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Soviet-Era Belarusian Dissident Dies In Minsk

Syarhey Khanzhankou in 2013
Syarhey Khanzhankou in 2013

Soviet-era Belarusian dissident Syarhey Khanzhankou has passed away at the age of 74.

Khanzhankou's wife, Alena Skamyanava, told RFE/RL that her husband died due to a long-term illness on March 16 in Minsk.

Khanzhankou was born in the Soviet Union's remote Magadan region, known for its notorious gulag labor camps.

His father and grandfather were political prisoners and served time in Magadan.

Khanzhankou was sentenced to 10 years in jail in 1963 after a court in Minsk found him guilty of "anti-Soviet propaganda" and "an attempted terrorist act."

Khanzhankou and two friends planned to blow up a transmission tower near Minsk that was used by the Soviets to jam programs by Western radio stations, including RFE/RL and Voice of America. The men were arrested before they could carry out their plan.

After completing his prison term in 1973, Khanzhankou was allowed to return to Minsk.

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