Dzyady march ends with rally at Stalin-era massacre site

A march staged by opposition activists in Minsk on Sunday on the occasion of Dzyady (Remembrance of Ancestors Day) ended with a short rally in Kurapaty, a woody place just outside the capital city where thousands of people are believed to have been executed by Stalin's NKVD secret police in the 1930s and 1940s.

"I am very pleased with our youths, we even had to rein in their energy," said Yury Belenki, deputy chairman of the Conservative Christian Party that had organized the demonstration. "This is Remembrance of Ancestors Day and the format of the demonstration fits the spirit of the occasion. Young people's energy is channeled in the right direction, not in a false one. The false direction is the participation in false elections. The right direction is where people work and give energy for the benefit of Belarus, defend its culture and language."

"If you want to see change in the country, make the first step, namely turn your back on the regime. Do not take part in elections, don't deceive yourself or others, there are no true elections in Belarus. Let there be empty polling stations and let the regime remain alone. You will see how it will start shaking afterward, we've already seen that."

"Dzyady is the day when one has to remember one's ancestors," said young activist Andrey Rachok. "Here in Kurapaty very many people died for nothing but being Belarusians. If we don't remember their memory we don't deserve to be called Belarusians."