, reading that the court received Irina Krasovskaya’s request to recognize her husband “a missing person”.
Alexander Lukashenko said yesterday that he does not rule out a possibility of inviting to Belarus the high priest of the Catholic church. “Pope’s visit would be of both religious and state character, for the Pope is the head of the Vatican,” – journalists were told by the president of Belarus. If Alexander Lukashenko isn’t kidding, Pope’s invitation to Minsk would be a revenge to Moscow and Moscow Orthodox Church, in particular. As you know, relations between Russia and Belarus deteriorated after Putin voiced his proposal to annex Belarus’ seven regions to Russia.
Alexander Lukashenko deems that Russia is getting from Belarus $1bln more than what Minsk gets in exchange, RIA “Novosti” quote the Belarusian leader as saying during yesterday’s visit to the Raubichi complex. Lukashenko pinpointed that Russia reduced tariffs on gas not in full volume but only for 10bln cubic meters a year, supplied by Gasprom. The remainder 6,5bln are provided by other structures at market prices, he said.