Belarusian priest fined over participating in Chernobyl Path rally

On June 19, a Minsk court imposed a fine of 382 rubles (about $180) on Father Vikentsiy (Viktar Kavalkou), a priest of the Belarusian Autocephalous Orthodox Church, for his taking part in April’s unauthorized Chernobyl Path rally.

The priest who pleaded not guilty intends to appeal against the district court’s decision to Minsk City Court.

As reported earlier, the organizing committee withdrew their application to hold the time-honoured Chernobyl Path march in late April due to the city authorities’ demand to pay 5,737 Belarusian rubles (appr. $2,800) for the police services at the event. In addition, the organizers were expected to disburse 215 rubles to municipal workers and 240 – to paramedics. However, in spite of the lack of the Minsk authorities’ permission, the activists gathered together near the Academy of Sciences on April 26 at 18:00 and marched along the streets to the Chernobyl victims memorial chapel.

Unsanctioned Chernobyl Path rally held in Minsk