‘Invaders, get out of Ukraine’: one-man picketer detained in Minsk (video)

Belarusian opposition activist Maksim Viniarski was arrested Wednesday in Minsk for protesting against Russia’s military intervention in Ukraine.

At about 4 pm, the 32-year-old Viniarski posted himself in front of the Russian embassy with a sign saying, ‘Invaders get out of Ukraine!’ A Belarusian police officer on guard outside the embassy took the sign away from the protester and called other officers, who drove Mr Viniarski to Tsentralny district police station.

Before picketing the embassy the activist disclosed his thoughts about the events in Ukraine. ‘From my perspective, it’s high time we called a spade a spade. What is going on in Ukraine is occupation. There are alien troops, they are making attempts to seize Ukraine’s military bases and boss the country around. Ukrainians are protecting their independence in a very interesting way – they are not using force and arms but at the same time, they don’t let the opponents slice off a piece of their territory.’

{movie}Maksim Viniarski about solidarity with Ukraine. ENG subs|right|15186{/movie}

I was in Moscow when activists of Bolotnaya case were convicted. When we were detained in Tverskaya street, I saw that words ‘Maidan’, ‘Berkut’ were driving Russians wild, I mean Russian special forces, judges, officials. Yesterday I watched Putin’s press conference and felt that he feared, too. ‘

‘Putin was so scared and even betrayed himself that they would be staying behind women and children if anyone started shooting. It’s impossible to bear it any more, to remain uninvolved. It’s very surprising that there are few people in Belarus who really care about what is going on in the neighbouring country, the country next to us. Moreover, Belarus also has its dictator, some laws are far worse than those adopted in Ukraine, which triggered Yanukovych’s ouster. Any protests are forbidden here. I don’t think I must submit to the incumbent authorities and obey these laws . According to them, I should ask for permission to hold this picket no less than 15 days before it. Excuse me, but within these 15 days Crimea might well be sliced off, people might be killed. Thus, we have no legal ways to act. That is why I don’t recognise our laws and don’t obey them. I act as if it were no such laws. Furthermore, they were adopted by pardon, cads. These MPs were not elected by people but appointed [by Lukashenka].’

‘Now I’m going to picket the Russian embassy ‘Invaders get out of Ukraine!’. I don’t know what the picket will result in, but I know for sure that my Moscow friends keep protesting and demand to stop aggression. I also demand to stop aggression; furthermore, we can’t say it’s not up to us. As so called Union State exists, we are all becoming parties of this invasion. But our troops have not been involved yet. Only a person who makes a stand and says ‘I’m against’ has the right to state ‘I’ve done all what I could do’.


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