Publication: Monitor Volume: 3 Issue: 211

As a singular exception in the CIS, the celebrations in Belarus were organized by the state authorities. Some 7,000 residents demonstrated in Minsk, 4,000 in Mahilyov, 3,000 in Vitsyabsk, and 1,000 in Homiel. They carried portraits of President Alyaksandr Lukashenka interspersed with those of the Communist founding fathers. The Communist Party of Byelorussia and the Union of Patriotic Youth — which was recently set up by Lukashenka’s administration — supplied most of the participants to the demonstrations. The Party of Communists of Belarus, which opposes Lukashenka, staged separate and poorly attended rallies. Lukashenka, in a cautiously-worded address to the country, acknowledged that the Bolshevik revolution was subject to differing interpretations. He paid only scant attention to the CPSU or its present-day Russian successor, and chose instead to focus on Soviet Belarus’ own "achievements". (Belapan, Radio Minsk, Russian agencies, November 7-8)