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Activists Join Astrakhan Hunger Striker In Solidarity
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MOSCOW -- Supporters of a Russian mayoral candidate who has been on a hunger strike for more than three weeks have rallied in the southern city of Astrakhan.

Anticorruption blogger Aleksei Navalny traveled from Moscow to Astrakhan to join the protest.

Oleg Shein from the leftist A Just Russia party lost to a candidate from the ruling United Russia party in the March 4 local elections, according to official results.

Shein claims the election was rigged, and began a hunger strike.

Around 20 people are now fasting in support of his cause.

Shein says he will continue his hunger strike until authorities call a recount or a rerun of the election.

Meanwhile in Moscow, Left Front leader Sergei Udaltsov was detained at a picket in support of the Astrakhan hunger strikers.

With reporting by Interfax
Russian Border Services Chief Vladimir Pronichev has announced that Belarusian citizens barred from leaving the country will not be allowed to use Russian territory for travelling to other countries.

Any Belarusian citizen, who is not allowed to leave his country will be stopped both by Belarusian and Russian border guards on the countries' borders, Pronichev said on April 6.

Several opposition leaders and activists had to use Russian territory to travel to Europe in March after they were barred from leaving their country for the European Union.

The travel ban was imposed by Minsk authorities after Belarus-EU relations worsened last month as the European Union expanded sanctions against figures in the regime of authoritarian Belarusian President Alyaksandr Lukashenka.

Minsk responded by asking the EU's ambassador to Belarus and Poland's ambassador to leave the country.

With reporting by BelaPAN

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