Does Belarus look like a run-down Soviet province?
Published: 04 April 2011
More than two thirds of the Belarusian people live in cities. Just a fraction of the population is employed in agriculture. For comparison, 67% of Lithuanians and 73% of Russians live in urban areas. Agriculture had dominated the economy of Belarus for a long time, but since the mid-20th century industry has been the republic’s leading economic sector.
This is how the Economist described Minsk:
"The capital of Belarus, known as 'the last dictatorship in Europe', looks like an advanced version of the Soviet Union. Minsk’s broad, well-lit avenues are full of foreign cars, its Stalinist architecture nestles beside Western shops and the old slogans appear next to a McDonalds sign. Had the Soviet Union looked like this, it might have lasted longer."
Belarusian cities are generally clean and safe. Urban areas have efficient and affordable public transportation as well as low crime rates. Law and order is maintained by police, who are noticeable on every corner.
The capital Minsk looks like a vibrant European city. There are many nice restaurants and luxury cars. Modern shopping malls and supermarkets are available. The streets are clean, the roads are well-maintained.