Three thousand supporters of the Belarusan national-democratic opposition joined yesterday a 10-kilometer mourning march from downtown Minsk to Kurapaty forest, where thousands of victims of Soviet repression lie buried in common graves. Addressing the mourners, Popular Front leaders Vintsuk Vyachorka and Yuri Khadyka remarked that Belarus has “not yet been able to conquer the system that soaked our land in blood,” and that “the nation has not yet recovered its health.” The procession marked the Day of Ancestors–“Dzyady”–a traditional solemn observance coinciding with All Saints’ Day (AP, November 1).
The Popular Front marked its tenth anniversary on this occasion. The first Dzyady procession at Kurapaty, held in 1988, is considered the birthdate of the national-democratic opposition. Archaeologist Zyanon Paznyak, who uncovered the remains of the victims, became the founding leader of the Popular Front. He was forced to go into exile three years ago but remains the Front’s chairman, operating out of the United States and Poland.
In neighboring Poland, performances of the drama “Dzyady” by national poet Adam Mickiewicz–a native of the Polish-Lithuanian-Belarusan borderland–were sparking anti-Soviet protests during communist rule.
POLITICAL EQUILIBRIUM CRUMBLING IN ARMENIA.