There is a tired old cliché that Belarus is a Soviet theme park, a phrase overused in the West, most often on Internet tourist sites. Most Belarusians do not want a return of the Soviet Union, but they do have some ties to a Soviet identity, one that has been consciously and deliberately fostered by the Lukashenka presidency and linked to the USSR’s victory over Nazi Germany.
In Belarus politics, Mogilev (Mahiloŭ) region (oblast) is associated with its most famous figure – the present President of Belarus. Apparently, the region has greatly influenced Lukashenko’s identity and politics. It lies in the east of Belarus on the border with Russia, and is, for all appearances, the least Belarusian-speaking in the country.
* This article used Belarusian transcription of names
Belarus Digest and the Centre for Transition Studies are launching a series of analytical papers offering in-depth analysis of various aspects of Belarus often overlooked by Western experts and press.
About a thousand people gathered in the drizzling rain in a Minsk park to vote for a resolution which proposes a series of demands to the authorities. Among other things, they demanded to stop the raise of prices, to release political prisoners and to hold free elections. The organizers of the rally called it “People’s Assembly.” To make themselves more visible to the crowd, they mounted a sculpture of a stork stretching its wings.
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