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Belarusian 'Railway Guerrillas' Handed Prison Terms.
Russia has used Belarus's railway system to transport troops and equipment to Ukraine. (file photo)
BABRUYSK, Belarus --Five Belarusian activists who were arrested for allegedly damaging railways in the country to disrupt the transportation of Russian arms and troops to war-torn Ukraine have been sentenced on terrorism charges.
A court in the eastern city of Babruysk sentenced Kanstantsin Yermalovich on August 10 to 16 years in prison and ordered him to pay a fine of 9,600 rubles ($3,800).
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Vital Mankevich was handed a 15-year prison term, and Ihar Kazlou was sentenced to 14 years in prison.
There were two women in the case, Nadzeya Polkina and Natallya Ked. Polkina was sentenced to two years in prison, while Ked was handed a parole-like two-year sentence.
The five activists were charged with carrying out a terrorist act, threatening to conduct a terrorist act, creating a terrorist group, and insulting the country's president.
They were among some 60 men and women arrested for their alleged involvement into the damaging of Belarus's railways to impede the progress of Russian troops and arms being sent into Ukraine since the start of the invasion. The other cases are still being investigated.
The campaign called "Railways War" was initiated in Belarus by a group called BYPOL. Those involved in the campaign have been nicknamed "railway guerrillas."
Belarus is not a direct participant in the war in Ukraine, but it has provided logistical support to Russia for the invasion by allowing Russian forces to enter Ukraine via Belarusian territory.
Western nations have slapped Belarus, like Russia, with an ever-increasing list of financial sanctions in response to the Kremlin's war on Ukraine, and for Belarus’s efforts to aid the Russian invasion.
In May, the country's authoritarian ruler, Alyaksandr Lukashenka, signed a controversial law amending the Criminal Code that allowed the use of the capital punishment for "attempted terrorist acts."
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