MINSK, Belarus

The remains of more than 1,000 Holocaust victims have been laid to rest in a Belarusian city on the border with Poland after the discovery of a mass grave at a building site.

The ceremony was held at a local cemetery just outside Brest on Wednesday.

The remains of at least 1,214 people were found in January in the center of Brest which was home to a large, vibrant Jewish community before the Second World War. Half of the city’s population was Jewish, and at least 17,000 of its residents were executed by Nazis after the Germany occupation in 1941.

City authorities suspended the construction when the bones and skeletons were found at the site of a future high-rise apartment block. Construction is set to recommence soon.

Source: Fox News World

The president of Belarus president has threatened to retaliate against Russia for what he called its “insolent” trade restrictions.

The statement by President Alexander Lukashenko reflects simmering tensions between the neighboring countries. Russia and Belarus are allies with close political and economic ties, but the governments regularly quarrel.

Lukashenko has ruled Belarus with an iron hand for a quarter-century while relying on Russian loans and cheap energy to keep the economy afloat. His criticism on Thursday characterized energy price increases as part of Moscow’s efforts to force Belarus to abandon its independence.

Lukashenko said Russia “has grown insolent and started twisting our hands” by banning agriculture products from Belarus. He suggested Belarus could retaliate by shutting down repairs on pipelines that carry Russian crude oil to the West.

Source: Fox News World

Investigators in Belarus have searched the office of a leading independent satellite channel as part of a criminal probe.

Tuesday’s search of the Belsat office in Minsk was the latest episode in an official crackdown on independent media in the ex-Soviet nation.

Belarus’ state investigative agency said the search was part of a slander probe looking into a Belsat report about the arrest of corruption suspects that proved erroneous.

Belsat, which broadcasts from Poland, said its computers were confiscated during the search. It said Belarusian authorities are trying to muzzle independent voices ahead of next year’s presidential election.

Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko has ruled the ex-Soviet nation of 10 million for a quarter-century, cracking down on dissent and free media and maintaining Soviet-style control over its economy.

Source: Fox News World

Police in Belarus have arrested an opposition leader and another activist as demonstrators for the second day try to prevent authorities from removing wooden crosses at a site near Minsk where tens of thousands of people were executed under Soviet dictator Josef Stalin.

The Kurapaty woods near the capital have a strong significance for the beleaguered opponents of authoritarian President Alexander Lukashenko. He complained last month about the crosses that opposition supporters had set up there.

Fifteen other demonstrators were arrested Thursday after police closed off the woods and workers began removing the crosses. Pavel Sevyarinets of the Belarusian Christian Democracy party and another demonstrator were arrested Friday in a similar action.

Soviet secret police carried out mass executions at Kurapaty, with its victims estimated to range from 30,000 to 200,000 people.

Source: Fox News World

Police in Belarus have arrested 15 demonstrators who were trying to prevent the removal of wooden crosses from a wooded area near the capital of Minsk where tens of thousands of people were executed under Soviet dictator Josef Stalin.

The Kurapaty woods have strong significance for the beleaguered opponents of President Alexander Lukashenko, who has retained many elements of the Soviet Union during his quarter-century in power.

Lukashenko last month complained about the crosses that opposition supporters had set up at Kurapaty, where Soviet secret police carried out mass executions. The number of estimated victims ranges from 30,000 all the way up to 200,000.

On Thursday, police closed off the perimeter of Kurapaty and forest workers began removing the crosses. Police say the protesters tried to interfere with the work.

Source: Fox News World

Police in the capital of Belarus have blocked several hundred opposition demonstrators from holding a rally and detained some of them.

The anti-government rally planned for Monday in Minsk was organized to mark the 101st anniversary of the day in 1919 Belarusian politicians declared the short-lived Belarusian People’s Republic, an independent state they tried to form amid the chaos of World War I.

The republic ceased to exist the next year when Soviet and Polish forces took the territory.

The anniversary has become a regular rally day for opponents of President Alexander Lukashenko, who has cracked down on opposition and independent news media during his quarter-century in power.

On Monday, police officers cordoned off the central square in Minsk where a rally was to be held. About a dozen protesters were detained.

Source: Fox News World

The Belarusian Foreign Ministry has lashed out at Russia’s ambassador, accusing him of showing disrespect for the country — the latest sign of tensions between the two neighbors and allies.

The Russian Ambassador to Minsk, Mikhail Babich, pointed at billions of dollars in Russian subsidies to Belarus and noted that Belarus will continue receiving them only if it agrees to more closely integrate with Russia. Babich’s statement echoed Russian President Vladimir Putin’s recent warning to Minsk.

Belarusian Foreign Ministry spokesman Anatoly Glaz fired back Friday, chastising Babich for failing to respect Belarus and talking "like an aspiring bookkeeper."

Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko has recently criticized increases in the price of Russian energy as part of Moscow’s efforts to persuade his country to abandon its independence.

Source: Fox News World

Three police officers in Ukraine have been injured in a clash with far-right demonstrators in the capital.

The violence occurred outside the presidential administration building in Kiev where several hundred demonstrators had gathered Saturday to call for arrests of top figures in an alleged military corruption scandal.

A media investigation last week detailed alleged embezzlement schemes in Ukraine’s military industry, including at a factory controlled by President Petro Poroshenko.

A police statement said the demonstrators tried to break through police lines and were setting off fireworks. Police turned them back with tear gas.

The police said one officer was hospitalized with chemical burns to his eyes.

Source: Fox News World


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