Ukrainian news crews denied entry in Belarus

The presidential election campaign in neighboring Belarus is becoming increasingly tense. On Thursday, three Ukrainian TV news crews and representatives of the Pora political party were denied entry into that country at Minsk airport.

The crews from Studio 1+1, Tonis and 5 Kanal were prevented from covering a rally in support of opposition candidate Aleksandr Milenkevich. About 3,000 activists showed up to the rally. About a thousand interior ministry troops were also reportedly there. Meanwhile, an indoor rally of support for President Aleksandr Lukashenka lasted the better part of the day. Lukashenka told his supporters that the Belarusian KGB has uncovered a network of 72 organizations that he claims are plotting to falsify election results. The KGB confiscated activists' mobile telephones and computers. Lukashenka said that his opponents in the presidential race are otmorozky - a slang Russian word meaning nincompoops. Opposition websites in Belarus have been shutdown. The elections are scheduled for March 19th.