MINSK, Belarus — In Belarus, an authoritarian, former Soviet nation, even a pillow fight can be seen as a threat to national security.
On Thursday, club-wielding police dispersed about 400 pillow-wielding youths who gathered in Minsk, the capital, to humorously commemorate the anniversary of the Battle of Grunwald. It stopped an invasion of German Catholic crusaders in Eastern Europe 600 years ago.
Some 50 of the youths were detained.
Authorities often crack down on rallies and protests in Belarus, a country regarded by many as medieval in its suppression of opposition and independent media.
The U.S. and some European countries have dubbed Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko as “Europe’s last dictator.”
Officials refused to comment on the detentions.