Vitsebsk: Stalin-inspired MP candidate picketing with Russian flags

Elvira Mirsalimova, who is running for a seat in the House of Representatives, has staged a picket in Vitsebsk. The woman and her associates were showing Belarusian and Russian flags.

The parliamentary candidate represents the Civil Concord organization and the Labour and Justice Republican Party. Mirsalimova is an active blogger and author at pro-Russian propaganda websites.

Elvira Mirsalimova has repeatedly said that Belarusians are actually Russians. Moreover, she called Josef Stalin a ‘prominent political leader’ and came up with the initiative to put a monument to him in Belarus. According to Mirsalimova, Stalin is a ‘lot more monumental figure’ than the whole of the Polish-Lithuanian nobles whom we are now forced to take as Belarusian activists’.

There was no breach of the Belarusian legislation, human rights defender Uladz Labkovich believes.

“It is a complicated issue. [Demonstrating] the symbols of the neighbouring state is not a violation in Belarus. However, those who show [historical] white-red-white flags are warned or taken to courts. But the Belarusian law does not prohibit the use of Russian symbols,” the expert says.

In early August, Alyaksandr Lukashenka signed a number of decrees to set the dates for the elections to the Council of the Republic and the House of Representatives of the National Assembly of the Republic of Belarus of the 7th convocation. The Belarusians will cast their votes for the would-be deputies of the lower chamber of the parliament on 17 November.

October Revolution Day celebrations in Minsk 2019 (photo report)