Belarusians Mourn Independence Leader
Scores of people gathered in the Belarusian capital, Minsk, on May 7 to pay their last respects to the country's first post-Soviet leader, Stanislau Shushkevich. The crowd applauded for more than 10 minutes as the coffin was carried out of the Roman Catholic Cathedral of the Blessed Name of Mary after a church service that was attended by diplomats and opposition politicians. The Belarusian government ignored the May 4 death of Shushkevich, an opponent of strongman leader Alyaksandar Lukashenka. Shushkevich was one of the three signatories to a document that put an end to the Soviet Union in December 1991.