Demonstrators in Bishkek, furious that Minsk is ignoring demands to extradite the brother of the former president to face murder charges, roughed up the Belarusian Embassy on August 28, local news agencies reported.
Many in Kyrgyzstan are livid that Janysh Bakiyev popped up in Belarus earlier this month a free man. A Belarusian activist said he posted photos of ex-President Kurmanbek Bakiyev's hated little brother on August 17 because he was tired of seeing his country become “a scrapheap for escaped dictators.”
The Bakiyevs were ousted in bloody street riots in April 2010, when Kurmanbek fled to Belarus. Bishkek has repeatedly requested his extradition, though the ex-autocrat is said to have scored Belarusian citizenship and a $2-million home in the capital.
Upwards of 50 people, including relatives of those who died on April 7, 2010, attacked the embassy, Radio Azattyk reported, breaking windows and destroying furniture. Janysh, his brother's security boss, is accused of giving orders to fire on the crowd as Bakiyev clung to power, resulting in about 90 dead and hundreds wounded. Bishkek is trying the brothers in absentia.
Charter 97, a Belarusian news site critical of President Alexander Lukashenko’s regime, reported that Ambassador Viktor Denisenko met protestors and made some vague promises.
Despite the violence, Minsk says it has no plans to recall its ambassador from Kyrgyzstan.
Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko has given a high five to Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev and Georgian President Mikheil Saakashvili for their support for Minsk amid growing European Union pressure for Belarus to clean up its human rights act. Both countries opposed a scathing declaration from the EU about harassment of political opposition and independent media in Belarus.
“They [the Europeans] thought that we would bang our heads against the door, that we would cry and beg… but no!,” Lukashenko said, after Belarus withdrew from a September 29-30 summit in Warsaw, where ties between the EU and its ex-Soviet neighbors were discussed,
Ukraine, Moldova and Armenia also stopped short of supporting the EU statement, but Georgia and Azerbaijan received special thanks as the most avid Belarus supporters.
But this support is caused by very pragmatic considerations. Georgia views Belarus as the weak link in ex-Soviet countries’ support for Georgia’s territorial integrity in the face of Russian pressure to recognize breakaway Abkhazia and South Ossetia as independent states.
Azerbaijan, a potential energy partner which also knows what it's like to be summoned to the international woodshed on human rights issues, obviously chose to avoid what could arguably be called a case of the pot calling the kettle black.
In a conclusive message to the world, Lukashenko said his enemies will not take Belarus away from him and that he will live a long life to spite all ill-wishers.
Charlie Sheen’s father, Martin, played a president on American television. Ever wonder how the loquacious, outrageous Charlie might behave as a chief executive? All you have to do is look to Belarus to get a preview.
Belarussian leader Alexader Lukashenko, who does not run from the moniker Europe’s last dictator, was really sheening in a recent interview with The Washington Post. He ended the talk on a particularly high note, tweaking Georgian President Mikheil Saakashvili by describing him as America’s “son of a bitch.”
Saakashvili, who is carrying on a long-running feud with Russia’s supreme leader, Vladimir Putin, is not known as one who turns the other cheek. Not long ago, Saakashvili vowed that Georgia, which got a certain part of its anatomy kicked in its 2008 conflict with Russia, would never “lick” Moscow’s posterior.
Given the way Saakashvili has responded to Putin, look for the sparks to start flying between Tbilisi and Minsk.
When your gas bill is past due and the supply is turned off, having a friend with cash is priceless. With a Russian bill collector at his neck and faced with a gas brownout in Europe, Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko phoned his well-heeled counterpart from Azerbaijan, Ilham Aliyev, to ask if he could spare a couple of hundred million dollars. No worries at all, Aliyev said.
“I asked Ilham Aliyev and within 24 hours, or even less, he lent me $200 million,” Lukashenko told Euronews on June 25. “We paid 187 million of that to Gazprom.” The multimillion-dollar check from Baku settled a politically charged Moscow-Minsk dispute that had briefly put part of Europe on a low-hydrocarbon diet.
If a Russian-backed revolution forces the president of a former Soviet state to flee, one of the last places you'd expect him to go is Belarus. But Minsk appears to be a surprisingly congenial place for Russia-bashing. Kyrgyzstan's deposed president Kurmanbek Bakiyev late last week openly suggested -- without providing much evidence -- that Russia pushed him out because of his refusal to kick the U.S. out of its air base there:
Asked about speculation that Moscow may have played a role in the uprising, Bakiyev said Russian President Dmitry Medvedev and Prime Minister Vladimir Putin had been unhappy at his decision in 2009 to extend the lease on the U.S. base.
"They told me: 'Why are you holding on to this Manas base, this worries us, this does not suit us'," Bakiyev told reporters in Russian at a news conference.
"Russia's leadership was irritated, annoyed by the presence of the base and this factor also played a certain role."
And then on Sunday, Belarussian President Alexander Lukashenko chimed in:
Belarussian President Alexander Lukashenko on Sunday berated Russia for not paying for its military bases in his country and warned that he could snub the summit of a Moscow-dominated security pact next month over Kyrgyzstan....
"If someone has forgotten, Russia has two military bases on Belarussian land," Lukashenko said. "And Russia pays us zero rubles, zero kopeks and zero dollars for these bases....
Lukashenko also threatened to skip an informal summit of the Moscow-dominated Collective Security Treaty Organization, set for May 8 in Moscow, unless Kyrgyzstan's "coup d'etat" is included in the agenda....