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Belarusian Opposition Leader Attacked, Detained At Lenin Statue Unveiling

  • RFE/RL's Belarus Service

MINSK -- The leader of an unregistered Belarusian opposition movement has been attacked by men in civilian clothes and detained by police during the unveiling ceremony for a Lenin statue in Minsk.

Zmitser Dashkevich, the leader of Malady (Youth) Front, was attacked by several men on November 7 after he and his associates chanted "Shame! Shame!" as the communist-era statue was being unveiled at a new location.

Communist activists with red flags gathered for the unveiling ceremony in front of the Tractor Works in Minsk where the statue had been moved from its previous location within the factory compound.

Police took Dashkevich away from the event. It is not clear whether he was being charged or had been released.

Meanwhile, in the western Belarusian city of Lida on November 7, unknown assailants vandalized a Lenin statue by splashing it with red paint.

Belarus is the only former Soviet republic that continues to celebrate November 7 as a state holiday marking the 1917 Bolshevik Revolution.

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