Yestersay, an opposition candidate for the presidency of Belarus was beaten and arrested. All that Alexander Kozulin did was try to attend a conference where incumbent president Alexander Lukashenko was speaking, and now he finds himself charged with "hooliganism". Such is life in Europe's last remaining totalitarian dictatorship.
However, there is a silver lining to this cloud. In response to the Kozulin's arrest, thousnads of protesters have taken to the street in the capital city of Minsk (and they didn't bother to try to get a permit, either). I am extremely heartened by this news, because Belarus is the last place that I thought this would happen. Lukashenko is far more imposing of a foe than any other dictator in the Former Soviet Union. He rules the country with an iron fist and says that the only reason that he doesn't call himself a Stalinist is because the word has taken on a negative connotation in the popular culture. He has even maintained the KGB (which is long dead in Russia and the other Former Soviets). Yet, freedom's light can shine in even the darkest places, and the Belorussian people have proven the naysayers wrong by standing up for their rights even though it means confronting Lukashenko and the KGB.
I don't know if this will result in a "color revolution" like we have seen in Ukraine, Georgia, and Kyrgyzstan - but I definitely think that it is possible. Thosands have already taken to the streets, and they could be joined by thousands more after the coming election (which will almost certainly be rigged). In my eyes, this could be a defining moment for the entire Former Soviet Union. If the forces of freedom can take down Alexander Lukashenko, then they can take down anyone.
I'll keep you posted.