KGB, radicals side by side in Pinsk


activists in Pinsk
have received postcards featuring a hummer and sickle, a symbol associated with
radical Bolshevik groups, and saying, "You Game's Up!" 

postcards were posted to 11 or 12 activists who say they have been watched
closely by police and KGB agents. The activists are routinely arrested on
trumped-up charges ahead of big opposition protests. Some of them say that the
KGB encourages radical youths to clash with dissidents.


A cell of
Vanguard of Red Youth (AKM), a radical Russian communist group, was formed in Pinsk in 2001 after one local former functionary of the
Leninist Young Communist League (LKSMB) joined Russia's AKM.

AKM members have taken part in all May Day demonstrations organized by the Pinsk authorities in the
last few years. AKM thugs are said to have physically assaulted local
opposition members and election observers, and threw an egg at opposition
candidate Alyaksandr Milinkevich during his campaign stop in the town in 2006.


The KGB has
turned a blind eye to AKM, whose declared goals include changing the
constitutional system and annexing Belarus
to Russia.
AKM activists usually gather in downtown Pinsk
outside the KGB building. The place is marked by graffiti.

Says Viktar
Varashuk, one of the activists who received the postcard, "I am sure our
secret service is aware of the AKM activities. But it has received no orders to
stop it. When they distributed leaflets insulting a democratic parliamentary
candidate, I appealed to the prosecutor's office, but it replied that it has
not found those responsible."