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Ukrainian pro-EU protesters display solidarity with Belarusian opposition

14:54, — Politics

Ukrainian pro-EU protesters marked three years since a mass post-election demonstration in Minsk.

They did it by displaying Belarus' historically national white-red-white flag in their encampment in Independence Square at the heart of Kyiv on Thursday.

The flag, five meters long and 10 meters wide, was displayed in solidarity with Alyaksandr Lukashenka's political opponents.

Vyachaslaw Siwchyk, a Belarusian opposition activist who had to flee Belarus because of the authorities' crackdown on their opponents that followed the December 2010 protest, took to the stage in the square, speaking about the brutal dispersal of the demonstration and saying the names of imprisoned opponents of the Belarusian government. He urged the crowd to display solidarity with the political prisoners.

Ukrainian activist Mykola Kokhanovsky also delivered a speech during the event. "We were given a very warm reception," Mr. Siwchyk told BelaPAN.

Hundreds of Belarusian and Ukrainian activists marched from Independence Square to the Belarusian embassy where they held a rally for more than two hours, adopting an appeal calling for the release of all political prisoners and free elections.

The appeal urged Mr. Lukashenka to "make the only possible reasonable step of quitting Belarusian politics and moving to Moscow together with his family, if he likes it so much."

According to Mr. Siwchyk, embassy officers refused to walk out of the building to receive the appeal.

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