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Belarusian Activists Seek Lenin's Removal From Historic Town

The Lenin monument in Navahradak (file photo)

The Lenin monument in Navahradak (file photo)

NAVAHRADAK, Belarus -- Activists from the unregistered Belarusian Christian Democracy Party (BHD) began collecting signatures today for a petition to remove a large Lenin bust in the western Belarusian town of Navahradak, RFE/RL's Belarus Service reports.

The petition drive began after local officials charged party member Yury Kazak with hooliganism after he poured green paint on the Lenin bust on December 8.

BHD activists told RFE/RL that Kazak was expressing his feelings toward Soviet leader Vladimir Lenin, who they said ordered the murder of millions of people.

The BHD activists said people are participating in the action and actively signing the petition.

Navahradak, which has a population of some 30,000, is one of the oldest towns in Belarus.

It was the first capital of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania, is home to the Mindaugas Castle ruins, and is the birthplace of famous 19th-century poet Adam Mickiewicz.