А monument to Prince Alhierd (Lithuanian: Algirdas), a medieval ruler who waged war with Muscovites and extended the borders of his state at the expense of Muscovy and the Golden Horde, was unveiled today in the northeastern Belarusian city of Viciebsk.
Some pro-Russian public activists there reportedly appealed to Belarus president Alyaksandr Lukashenka to protest the erection of the monument, claiming that since Alhierd was “an enemy of Russia” he should not be so honored by "the brotherly Belarusian people."
Fearing potential vandalism, Viciebsk police guarded the freshly erected monument around the clock for several days prior to the unveiling.
Alherd ruled the Grand Duchy of Lithuania from 1345 to 1377 and created a vast empire stretching from the Baltics to the Black Sea, which reached to within fifty miles of Moscow.
The Grand Duchy of Lithuania was a common state of Lithuanians and Ruthenians, the ancestors of present-day Belarusians and Ukrainians.