Publication: Monitor Volume: 2 Issue: 166

Several thousand supporters of Belarus independence rallied in Minsk yesterday to celebrate the Day of Belarus Military Glory, on the anniversary of the historic battle of Orsha (1514). The participants denounced president Aleksandr Lukashenko’s draft constitution as aimed at establishing a "totalitarian system" and at liquidating Belarus sovereignty. They called for public support to the parliament’s resistance to Lukashenko’s plans. (AP, Belaplan, Interfax, September 8)

The battle of Orsha looms large in the region’s history. A coalition of Belarusan, Lithuanian, and Polish forces, uniting Catholics and Orthodox and commanded by Ukrainian prince Konstantin Ostrogski, defeated the army of Muscovy, halting Russian expansion for a long time to come. The battle was viewed at the time and since as a victory of the West over the East.

South Ossetia to Create Its Own Presidency.