“Today an informational war unleashed against Belarus. The West has no scruple to pay for it, including [the campaign] in Russian media,” Alyaksandr Lukashenka said on Wednesday in Minsk at a press conference for Russian provincial mass media. “There are certain forces in Russia as well, who are gladly supporting our nationalists,” he added.
On November 22 Ukraine marked the anniversary of the Orange Revolution, thanks to which free presidential elections took place and democracy won. At the invitation of the party “Pora” representatives of the civil society of Belarus arrived to Kyiv. Among them are leaders of the Council of Civil Initiatives “Free Belarus” Zmitser Bandarenka and Zmitser Barodka, and activists of the Zubr movement Uladzimir Kobets and Alyaksandr Atroshchankau. These are the pictures sent by the Belarusians from Independence Square.
Today Belarusian border guards have not allowed crossing the Polish border for two activists of the Union of Poles in Belarus, which is not recognized by the authorities: Inesa Todryk and Andzelika Orzechwa. They were going to leave Hrodna for Bialystok by a train at 10 a.m. on business. The border guard who took their passports for inspection, in some time returned them. He could not explain the reasons for not allowing them to go abroad. The only thing he could advise was to come at 2 p.m. for another train, when higher officers would be present, and even if they would not be allowed to go again, the reason for that would be explained.
A riot policeman from the special tasks regiment of Minsk executive committee who struck in the face the wife of a missing journalist Dzmitry Zavadsky “is serving and will continue serving”, told Yury Padabed, a commander of the riot police regiment, on November 22 at the meeting with journalists. He noted that it is not his decision. “It is a decision of the prosecutor’s office”. As said by Y.Padabed, he had never had, and does not have any claims to his officer, who is emotional over the incident.
One of the coordinators of the Zubr movement, Yauhen Afnagel, is detained by police officers in Minsk today. The only thing he has managed to say to journalists is that he is taken to the police department of Frunzenski district of Minsk, and then the telephone talk was interrupted. The reasons for his detention are unknown for now.
Belarus will strengthen its anti-aircraft defence “in connection with the stepping-up of the NATO”. “Their AWACSes are flying along our borders, and radars are searching our territory up to the Kremlin,” Alyaksandr Lukashneka said at the press conference for Russian journalists.
Adrian Severin, the UN Human Rights Commission`s rapporteur on Belarus, will visit Warsaw on Wednesday to study the situation regarding the Polish ethnic minority in Belarus. As the rapporteur said in an interview with BelaPAN, he plans to consider reported violations of the minority`s rights in the context of bilateral relations between the two countries. He added that he is scheduled to meet with representatives of both the Belarusian and Polish sides in Warsaw.
“If I won’t be a president, most probably I won’t work at all. In case I’ll be given a certain sum of money, I’ll retire on pension,” A. Lukashenka said on Wednesday in Minsk at a press conference for Russian journalists. “I won’t hinder anybody, I won’t interfere with anything. I won’t meddle, though I still have 10 years for the retirement age,” Lukashenka continued.
Lenin once said that capitalists were so cynical that they would sell the Soviets the rope with which they would hang them. Lenin and communism have passed away, but that cynical indifference to suffering when profits are involved remains. Belarus provides a glaring example. The European parliament has consistently denounced Belarus as Europe`s last dictatorship, yet EU member governments continue business as usual with Alexander Lukashenko, the country`s wayward and near-lunatic despot.
Alexander Lukashenko said Wednesday that the breakup of the Soviet Union had been orchestrated and paid for. "Such things do not just happen in politics unfortunately. A lot of money was paid for that," Lukashenko said.
Alexander Lukashenko said Wednesday that there could be attempts to destabilize the situation in the country before presidential elections in summer 2006. "There will be attempts to aggravate and disrupt the situation," Lukashenko said at a news conference in the Belarusian capital of Minsk, adding that a major attack of the opposition would most likely begin after the elections.
Today in the largest cities of Poland, and in Brussels the human rights organization “Amnesty International” have placarded 30 thousands portraits of the abducted politicians and journalists repressed in Belarus. The posters are fixed to trees and poles by a grey ribbon, which gags the mouths of the people on the portraits.
The Polish newspapers protest against censorship in Belarusian mass media. On Wednesday the two major Polish national newspapers “Gazetŕ Wyborczŕ” and “Rzeczpospolitŕ” were issued with front pages with black paint, as if whole paragraphs had been blacked out by a censor with a thick black felt pen. Down the page there where the words: “That’s how the freedom of speech looks like in Belarus”.
On invitation of the Civil party “Pora” representatives of Belarusian civil society, the leaders of the Council of Civil Initiatives “Free Belarus” Zmitser Bandarenka and Zmitser Barodka, and activists of the Zubr movement Uladzimir Kobets and Alyaksandr Atroshchankau. The Belarusian democrats had a meeting with the leader of the “Pora” Vladislav Kaskiv, his deputy Serhiy Evtushenko and other leaders of the party.
When the deputy chairman and executive secretary of the Belarusian Popular Front Party Viktar Ivashkevich came to the head office of the Popular Front in Minsk in Varvasheni, 8, he saw a sight which had become familiar over the last months. The entrance door was by Russian fascists again. A big swastika and the words “Slave Union” were painted on the door.
Alyaksandr Lukashenka states that Belarus has “fairly good” relations with Ukraine, though the leadership of this country looks at Belarus with envy and jealousy. “We had fairly good relations with Ukraine and are going to have such relations forever, as well as with Russia. The leadership there [in Ukraine] takes a special position, and it was a special position before. To show their success, they speak unfavourably of Belarus and criticized it undeservingly,” A. Lukashenka said on Wednesday in Minsk at a press-conference for representatives of Russian mass media. “On the on hand, it is jealousy, on the other it is envy,” the Belarusian ruler thinks. “The Ukrainians know the policy of the leadership of our country very well. In Russia they know that Belarus is the last bastion of Russia in the West, it’s the land that had never let the tanks pass through it to Moscow, however the major mass media are pouring much mud on us. The same is done by Ukraine,” the president continued.
Today in Tbilisi the leader of the civil initiative “We Remember”, a member of the Council of Civil Initiatives “Free Belarus” Iryna Krasouskaya addressed the international forum “Europe’s New Wave of Liberation: Democracy and Transformation”, timed to the second anniversary of the Rose Revolution”. “Thanks to you the political prisoners, fighters for freedom and relatives of abducted and repressed people in Belarus believe that our country will also be able to celebrate its victory soon,” Iryna said, addressing the leaders of Georgian revolution. “Today people who live in Belarus are just as talented, self-sacrificing and honest. They withstand the last dictatorship in Europe,” Iryna Krasouskaya said.
Today Anatolij Lebedko spent an hour in a company of prosecution officers Pavel Radionov and Grigorij Shostak. Prosecution people were interested in the information placed on ucpb.org on November 2, 2005.Anatolij Lebedko expressed satisfaction with the fact that prosecutors read not only official newspapers, but also other information sourses including www.ucpb.org.
Judge Neli Arlouskaya of the Minsk City Economic Court on 21 November rejected a lawsuit by the private daily "Narodnaya volya" against Minablsayuzdruk, the Minsk Oblast branch of the state-run press-distribution monopoly Belsayuzdruk, which cancelled a distribution contract with the daily in October, RFE/RL`s Belarus Service reported.
The wife of the forcibly abducted Vice Prime Minister of Belarus, Zinaida Hanchar, is going to address the investigator of the prosecutor’s office who is responsible for the case of her husband’s abduction, with a request to interrogate a deputy of the so-called “chamber of representatives” Anatol Salayou (Solovyov) as a witness. The other day the “Narodnaya Volya” reported that after a visit to Geneva to the 113th Assembly of the Interparliamentarian Union, Salayou stated that the prosecutor’s office allegedly reopened the case because of “new facts discovery”.
Belarus` legislation is characterized by modest import tariff rates, but extensive non-tariff barriers, World Bank experts said in a new Country Economic Memorandum for Belarus. The government should undertake to review and to cleanse the large regulative array in order to liberalize trade.
Alexander Lukashenko told Russian journalists Wednesday that he did not see any problem with Russia raising the price for natural gas supplies to Belarus to world levels. Belarus currently saves $180 million per year by purchasing gas at the Russian domestic price. This is not a crucial sum for the country`s economy, Lukashenko said, adding that Belarus buys all other energy sources from Russia at world prices.