An estimated 3,000 pro-independence demonstrators were attacked by OMON police in Minsk yesterday outside the buildings of the presidential administration, the parliament, and the Internal Affairs Ministry. The police beat and arrested scores of protesters along their march through central Minsk. The demonstrators, mostly young, were carrying the national flag of independent Belarus prohibited by President Aleksandr Lukashenko and were chanting slogans in favor of independence and against the president. They were also demanding that penal proceedings be dropped against two Popular Front leaders, two detained journalists, and seven detained Ukrainians, all facing prosecution in connection with a mass demonstration held April 26 and other anti-presidential protests. A youth group named the Party of Freedom joined Popular Front activists in spearheading yesterday’s demonstration, the fourth since Lukashenko and Russian president Boris Yeltsin signed the treaty envisaging the establishment of a Russia-Belarus Community (SSR). (Reuter, Interfax, NTV, May 30)
Ukraine’s Leftist Deputies Trigger Parliamentary Crisis.