Publication: Monitor Volume: 3 Issue: 174

The KGB of Belarus announced yesterday that Russian ORT TV Minsk bureau chief Pavel Sheremet, cameraman Dmitry Zavadsky, and driver Yaroslav Ovchinnikov will go on trial next week on criminal charges for violating the border. Their legal term of pre-trial detention expires on September 25, two months after their arrest, and the trial will duly begin before that date, the KGB spokesman said.

Interviewed in Sovetskaya Belarussia, his administration’s official organ, President Alyaksandr Lukashenka confirmed the trial schedule. He also described it as consistent with recent understandings reached with President Boris Yeltsin regarding the disposition of the case — namely, "in compliance with Belarus law." In the same interview, Lukashenka claimed that "Belarusan opposition newspapers are being financed by the West, we have a lot of documentary evidence about that." (Russian agencies, September 17-18) That last comment may presage repressive measures against the country’s few, beleaguered independent weeklies, which are remnants of the pre-Lukashenka period.

"Historic" Exercise Completed in Ukraine.