The Accidental Activist

Irina Khalip remembers clearly the day she stopped being a journalist and started to become an activist. It was April 2, 1997, and thousands of people had rallied in Minsk, the Belarusian capital, to protest the proposed unification of Belarus with Russia. Pushed by the country's authoritarian President, Alexander Lukashenko, the merger was seen by many as an attempt to re-create the Soviet Union. Khalip went to cover the protests in Minsk with her father, Vladimir, a documentary filmmaker. When riot police broke up the protest, Khalip and her father were caught in the melee. "It was the most horrible day...

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