Russia’s NTV will broadcast an interview with former presidential candidate Alyaksandr Kazulin on the evening of August 22, the Belarusian service of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty said.
The interview is to be aired at 10:45 p.m. Minsk time but is likely to be censored from the NTV version broadcast in Belarus.
The interview with one of Alyaksandr Lukashenka’s fiercest opponents comes after the major government-controlled TV channel broadcast three parts of its critical documentary dealing with the Belarusian leader’s iron-fist rule and private life.
The documentaries, which implicated Mr. Lukashenka in the disappearances of his opponents and told about the mysterious death of opposition leader Henadz Karpenka, as well as focused on alleged corruption in his government, angered Minsk, with state media outlets rushing to criticize the Kremlin in response.
The 54-year-old Kazulin, a former rector of Belarusian State University, was a candidate in the 2006 presidential elections. He was beaten up and arrested by riot police during a post-election protest in March and sentenced to five and a half years in prison for his role in the demonstration four months later. He was granted an early release from prison in August 2008.