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POLITICS: Ukraine and the Opposition: Could Belarus Be Next?

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posted on Dec, 10 2004 @ 03:15 AM
Despite the fall of the Soviet Union, the Republic of Belarus, has reverted back to the ways of old. During his ten years in power, President Alexander Lukashenko, has disbanded parliament, taken control of the media, and reintroduced Soviet era symbols. Now some both in the Ukraine as well as Belarus are hopeful that the revolution that swept through the Ukraine can also happen there.[/url ]
KIEV, Ukraine - "Today Ukraine, tomorrow Belarus!" read a banner strung up this week in a tent camp for opposition protesters.

Belarus, Ukraine's northern neighbor, is one of Europe's most repressive societies. During his 10 years in power, President Alexander Lukashenko has reintroduced Soviet symbols, disbanded parliament, seized control of media and isolated his country with authoritarian rule.

Many opposition leaders are either sitting in jail or have disappeared.

Those that aren't in prison can be found here, at Kiev's Independence Square, the epicenter of the Ukrainian opposition protests and the new meeting place for the Belarusian opposition.

Hundreds of activists and leaders of isolated Belarusian parties and movements have traveled here to watch Ukraine's popular revolt ó and take notes on democracy in action.

"The Orange Revolution has reawakened hope in Belarusians and has colossal meaning for us," said Igor Stakh, a 23-year-old member of a Belarusian youth movement called Zubr, or Bison, whose tent sits among those of his young Ukrainian comrades.

Please visit the link provided for the complete story.

This is a very interesting play to watch. The relationship between Putin and Lukashenko is not the best, but Russia does provide the republic with discounted oil and gas. Some analysts have speculated that if Russia looses influence in the Ukraine, they may attempt to strengthen their relationship with Belarus. Putin is very wary of further NATO expansion and yet another West leaning government on his borders would no doubt make him all the more nervous.

[edit on 12/10/04 by FredT]

posted on Dec, 10 2004 @ 03:30 AM
From my laymanís point of view I see us in the west that have the so called democratic governments just letting are freedoms and civil liberties slip away piece by piece, and the countries in the east are fighting in some cases to the death for what we just give away with out a second thought. Itís almost like a polar shift in politics.


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