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Author Topic: Minsk - Мінск - Минск  (Read 8894 times)

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Offline mendeleyev

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Minsk - Мінск - Минск
« on: February 03, 2009, 09:04:11 AM »
Minsk (Мінск , Минск)


[ Guests cannot view attachments ] Area of pre-war Minsk.


Minsk is the capital and largest city in Belarus, situated on the Svislach and Niamiha rivers. Minsk is also a headquarters of the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS). As the national capital, Minsk has a special administrative status in Belarus and is also the administrative centre of Minsk voblast (province) and Minsk raion (district). It has a population of 1,830,000 inhabitants (2008).


[ Guests cannot view attachments ] Independence Square.


The earliest references to Minsk date to the 11th century (1067), then a provincial city within the principiality of Polotsk. In 1242, Minsk became a part of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania, and it received its town privileges in 1499. From 1569, it was a capital of the Minsk Voivodship in the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth. It was annexed by Russia in 1793, as a consequence of the Second Partition of Poland. From 1919–1991, Minsk was the capital of the Byelorussian Soviet Socialist Republic.


[ Guests cannot view attachments ] National Library of Belarus.


Before World War II, Minsk had had a population of 300,000 people. After Germany invaded the Soviet Union on 22 June, 1941, as part of Operation Barbarossa, Minsk immediately came under attack. The city was bombed on the first day of the invasion and was occupied by the German Army four days later. However, some factories, museums and tens of thousands of civilians had been evacuated to the east. The Germans designated Minsk their administrative centre and Communists and sympathisers were killed or imprisoned; thousands were forced into slave labour, both locally and after being transported to Germany. Homes were requisitioned to house occupying German forces.


[ Guests cannot view attachments ] Orthodox Church of St Mary Magdalene.


During the war thousands starved as food was seized by the German Army and paid work was scarce. Some residents did support the Germans, especially at the beginning of the occupation, but by 1942, Minsk had become a major centre of the Soviet partisan resistance movement against the occupation, in what is known as the Great Patriotic War. For this role, Minsk was awarded the title Hero City in 1974.


[ Guests cannot view attachments ] Apartments at night.


Belarusians call their housing complexes "microraions" -  which means "bedroom communities" much like Ukraine which refers to large housing developments as "sleeping zones."
 
Minsk was the site of one of the largest Nazi-run ghettos in World War II, temporarily housing over 100,000 Jews.


[ Guests cannot view attachments ] War memorial "Island of Tears."


Minsk suffered heavy losses from the War.  The population at the start of the war was over 300,000.  At the end of the war it was 50,000. Minsk was liberated by Soviet troops on 3 July, 1944, during Operation Bagration. The city was the centre of German resistance to the Soviet advance and saw heavy fighting during the first half of 1944. Factories, municipal buildings, power stations, bridges, most roads and 80% of the houses were reduced to rubble. In 1944, Minsk's population was reduced to a mere 50,000.


[ Guests cannot view attachments ] Minsk in the 1840's.


Throughout its history Minsk has been a city of many languages. Initially most of its residents spoke Ruthenian (which later developed into modern Belarusian). However, after 1569 the official language was Polish. By the end of the 18th century most residents of Minsk were Polish-speakers (or Yiddish-speakers among the Jewish community). In the 19th century Russian became the official language. The Belarusian national revival increased interest in the Belarusian language—its use has grown since the 1890s, especially among the intelligentsia. In the 1920s and early 1930s Belarusian was the major language of Minsk, however, in the late 1930s Russian again gained dominance. This process accelerated after World War II —by the mid-1980s Minsk was almost exclusively Russian-speaking. Today both Russian and Belarusian are the official languages.


[ Guests cannot view attachments ] Stalinist style building--the old rail station.

Offline mendeleyev

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Re: Minsk - Мінск - Минск
« Reply #1 on: February 03, 2009, 09:41:56 AM »
Minsk, continued


[ Guests cannot view attachments ] International airport.


Minsk International Airport is in the process of being modernized.  The domestic airport, "Minsk One" was closed in 2008 due to noise and safety issues.

Minsk International Airport is located 42 km to the east of the city. It opened in 1982 and the current passenger terminal opened in 1987. It is an international airport undergoing modernisation with flights to Austria, Cyprus, France, Germany, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Iran, Latvia, Poland, Russia, Turkey, the United Kingdom, and other countries. Operators include the national carrier Belavia, and also the German airline Lufthansa, AirBaltic of Latvia, LOT Polish Airlines, and the Austrian Airlines Group.


[ Guests cannot view attachments ] Catholic University.


Due to it's being part of European rule before being annexed by Russia, Belarus has a large Roman Catholic population, mostly of churches started by the Jesuits.


[ Guests cannot view attachments ] Orthodox Church of Alexandr Nevsky.



[ Guests cannot view attachments ] Minsk City Hall.


On the outskirts of Minsk, new mikroraions of residential development have been built. Metro lines have been extended, and the road system (including the Minsk ring road) has been improved. In January 2008, the city government announced several projects on its official web-site. Among them are the refurbishment of some streets and main avenues, the constructions of more up-to-date hotels (one near the Palace of the Republic and another on the shore of Lake Komsomolkye), the demolition of the out-of-date Belarus hotel and the erection in the same premises of a complex consisting of sport facilities, swimming pool, 2 hotel towers and one business center building with the help of potential foreign investors and the construction of a modern aquatic park in the outskirts of the city.


[ Guests cannot view attachments ] Minsk was a "Hero City" during the Soviet years.


Minsk has an extensive public transport system. Passengers are served by 8 tramway lines, over 70 trolleybus lines, and over 100 bus lines. Trams were the first public transport used in Minsk (since 1892 - the horse-tram, and since 1929 - the electric tram). Public buses have been used in Minsk since 1924, and trolleybuses since 1952.

Minsk is the only city in Belarus with an underground metro system. Construction of the metro began in 1977, soon after the city reached over a million people, and the first line with 8 stations was opened in 1984. Since then it has expanded into two lines: Moskovskaya and Avtozavodskaya, which are 12.2 and 18.1 kilometres long with 11 and 14 stations, respectively. On November 7, 2007, two new stations on the Moskovskaya Line were opened; work continues on a 5.2 km extension, with 3 more stations slated to open in 2011.


[ Guests cannot view attachments ] A metro station.


All public transport is operated by Minsktrans, a government-owned and -funded transport not-for-profit company. As of January 2008, Minsktrans used 1,420 buses, 1,010 trolleybuses and 153 tramway cars in Minsk. The Minsk city government in 2003 decreed that local transport provision should be set at a minimum level of 1 vehicle (bus, trolleybus or tram) per 1,500 residents. Currently the number of vehicles in use by Minsktrans is 2.2 times higher than the mimimum level.


[ Guests cannot view attachments ] The new Minsk railroad station.


On September 8, 2007, the city of Minsk celebrated 940 years since its founding. Owing to the small size of the private sector in Belarus, most business development is controlled and financed by the government.


[ Guests cannot view attachments ] Minsk is home to several Universities.

Offline mendeleyev

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Re: Minsk - Мінск - Минск
« Reply #2 on: February 03, 2009, 10:24:09 AM »
Minsk, continued


[ Guests cannot view attachments ] Seal of Belarus.


Although there are elections, only one man can win as those brave enough to run for the opposition usually sit out the campaign in prison. Headed by a "President for Life," the heavy handed dictator Alexandr Lukashenko, Belarus is one of the few remaining countries in the world dedicated to the principles of communism. The office of President of Belarus (Belarusian: Прэзідэнт Рэспублікі Беларусь, Russian: Президент Республики Беларусь) is the head of state of Belarus and the role of the parliment (Duma) is simply to rubberstamp and carry out his initiatives.  In fact, only in the most rare of circumstances would the Duma introduce legislation on it's own, and instead waits for direction from the office of the President.


[ Guests cannot view attachments ] President Lukashenko.


The Republic of Belarus was formed in 1991 shortly after declaring itself independent of the Soviet Union. Under the government of the Byelorussian SSR, the de facto leader of the Soviet Republic was the first secretaries of the Communist Party of Byelorussia, the only legal party in Soviet Belarus. From independence until passage of the Constitution in 1994, the Chairman of the Supreme Soviet was the head of state and the Prime Minister as the head of government. When the office of the presidency was created, the role of the prime minister was reduced to assisting the president and resulted in the dissolution of the Supreme Soviet as well.


[ Guests cannot view attachments ] Communism remains: some ideas die hard.



[ Guests cannot view attachments ] National costumes.



[ Guests cannot view attachments ] Palace of the Republic.



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Media control is extended over everything from radio, TV, magazines and newspapers and even the Internet.



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Propaganda--tell the people how happily they live.



[ Guests cannot view attachments ] Government troops keep citizens in "order."


In Belarus, young people are employing flash mobs to push the boundaries of what the government will tolerate in terms of free assembly. In 2008 flash mobbers descended upon a public square in the capital Minsk to gather together and eat ice cream. No rally, no speeches, no sit-in nor march - just standing around and eating ice cream as a way to test the government reaction.

If this were almost any other country in the world, standing around eating ice cream wouldn't even cause the local authorities to bat an eyelash. In Belarus, though, it was treated as an organized public assembly, so plainclothes government agents broke up the event, arresting some of the young ice cream eating participants.


Offline mendeleyev

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Re: Minsk - Мінск - Минск
« Reply #3 on: February 03, 2009, 10:59:18 AM »
Media in Belarus is very heavily controlled by the government so there are virtually no small town or independent stations so common to the West.  Most radio and TV is fed nationally from Minsk and carefully scripted by government broadcasters.


Minsk radio stations

Links to LISTEN NOW are embedded so simply click on the blue station name.


[ Guests cannot view attachments ] Radio Radius is a mix of English and Russian hits.


[ Guests cannot view attachments ] Radio Alpha is Russian and Belarussian pop music.


[ Guests cannot view attachments ] Radio Stoliza with talk and music.


[ Guests cannot view attachments ] Radio One is Belarus's information station.


[ Guests cannot view attachments ] Radio Unistar the most popular music station.


[ Guests cannot view attachments ] Radio Belarus information and music.


[ Guests cannot view attachments ] Radio Culture with classical and opera.


[ Guests cannot view attachments ] Russkoe Radio--Russian music and news.


[ Guests cannot view attachments ] TeleRadioCompany the national station for ethnic music.


[ Guests cannot view attachments ] International Radio Belarus the international voice of Belarus.

Offline mendeleyev

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Re: Minsk - Мінск - Минск
« Reply #4 on: February 03, 2009, 11:39:11 AM »
Minsk Television and Webcams

Due to bandwidth not all TV stations continuousuly stream live on the Internet.  However you can watch but you have to know how.  When you see this symbol [ Guests cannot view attachments ] or this word Смотреть ("watch"), on the linked websites just click and watch.


Minsk TV stations

[ Guests cannot view attachments ] Belarus TV - click to watch live.


[ Guests cannot view attachments ] TV Lad Belarus - look for this word, Смотреть, to click and watch stories and shows.


[ Guests cannot view attachments ] TV One  or TV First - feed from Russia.


[ Guests cannot view attachments ] NTV Belarus

Until further notice the stream of NTV from their Belarus studios has been banned as an action against the government of Russia. For the time being this stream is from NTV in Russia.  NTV is a Russian owned TV channel.  However sometime ago a Russian reporter said something which President Lukashenko didn't like and they were taken off the air in Belarus. 

After a year of being "dark" the station was allowed to reopen after Russian officials signed the following agreement: "In line with the document the TV Company NTV undertakes to observe the legislation of Belarus, be objective in all-round coverage of the events in public, political and economic life of the republic.

The information ministry informed NTV officials that the agreement had been signed within the framework of further strengthening of the union state relations and formation of the single information space of Belarus and Russia." For now NTV can broadcast across Belarus, but banned from broadcasting on the Internet.




Minsk webcams

[ Guests cannot view attachments ] Independence Square in Minsk - As this is a government webcam, they tend to turn it off anytime there are demonstrations which might involve mass arrests.


[ Guests cannot view attachments ] Different view of Independence Square - See same comment above about government.


[ Guests cannot view attachments ] Webcam inside a popular Internet Cafe

Offline mendeleyev

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Re: Minsk - Мінск - Минск
« Reply #5 on: February 07, 2009, 11:48:51 PM »

[ Guests cannot view attachments ] Click here for Metro map

Offline mendeleyev

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Re: Minsk - Мінск - Минск
« Reply #6 on: February 19, 2009, 04:14:20 PM »
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Offline mendeleyev

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Re: Minsk - Мінск - Минск
« Reply #7 on: February 25, 2009, 09:38:04 AM »
Some photos from RUA members:


[ Guests cannot view attachments ] Waiting for a WM!



[ Guests cannot view attachments ] Beer and guy watching!



[ Guests cannot view attachments ] Shasklik



[ Guests cannot view attachments ] Minsk strays.



[ Guests cannot view attachments ] Minsk

Offline Jared2151

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Re: Minsk - Мінск - Минск
« Reply #8 on: February 25, 2009, 10:13:20 AM »
Heyyyyyyyy .... those shasklik suspiciously look a lot like kitty feet

Offline mendeleyev

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Re: Minsk - Мінск - Минск
« Reply #9 on: February 25, 2009, 12:12:48 PM »
....they taste like chicken!   :chuckle:

Offline ECR844

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Re: Minsk - Мінск - Минск
« Reply #10 on: February 27, 2009, 03:42:58 PM »
Here is a link to an up to date download able city guide in PDF format: http://www.inyourpocket.com/data/download/minsk.pdf

Offline Ward_Cleaver

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Re: Minsk - Мінск - Минск
« Reply #11 on: February 27, 2009, 05:33:21 PM »
Thanks Mendy, I've been thinking about Minsk lately.  :)

Offline ECR844

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Re: Minsk - Мінск - Минск
« Reply #12 on: May 27, 2009, 03:53:29 PM »
I was curious where those members who have been to Minsk would consider as 'must see' sights while on a trip there? In another thread "Shane,' mentioned a WW2 museum. Are there any others?

Also here is a related thread with a city map: http://ruadventures.com/forum/index.php?topic=435.0

Offline Ste

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Re: Minsk - Мінск - Минск
« Reply #13 on: May 27, 2009, 04:21:17 PM »
That Pres looks like an older Adolf Hitler...
O pointy birds, o pointy pointy, Anoint my head, anointy-nointy.

Offline ECR844

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Re: Minsk - Мінск - Минск
« Reply #14 on: May 27, 2009, 04:31:38 PM »
That Pres looks like an older Adolf Hitler...

Acts like him in the early years to.