Archbishop Kondrusiewicz prays in front of the Minsk prison. Naval'nyj in a coma, possibly transported to Germany
by Vladimir Rozanskij

Great Russia and White Russia seem to be on the common path of rejecting the "eternal leaders" Putin and Lukashenko. The Archbishop of Minsk was banned from entering the prisons, where he wanted to comfort those arrested in recent weeks. The prelate has asked for the release of all those arrested. Naval'nyj was poisoned with a tea drunk at Tomsk airport (Siberia). The Russian democratic movement supports the demonstrations in Minsk.

Moscow (AsiaNews) - The president of the Conference of Catholic Bishops of Belarus, Metropolitan of Minsk-Mogilev, Tadeusz Kondrusiewicz, has prayed at the walls of the special prison in Minsk, a symbol of the protest of the peaceful citizens who contest the false elections of 9 August last.

Two days ago, the bishop was banned from entering the solitary confinement detention center, where he had wanted to meet the prisoners arrested for protesting in recent days.

Msgr. Kondrusiewicz, was joined by collaborators of the local Caritas, the association "Humanitarian Mission of the Good Samaritan" and other volunteers to pray in the place described as "suffering and passion”. The press releases from the Minsk curia stressed that Catholics "with all their strength have tried to support people who find themselves in such difficult situations".

It continues: "At 15.00 sharp the hour of Divine Mercy, those present together with the Archbishop recited a special prayer to the Crown of Mercy ... On the street in the rain, the bishop stopped at the gates of the prison prayed together with the faithful, among which there were lay people, priests, men and women religious, and also members of the association Mothers in Prayer”.

After the prayer, the Archbishop stayed on the street for over an hour to talk to the people present, including some who had just been released from prison. Those present thanked the prelate "for his principled position in the rejection of violence".

The day before, on August 18, Msgr. Kondrusiewicz had prayed in front of solitary confinement no.1 in Volodarskaya Street, and on the same day he had addressed the Minister of the Interior Yurij Karaev, with the prayer to "allow priests to visit the people arrested after the presidential elections, to ensure they receive the necessary help, especially spiritual help” while asking the minister to free all those arrested in recent days. He also asked the minister for a personal meeting, to evaluate the situation together and prevent further violence.

Meanwhile, in Russia the protest movement is deeply anxious over the conditions of Alexei Navalnyj, the blogger who most of all embodies popular dissatisfaction with the administration's actions, and who in recent days has been strongly supporting the popular protests in Belarus.

After having tea at Tomsk airport, Navalnyj fell ill on the plane and was hospitalized in Omsk after an emergency landing, and is currently unconscious with a reserved prognosis. This morning a German plane, equipped with doctors and medical equipment, flew to Siberia to transfer Naval’nyj to Germany. But this very morning, the doctors who are treating the anti-Putin blogger, said they were against his transfer, because his health conditions are not stable.

Navalnyj arrived in Novosibirsk a week ago, on August 13, where municipal elections will be held in September, as well as in the city of Tomsk, two of the main centres of central Siberia, where candidates close to the opposition leader were being presented. These are very delicate elections, in which Naval’ny candidates play a decisive role. During the Siberian trip, Naval'nyj also worked on an investigation into local deputies of the Putinian party "United Russia", accused of various cases of corruption.

Russian protests, especially after the Naval’ny poisoning, are increasingly intertwined with the Belarusian ones, where new general strikes are being prepared to demand the resignation of President Lukashenko. Great Russia and White Russia seem to be on the common path of rejecting the "eternal leaders" Putin and Lukashenko; Naval’ny's fate could affect future events in the two countries.