01 April 2015
“Minsk Phenomenon” was the title of a 2013 Russian-language translation of University of Giessen historian Thomas Boehn’s book, which addressed the dominance of the city of Minsk in the development of contemporary Belarus.
In many ways the Belarusian capital is a symbol of modern identity in a country that is often labelled “Soviet,” but is perhaps more...
05 September 2013
A country where parachuting teddy bears and clapping in public are illegal? Where one in eight people is employed by the military or the police? Where nobody speaks English at all? Why would anyone want to go there? These were the questions that friends and family asked when I told them I was going to teach English in Belarus as a Fulbright scholar for the 2012-2013 school year.
10 May 2013
On 9 May the annual parade took place in Minsk to honour the victory in the Great Patriotic War against Nazi Germany. According to today's official statistics during that war every third Belarusian inhabitant died. Nazis killed around 600-800 thousand Jews, 80% of the total Jewish population of Belarus.
Remembering the war which started in 1941, after Germany's attack...
20 February 2013
The official interpretation of history in Belarus has experienced a dramatic evolution since the USSR's collapse. At the first stage a Belarusian nationalist-oriented approach dominated in historiography. After Lukashenka came to power in 1994, a reversal to a Soviet driven narrative took place, which, however, included a number of additional elements.
On the one hand, Lukashenka...
19 February 2013
Few people from the West know that tens of thousands of Belarusians fought in Afghanistan.
The war has long been over, but its legacy remains. The Afghan war brought not only death, physical disabilities and material losses. It also made drug addiction a widespread occurrence in the former USSR.
On 15 February, the Belarusian warrior-internationalists celebrated their...
25 November 2011
For the Belarusian authorities, human rights activist Ales Bialiatski, who was sentenced to 4 and a half years in prison yesterday, is a criminal. For a significant part of Belarusian society, he is a hero. Twenty years after the declaration of independence from the Soviet Union, Belarus still has two opposite pantheons of national heroes: the official and the democratic one, and many...
- 09 October 2010
- 09 March 2010
- 05 March 2010
15 December 2009
- 17 November 2009
18 October 2009