Tuesday, December 23, 2008

The New Minsk

This is how new suburbs of Minsk are seen by the city's authorities, which plan the development of our capital. This is going to be a city for cars and not really for people, with plenty of concrete and asphalt and few trees.

Sunday, December 21, 2008


Here are some beautiful photos taken in Smargon, a small Belarusian town near the border to Lithuania.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Lighting Candles in Minsk

Dec. 16, 2008 was a bitter-cold day in Minsk (albeit without any snow). Still, this hasn't prevented young opposition activists to hold a number of solidarity actions. Their purpose is to remind people in Minsk and anywhere in the world that the mystery of politically motivated kidnappings in Belarus remain unsolved.

Here are some of todays actions:

Barazenka Free

The last remaining political prisoner Aliaksandr Barazenka was released from prison on Dec. 9, 2008. But if you think that he was acqitted, you are mistaken. The court found him guilty and sentenced him to one year of "restricted freedom". Basically, that means the regime expects that Barazenka would stay quiet - even crossing the street on a red light may be enough to send him to prison again.

Barazenka, 20, who was charged in early 2008 over his participation in an unauthorized peaceful demonstration this past January and placed on the police wanted list after he fled prosecution, was arrested following his voluntary appearance at the Minsk city police department on October 27 for questioning.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Nasha Niva in color!

The independent weekly newspaper Nasha Niva not only returned into official sales in the state-owned newsstand system on Dec. 4, 2008, but also began to be printed in color - for the first time in its century-long history.

On video: the fresh copies of the newspaper are delivered to the headquarters of Nasha Niva in Minsk. Despite of being allowed to go on sale in newsstands, the newspaper is not going to give up on the system of subscription it has developed in the course of the last 3 years, when it was banned from the official distribution system. Who knows what happens in the future...

Nasha Niva on video

Today, for the first time in the last three years, the independent weekly "Nasha Niva" goes on sale in the network of state-owned newspaper stands. The French news agency AFP (Agence France-Presse) created a video report about "Nasha Niva".

On photo - volunteers pack "Nasha Niva" into the envelopes, which will be later sent to subscribers via regular mail - until today, it was impossible to subscribe to the newspaper in a usual way, that is why "Nasha Niva" had to come up with such a system of self-distribution.

As it often happens, the foreign journalists have mixed something up - the person appearing in the picture under the title "Andrey Skurko" is, in fact, Andrey Dynko, former Editor-in-Chief of the newspaper, who is now the Main Editor of the newspaper's website www.nn.by. Except of that little thing, everything is accurate in the AFP report.

You can see the AFP's report
by clicking here (unfortunately, AFP have do not allow to embed their videos on other websites)

BBC travels to Minsk

Lucy Ash from BBC travelled to Belarus to talk to young men and women in Minsk - not only those, who dislike Lukashenka, but also the ones who like the way the country is being ruled, like Anna, who is getting ready to participate in the military parade.

To see the video, click here.

Al-Jazeera on Belarus

Here is an interesting piece of video reporting by Al-Jazeera English. The channel's journalists travelled to Belarus in order to see how media function in the so-called "last European dictatorship". They not only talked to the representatives of the independent media outlets like "Nasha Niva" (they even feature some video taken by "Nasha Niva" journalists), but also interviewed Pavel Yakubovich, Editor-in-Chief of "Belarus Segodnya", the larges daily newspaper in Belarus, a mouthpiece of President Lukashenka.

In the second part of the Al-Jazeera report the Belarusian music scene is being scrutinized:

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Election Day Protests

Here's the English-language video report from the protests which took place in Minsk on the parliamentary election day, September 28, 2008.

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Parliamentary campaign

If you want to see how the parliamentary campaign is done in Belarus, check out this video. It shows one day of campaign by Volha Kazulina and her team. Volha Kazulina is daughter of Aliaksandar Kazulin, ex-political prisoner, who challenged Lukashenka during Praliamentary elections in 2006. His daughter Volha attempted to run for parliament in 2008.

Similar to other oppositional candidates, Volha Kazulina "lost" the elections.

Monday, September 29, 2008


Some stunningly beautiful puctures of Myadzel region can be found here.

Parliamentary elections

Well, it seems like the West will not recognize Belarusian parliamentary elections as free and fair.

Indeed, this parliamentary elections campaign seemed to be much more relaxed than any previous one. There have been much less arrests, searches, even lashing out at the opposition in the state-controlled media was somewhat less acute. Still, the votes have been counted the same way as before. You want to see how it is being done? Take a look at this video. It was shot from the observers' point of view. According to Belarusian rules, the observers are not allowed to stand up and approach the table where the votes are counted. As a result, all you see is nice body forms of ladies counting the ballots.

No wonder, the results were quite predictable. Despite of many speculations that Lukashenka may allow some opposition candidates to get a seat in the parliament, not a single opposition politician was elected. On the election night, the October square in Minsk was filled with people. There were not too many of them, but the action was anything but boring.

It looked like a typical rally at first:

Then 2 tents appeared:

However, quite soon the tents were packed up and taken on a march in the direction of Independence square (with all the fires it was quite a sight!):

The marching people made a short stop near the KGB headquarters and then continued their walk to the square, finally reaching the Lenin statue. On the square, loudspeakers played some folk music, whic, combined with the sight of the rally, created qute a grotesque atmosphere.


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