Belarus Opposition Seeks Ukrainian Asylum

KIEV, Ukraine -- In a sign of the worsening political situation in Belarus, Belarus opposition leaders have petitioned Ukrainian President Viktor Yushchenko for asylum.

Alexander Lukashenko has jailed over 2,000 opposition demonstrators

ForUm news agency reported Monday that Molodoy Front leader Dmitry Dashkevich, Vyacheslav Sivchik RAZAM Coordinator, Student Fellowship Chairman Oleg Yatsenko and others announced their request at a press conference in Kiev. Dashkevich has only been recently released from prison.

The group of leaders identified themselves as "Minsk Maydan" and urged the pro-Western President Yuschenko "to raise a question before the heads of leading countries of the world how Russia may be a member of G8 if it implements uncivilized policy and supports odious dictatorial regime which violates all international laws."

The "Minsk Maydan" group said Russia was reverting to being "the evil empire" again. They said that because of Belarus President Aleksandr Lushenko's growing closeness to Moscow, Belarus political independence was at risk.

The press conference participants urged Ukrainian university rectors to consider admitting Belarus students who faced political repression into their institutions.

The Belarus oppositionist leaders also urged Ukraine's democrats to monitor the situation in Belarus.

Source: UPI