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Opposition leader: Belarus, Ukraine fate connected

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Belarus' exiled opposition leader is in New York to make sure the people of her country are not forgotten. She's there as the 77th General Assembly meeting of world leaders convenes this week under the shadow of Europe's first major war since World War II — the Russian invasion of Ukraine. "It's very important now to understand that the fate of Ukraine and fate of Belarus are interconnected," Sviatlana Tsikhanouskaya told The Associated Press, as she is trying to meet with as many world leaders as possible to attract attention to in her country. "I understand why it is going on that all the focus is on Ukraine," she said. "We really understand the importance of this attention, but we do not have to forget the role of Belarus in this regional crisis, and we do not have to forget about people in Belarus who are also fighting and who are also suffering because of the war and because of the dictator rule in our country." Tsikhanouskaya called on the United Nations to hold the President of Belarus, Alexander Lukashenko, responsible and accountable for "his crimes in Belarus." Tsikhanouskaya ran against Alexander Lukashenko in 2020 and then fled into exile. Belarus helped Russia launch its invasion of Ukraine in February. Tsikhanouskaya has said that Belarus' military is effectively under Russian control. She claims the Belarusan people are against the war.

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