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Belarusian Opposition Leader Says There Are 'Cracks' in Government


Belarusian opposition leader Alexander Milinkevich says protests against President Alexander Lukashenko's re-election have left what he calls "cracks in the fortress" of the Lukashenko government.

Milikenvich told the Associated Press Monday that there will be, in his words, "a second storming" in the future.

He says the Lukashenko government has imposed an information blockade, and that the opposition's goal is getting information to the people.

Meanwhile, Belarusian courts Monday began sentencing opposition activists arrested when police broke up an anti-government rally Saturday.

At least 100 people were detained, and some were given sentences of up to 15 days in prison. They include Poland's former ambassador to Belarus, Mariusz Maskiewicz. Polish officials allege he was beaten.

The European Union says it is appalled that police used violence to break up Saturday's demonstration. But police allege the demonstrators became violent.

The United States and European Union say President Lukashenko won a third term last week through fraud. They have demanded a new election and have announced new sanctions on Belarus.

Russia says the voting was free and fair and has given its backing to Mr. Lukashenko.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP, AP and Reuters.
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