A member of opposition politician Alyaksandr Milinkevich’s nomination group was attacked by two drunk men in their 20s as he was collecting ballot-access signatures in an underpass on the eastern outskirts of Minsk on Saturday.
According to Alyaksandr Marchanka, one of the athletic men wanted to sign Mr. Milinkevich’s ballot-access petition but the other started talking him out of doing so. Then the pair began to read a leaflet detailing the former presidential candidate’s biography but struggled to understand the Belarusian-language text. They were infuriated to learn that Mr. Milinkevich is a descendant of people who fought under the leadership of Kastus Kalinowski for Belarus’ independence from Russia in the 1860s. "A scuffle started. They tried to wrest a file with papers inside from me, I was punched in the head several times. I started running away with the file in my hands, they chased me. When passers-by began to shout, the hooligans ran in the opposite direction, breaking my sandwich board on their way," Mr. Marchanka said.
Mr. Marchanka, who lost much blood as a result of the attack, was taken to the hospital and had stitches to his head. The two men, as well as their companion who was not involved in the violence were grabbed by police shortly after the attack.
Mr. Marchanka acknowledged that he was involved in regular arguments, mostly with elderly pro-Lukashenka people, during the signature collection campaign.