This weekend an activist of Georgian youth movement Kmara George Kandelaki was detained in Ukraine, informed the Ukrainian agency “Hotline”. The participant of the rallies in support of Viktor Yushchenko was detained by Ukrainian border guards. They told that in visa opened by the Ukrainian embassy, Kyiv was called the destination, though George Kandelaki visited several towns of Ukraine. But no regulations prohibit traveling around the country, the news agency underlined. It is also informed that during the arrest the officers of the frontier services had been refusing to produce papers for a long time. Only after phone calls of journalists and representatives of the youth movement “Pora” they started to behave more tolerably, and promised that incident would be over soon. As we have informed, a similar incident took place with the Belarusian participants of rallies in support of Viktor Yushchenko.
Belarus is ready to cooperate with the Arab countries in all directions, told Belarusian head of state Alyaksandr Lukashenka on December 6 during the interview to Arabic TV channel Al-Arabia. The president underlined that “we have huge unused capacities, scientific, technical and economical ones. We are ready to develop them together with Arabic countries. It is very advantageous for us, as the Arabic states had never made preliminary stipulations, and no stipulations at all: do it this way or that way. We met each other halfway. Now we are creating joint ventures, producing the most modern technical equipment and machinery, and we are going to continue it in the future. We are passing through the US pressing calmly, as we have friends, including the friends in the Arabic states. We are looked upon as friends in the Arabic world,” noted Alyaksandr Lukashenka.
Except for 10,000 dwellers of the tent camp in Khreschatyk, about 150,000 people from all over Ukraine live in Kyiv now. They can find accommodation for the night, receive warm clothes, hot meals and medical aid in plentiful stations, which are located, for instance, on the first floor of the Kyiv city administration, or in the Ukrainian House (former Lenin Museum). Field-kitchens and numerous tents were also put up around the office blocks and government buildings, where demonstrators keep up a twenty-four-hour blockade. Here are some pictures from the Ukrainian House, from the streets of Kyiv and neighborhood of the blocked Administration of Ukrainian president.
About 10,000 people are living in the two weeks in the main boulevard of Kyiv, Khreschatyk. In the tent camp one could meet people from all over Ukraine. This place has become a symbol of struggle for freedom. Hundreds of tents are put in several rows. Electric generators and field-kitchens, aid posts and “information tents” can be found there. The series of pictures from the Khreschatyk show this street on December 2 and 3.
The Ukrainians keep on their fight for freedom. Daily meetings in the cities and towns all over the country are gathering thousands of people. We offer some pictures of evening meeting at the main square of Kyiv. Several hundreds thousands of Ukrainians came on December 2 to listen to speeches of Viktor Yushchenko and Yulia Tymoshenko.
Information Minister of Belarus Uladzimir Rusakevich does not consider it possible to reduce state involvement in the newspaper industry for development of newspaper business in the country. “What for is it needed? The aim is not in making money, and we should not be easily carried away by denationalization. Let the privately owned capital create new enterprises, in the market of mass media as well. There are proposals of the Russian side to create joint projects, but I know what happens to these projects later,” told the head of the Information Ministry in his interview to the Interfax agency.
Deputy editor-in-chief of the “Belorusskaya Delovaya Gazeta” Iryna Khalip has received a writ to come to the Prosecutor’s office of Belarus to the senior Prosecutor S.D.Novikov. It is not the first occasion when Iryna is summoned to the Prosecutor’s Office. As a rule, she is asked to provide written explanation regarding her articles, published in Russian newspaper “Novaya Gazeta” and magazine “Novyj Ochevidets”. Last time she was summoned to the Prosecutor’s Office of the Partyzan District of Minsk because of the article telling about numerous violations of law during the parliamentary elections and referendum in Belarus in October.
Information Minister of Belarus Uladzimir Rusakevich told that the country is ready to offer rebuff to informational expansion from the West. “The statements on intensification of informational war against Belarus came as no surprise for us, ” he told to Interfax on Monday. As said by him, the Belarusian authorities know about “allocation of grants for support of independent press, placing radio transmitting sets in neighboring states for broadcasting to the territory on our country”. In the Interview to “Interfax” Minister also told that
In correspondence with the proposed law “On mass media in Belarus” it is proposed to equate the Internet-sources to mass media. Thus, the Belarusian authorities are going to control not only electronic and printed mass media, but also the Internet media.
Information minister of Belarus Uladzimir Rusakevich told that the country is ready to offer rebuff to informational expansion of the West. “The statements on intensification of informational war against Belarus came as no surprise for us, ” he told to Interfax on Monday. As said by him, the Belarusian authorities know about “allocation of grants for support of independent press, placing radio transmitting sets in neighboring states for broadcasting to the territory on our country”.
The independent Belarusian newspaper Mestnaya Gazeta based in the small town of Vawkavysk in Hrodna Region has found a way round a ban imposed by the local authorities by using a press in Smolensk, western Russia, a liberal-leaning Russian television station has reported. The station said local residents are happy Mestnaya Gazeta is back after being banned on 15 October, two days before the controversial parliamentary election and referendum to enable President Alyaksandr Lukashenka to seek a third term in office. However, printing the paper in Russia comes at a price, and Mestnaya Gazeta editor Andrey Shantarovich is struggling to pay a 600-dollar fine imposed for his month-long hunger strike undertaken in protest against the paper`s closure. The following is the text of a report by Russian Ren TV on 5 December; subheadings inserted editorially:
On 2-3 December policemen from Belarus, Russia, Ukraine and Lithuania gathered in the city of Brest to discuss making the search of the missing people more effective. According to one of the participants of the seminar, policeman Viktar Vasilewski, there are 169 missing persons in Belarus. 60% of them moved for Russia, the rest are in Poland, Lithuania and the Ukraine, as tourists or workers. By the way, the topic of the missing activists of Belarusian opposition is not considered at the seminar. In private talks the police say there are worried about the fates of the former minister of internal affairs Yury Zakharanka, the deputy Viktar Hanchar and the businessman Anatol Krasowski, but there’s no need to discuss it in public.
Reporters Without Borders (RSF) has appealed to the Belarusian Information Minister Vladimir Rusakevich to lift the three-month suspension on the Grodno-based private weekly Birzha Informatsii, the press office of the global press freedom watchdog reported on December 1.
The ban was imposed on the newspaper for a critical article about October’s referendum.
The decision came two months after the editor-in-chief, Yelena Ravbetskaya, was fined $600 for the same story.
Lithuanian MP Vaclov Stankevic has urged the European Union to look for new approaches in building its relations with Belarus, describing as futile its efforts to democratize Belarus over the last four years.
Vladimir Konoplyov, chairman of the National Assembly’s House of Representatives, stressed that Belarus’ government would continue cooperating with the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) and the Council of Europe Parliamentary Assembly (PACE).
It is time the West understood that the Belarusians “are no students, we live and cooperate in accordance with our own laws that are in line with international standards,” the Rosbalt news agency quoted the lower chamber’s speaker as saying in St.Petersburg on Saturday.
Anatoly Lebedko, leader of the United Civic Party, decided not to go to the Minsk City Prosecutor’s Office where he was expected to appear on December 3 to be questioned in connection with a news conference held in the UCP office a few days before the parliamentary elections and referendum.
Minsk, 5 December. Vintsuk Vyachorka, leader of the Belarusian Popular Front (BPF), stayed in Kyiv on December 3 and 4 to negotiate for cooperation with the leadership of the People’s Movement of Ukraine, a liberal party represented in that country’s parliament.
Victor Yushchenko announced in Maidan Nezalezhnosti on 5 December that December 6-8 would be dedicated to attaining legal guarantees to make December 26 elections transparent and democratic. He particularly noted that the “Power of the People” coalition had three demands of Kuchma.
On December 3-4 an international high-level meeting of European and American MPs, diplomats, political scientists was held in Vilnius. At the conference the ways of cooperation of the EU countries and the USA with Belarus, Ukraine, Moldova and countries of the South Caucasus were discussed. It is a so-called “Vilnius Conference” first held in 1997 as a result of joint efforts of the Eastern and Central European leaders, who wanted join the NATO. Famous political scientist, Counselor of the Center for Strategic and International Studies Zbigniew Brzezinski took part in the conference as well. As said by Mr. Brzezinski, now the processes of after-imperial consolidation are taking place in the countries of the Eastern Europe, and the countries face a choice of the return to the past or transformation. The development of events in Ukraine is extremely important, which is to determine the further trend of events in Belarus.
Former students of the Yakub Kolas National Humanities Lyceum that was closed down by the Belarusian authorities in the summer of 2003 have expressed their support for pro-Yushchenko forces weeks before Ukraine’s repeat presidential runoff.
The government’s decision to bar individual entrepreneurs from the real estate business next year may contribute to the growth of an unregulated shadow market, MP Vasily Khrol said in an interview with BelaPAN.