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#BNR100, Kurapaty, Kulinkovich, Maradona and Lukashenka’s pain. 2018 in pictures
Celebration of the 100th anniversary of the Belarusian People’s Republic (#BNR100) near the Opera and Ballet Theatre in Minsk. Photo: Euroradio
A lot of unexpected and good things happened in Belarus in 2018. Let us look through the main Belarusian achievements and disappointments in pictures:
Darya Domracheva accidentally drops the Belarusian flag when finishing the relay race in Pyeongchang. The Belarusian team won that race. Domracheva became the first four-time biathlon Olympic champion in history. The biathlete announced her decision to retire 4 months later.
The 100th anniversary of the Belarusian People’s Republic was marked at a big concert near the Opera and Ballet Theatre in Minsk. About 50 thousand people attended it, the organizers said. Some people were detained after the concert. The authorities have not allowed to install a memory plate in honour of the BNR’s anniversary so far. Festive meetings were organized in the provinces on March 25. Some of their participants were detained.
Members of the movement “Mothers 328” go on hunger strike to demand to reconsider their children’s cases. Hunger strikes were also organized in Kalinkavichy, Lida and the village Vostrau not far from Minsk. The activists came to the President’s Administration twice and stopped the hunger strike on the 14th day after officials had promised to mitigate the punishment. The women were refused a meeting with Lukashenka.
Minsker Maria Vasilevich, 20, became Miss Belarus-2018. The BSEU student made it to the top-5 at the international beauty contest Miss World and was announced the most beautiful girl in Europe later.
Belarus hockey team lost to Austria at the World Ice Hockey Championship in Denmark – 0:4. Our team dropped out of the elite division for the first time since 2004.
A rainbow flag was hoisted on the British Embassy in Minsk on May 17, the International Day Against Homophobia. The Ministry of Internal Affairs criticized same-sex relations and called them ‘a fake’ three days later. The statement received a wide response in Belarus and abroad. The portraits of Minister of Internal Affairs Ihar Shunevich started being used during gay prides in different countries.
Pripyat Bridge is blown up. A crack was found in it in summer and the traffic was restricted. Shytkavichy and Turau became isolated from one another. A restored bridge was opened in November. The repairs cost 50 million roubles. The new bridge will last 'for a least 100 years', the builders claimed.
Protesters are preventing a car from approaching the restaurant “Poedem, Poedim” built near the Kurapaty Tract and Minsk ring road. The activists demand to close the entertainment complex since there is a mass execution site of victims of Stalin’s repressions 50 metres away. Yet, it seems that the police and courts support the restaurant owners. Policemen regularly arrest and fine Kurapaty defenders.
Ukrainian singer Alexeev represents Belarus at Eurovision. He showed the worst result in Belarus’ participation history: 37th position out of 43.
An IFV skids to center strip and collides with a car near the village of Lasosna not far from Hrodna. The car driver was not injured but his automobile was severely damaged. The Army apologized to the driver and paid a compensation for the damage.
Famous Argentinian Diego Maradona visits Brest. He became the head of the board of directors of FC Dynama-Brest at the beginning of July. Maradona gave a press conference and attended a match of Belarus Cup. Fans had been hoping that the Argentinian would start training the players but he turned out to be a mere representative. He returned home and got a job in a Mexican football club.
The building of the Ministry of Emergency Situations during another flood in Ravalutsyinaya Street. The city authorities invested more than a million dollars in the repairs of Revalutsyinaya and Kamsamolskaya Streets. However, the first rain resulted in a flood affecting many cafes.
TUT.by editor Hanna Kaltyhina leaves the Investigation Committee on the evening of August 9. She was detained ‘for an urgent investigation’ of the so-called “BelTA case”. The offices of TUT.by, BelaPAN and other mass media as well as journalists, editors and their relatives’ flats were searched. The police acted very harsh which made people think that it was an attempt to exercise pressure on independent mass media. 14 people were suspected of illegal access to the paid news feed of the state information agency BelTA. There is only one defendant left in this case now – TUT.by editor-in-chief Maryna Zolatava.
The BRSM celebrated the 100th anniversary of the Komsomol movement under the aegis of the Ministry of Education at the end of October. The Belarusian organization considers itself to be the successor of Komsomol. The official anniversary of Komsomol is October 29 and it coincides with the anniversary of mass Stalin’s repressions of 1937. More than 100 Belarusian intellectuals were executed on October 29 and 30. However, the fact did not prevent BRSM members from celebrating.
Metropolitan Illarion announced the decision of the Holy Synod of the Russian Orthodox Church
in Minsk. The Russian Orthodox Church decided to stop all relations with the Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople due to the fact that the Ukrainian Orthodox Church had been granted autocephaly. The Belarusian Orthodox Church supported the decision of the Russian Orthodox Church.
About a thousand people attended the concert in memory of Neuro Dubel’s frontman Alyaksandr Kulinkovich. The musician died of pneumonia in August. He was 46. Neuro Dubel has influenced several generations of Belarusians. Kulinkovich will remain a legendary Belarusian rock musician.
Alyaksandr Lukashenka and Vladimir Putin at the EAEU summit in Saint Petersburg. Lukashenka suddenly started quarrelling with the Russian President over the gas price. He apologized to Putin later, Lukashenka confessed.
BATE has defeated Greek PAOK 3:1 and is celebrating its passage to the play-off of the Europa League. The club will compete with London Arsenal in the 1/16 final. Halfback Alyaksandr Hleb used to play in Arsenal in the past. The first match will be played in Barysau-Arena on February 14. The return match will be played in London on February 21.