27 красавіка 2006

70 %

70% of all the radioactive fallout landed in Belarus. And yet, in mass-media world-wide everyone talks only about Ukraine. Belarus is lucky if it’s getting 5-10% of the coverage and 5-10% of the international Chernobyl aid.

We were not lucky with the direction of the winds in 1986. Twenty years after, we are not lucky with the direction of the world media.

20 years of Chernobyl

via br23. Also read this: The “small fire” produced the radiation fallout equal to 500 Hiroshima bombs. A personal account of somebody who like me, was a school kid back in 1986.

Soviet television reported about the accident only 4 or 5 days later. In the evening news “Vremya” they said there was a “minor fire” at some unknown Ukrainian power plant.

Don't look at this if have a week stomach (hat tip: Yana)

Behind bars

The opposition leaders that are currently in jail:
Kozulin, Milinkevich (15 days), Viachorka - 15, Kaliakin - 14, Buhvostov - 15
via OGP

Infamous Belarusian stability

Belarus' population, in thousands
via deeplake

Soligorsk, Belarus: protest babe alert

Photo, as usual, by Radio Svaboda, via idridze

26 красавіка 2006

Different strokes for different folks

Who are these people, Communists For Kerry?

No! Communists against Lukashenka, no less. That Lukashenka is not communist enough for some people is quite funny. But what's also funny is that people around them don't seem to mind, which goes to show that the infamous Belarusian taliarantnasc (tolerance) is alive and well among Lukashenka's opponents, which can hardly be said about him and his crew.

Photo by Radio Svaboda

Minsk: Chernobyl protest rally

20 years ago, an accident happened at the Chernobyl nuclear plant, that covered major parts of the territory of Belarus with radioactive waste, resulting in increase in illnesses such as cancer, and making parts of Belarus uninhabitable.

At the time, the authorities tried to hide what happend, and pretend that there was no danger. Wikipedia says: the initial evidence in other countries that a major exhaust of radioactive material had occurred came not from Soviet sources, but from Sweden

In Belarus, Chernobyl has become a symbol of genocide of authorities againt their own people. "Chernobylski Shliah" is a protest rally held yearly.

Radio Svaboda is reporting on-line from Minsk:

The Oktyabrskaya Square is blocked:

More photos

By the Akademia Nauk metro station there are around 300 people and buses with speznaz troops.

In the morning, Milinkevich was summoned to the city prosecutor's office, and reminded that breaking the public assembly rules was a criminal offence. Another opposition leader, Aleksaner Lebedko, seems to have disappeared. He was supposed to attend a meeting at 2pm, and according to his wife, left home at 1pm, but has not been seen since, and his cell phone is not answering.

Radio Svaboda reports detentions on the Oktyabrskaya Square. A thousand people are moving towards Akademia Navuk metro station, where another two thousand people have gathered.

25 красавіка 2006

Calling Belarus: No Connection

I'm angry because today is my father's birthday and I haven't been able to talk to him. That's because for the last few weeks, calling Belarus has been a bitch. My LiveJournal friends confirmed that they have the same problem. As my co-worker said, they can't monitor every phone line, so they monitor only a few, and just shut down the rest.

Pre-requisites for democracy

Even though I agree with neocons who say that democracy abroad is in America's interest, I've always thought that markets come first and democracy second. As an example, I'd think of England: their democracy was built by merchants who wanted to protect their wealth from the monarchs' arbitrary rules. Here's a quote within a quote:

Charles Boix has written a fascinating recent article in Policy Review, in which he argues that as universal as the desire for freedom may be, the conditions for the spread of democracy are limited. Chiefly, equality of economic conditions is the primary state in which democracy will take root and thrive:

The insight that equality of conditions is a precondition for democracy has a long and often forgotten tradition in the study of politics.

23 красавіка 2006

Is the State Department screwing up again?

Ken Timmerman says yes. I think he has a convincing case. It looks like some of the $85 milliones assigned by Congress on democracy support is being spent on people who think the mullah's regime can be reformed.

Neonazis comfortable in Belarus

Radio Svaboda has an article about the "Pravoslanayaq kniga" (Orthodox Book) bookstore in Minsk, carrying books and movies with titles suchas "Jewish Fascism: Genocide of the Russian People".

22 красавіка 2006

Stupidity of Mathew Yglesias

I knew Mathew Yglesias was a confused individual. But I thought he was smart: he even had a philosophy degree from Harvard. Today I read his argument against the war with Iran. Here's how starts it:

The United States military is, for one thing, in much worse shape today than it was in March 2003 with far fewer resources at its disposal (see the Iraq War). The Iranian military, meanwhile, is in better shape than Iraq’s army was, since it hasn’t been subjected to more than a decade of stifling sanctions

The seconda sentense makes sense, but if you think that you prove that "the US military is in worst shape now than in 2003" by just saying "see the Iraq war," you should go make love to yourself.

The opening sentenses of the article might explain the stupidity of this popular Harvard graduate.

Should we go to war with Iran? The short answer is “no.” The long answer is “hell no.”

As the rumbles of war are heard over the horizon, many feel they’ve heard this whole story before. But with all due respect to those who correctly ascertained in advance that backing Bush’s march on Baghdad was insane, following the neoconservatives to Teheran would be far, far, far more insane.

Far, far, far. I love the "following neoconservatives" part. It's far, far, far too cool.

21 красавіка 2006

It's On

In the city of Simbirsk, it's April 22nd already. On this day, 136 years ago, guess who was born?

May the festivities begin.


20 красавіка 2006

He ain't the same

he was expected to deliver a speech, and instead had a closed meeting with several officials
read the whole thing

Pretty baby



Post-production and editing by the official Belarusian nespaper "Sovietskaya Byelorussia"

Corporate pick-up

Hey baby!
Wanna see my bonus?

19 красавіка 2006

Newspaper shut down

br23 reports closing down of the newspaper Nasha Niva, a Belarusian-language publication that was about to celebrate its 100th anniversary this year. The destruction of the Belarusian culture, that the Lukashenka's regime is famous for, continues. The official reason for closing down is the editor's arrest. And the reason for the arrest was that he spoke Belarusian: he was charged with using "foul language".

18 красавіка 2006

Lenin in Spring

Lenin in Spring

Lenin celebrates spring as his comrade lits a cigarette

His heart failed

This sad story is reported by Hartia97

The father of Irina Zavadskaya, one of the protestors of the tent camp on Kalinowsky (Oktyabrskaya) Square, died of heart attack on April 17th.

Irina was detained on the night of March 23rd, and her father was there waiting from the early morning. He was escorted out of the court where Irina was being sentensed (she got 10 days), because he openly said that Lukashenka's court was unlawful.

Irina is a photography student in the Minsk Technology College. The college director Aleksander Gaidukevich organized a public "trial" of Irina, and her father was called to attend. The college administration tried to convince him that his daughter had disgrased the college, where many members of BRSM (Lukashenka-jungen) study. They wanted him to influence Irina.

"You used to send me thank-you letters every year", said Zavadsky to Gaidukevich, "And now you're insulting my daughter. Irina is my beloved daughter, and you and your Lukashenko's regime can go you know where..."

He was 44 years old. Irina has a younger brother and sister, both schoolchildren. She is thinking how to help her mother bring them up.

Soligorsk: Salt mines idle

IN the Belarusian city of Salihorsk ("Soligorsk" in Russian, means Sault Mountains town) people feel the effect of the recent presidential decree that imposed some more limits on trade. As a result, 3 out of 4 salt mines have stopped. According to agafon_bel, the miners are contemplating a strike and possibly, a march onto Minsk.

Watch this

A cartoon about Muslims. Rather irreverent.
via astrum_aka_trup

17 красавіка 2006

Fear or Shame?

For the past two weeks, rallies have been held in Minsk, that demad to release the oppostitional ex-candidate Kozulin. On April 16th, a different rally was held, in the same park where Kozulin supporteres were protesting.

White will: for the glory of the ancestors, for the good of the posterity. Today, an immigrant, tomorrow, an occupant.

Slavic girl! Honor is worthier than jewish money! White Russia (Belaya Rus) shall be white!

Hartia97 reports

15 guys with shaved heads, dressed in black, broke a stand with Kosuli's portrait, tore up the flyers that called for his release. They were shouting "Lukashenko is our president!". The police [...] were absent at the moment.

Guess what this reminds me of?

UPDATE: The images don't display, because the Nasha Niva newspaper, who hosted the images, was shot down by the Belarusian authorities. Once I find the images elsewhere, I'll repost. On the first picture, Lukashenka looks kinda beat, with bags under his eyes, etc. The second picture, edited by the loyal propagandists, shows him with a smooth face.

The first image is from a live EuroNews translation:

The second is from the state-run Soviet Byelorussia newspaper:

16 красавіка 2006

Jane's: Lukashenka courts Tehran

From Jane's Intelligence Digest probes the covert links between Minsk and Tehran
(hat tip: Banafsheh Zand-Bonazzi)

Belarus: Lukashenka courts Tehran

Jane’s Intelligence Digest probes the covert links between Minsk and Tehran.

A recent JID probe has indicated that Belarus may be preparing to export sensitive Russian military technology to Iran. Since early 2005, Minsk has been negotiating with Moscow for the purchase of the latest and most advanced version of the S-300SP surface-to-air missile system. According to well-informed sources, a contract for an unspecified number of S-300SP missiles was signed between Minsk and the Kremlin during the summer of 2005, with delivery scheduled to take place either later that year or else in early 2006.

Our investigations suggest that the real reason for Belarus' deal with the Kremlin may lie several thousand kilometres to the southwest. In January a high-level military and political delegation from Tehran paid a low-key visit to Minsk.

According to well-informed JID sources, the main reason for the visit was to make arrangements for the future transfer of the S-300SP SAMs from Belarus in order to help the embattled Iranian regime bolster its defences against possible US or Israeli air strikes designed to de-rail its efforts to develop nuclear weapons.

While the Kremlin remains a major supplier of nuclear technology for Iran's nuclear programme, President Vladimir Putin would face serious problems if he had to explain to the rest of the world how the Islamic Republic had acquired the most recent generation of S-300PSs. For this reason, Belarus and its increasingly isolated regime could provide an alternative supply route and one that would offer Moscow the cover of 'plausible deniability' once the missile transfer has been effected.

15 красавіка 2006

Good job, Reuters

Yahoo news reports:
Russian President Vladimir Putin awards Russian actress Olga Drozdova (R) with a State Order of Friendship as he visits the Sovremennik theatre in Moscow, April 14, 2006.
via sdanilov

13 красавіка 2006

Pics from Belarus

Radio Svaboda contest:
Day 1
Day 2
Day 3

Some of my faves:

Young Belarus

Photo from Brussels:

Russia! Stop support of Lukashenko
Photos by frizzby

Russian National Socialist Society (NSO) shows support for Belarus.
Pro-Lukashenka rally
Some lovely faces there


12 красавіка 2006

On the immigration debate

Happy Cosmonauts Day


April the 12th is Cosmonauts Day. Find your local Cosmonaut and congratulate them. Long live Cosmos! Long live SPACE!

10 красавіка 2006

Job security

Not so long ago, was our department hired a new employee. He was fired the next day, for falling asleep three times in less than two days. When his recruiter asked him why he fell asleep, he said, "Nobody told me I couldn't"

I actually think it's a good idea for companies to provide couches for their employees to sleep, like they supposedly do in Japan.

09 красавіка 2006

Belarus: Lukashenko inaugurated

The People are happy

06 красавіка 2006

Pesky porkbusters

"I'll just say this about the so-called porkbusters. I'm getting damn tired of hearing from them. They have been nothing but trouble ever since Katrina." -- Trent Lott

If they are trouble for Trent Lott, it probably means their campaign works. I want to to give more support to PorkBusters. Let's hear more complaints!

The Democrats should give Senator Lott some money: he's really helping them get votes.

04 красавіка 2006

C. Hitchens must be so happy

Indian director hopes to cast Paris Hilton as Mother Teresa

Actually, I'm with Hitch on this one. Mother Teresa was a weasly, power-hungry liar, on par with Paris Hilton when it comes to both decency and taste.

Happiest video I've seen

Gimme Power

via cmmdre

03 красавіка 2006

Picture worth 1000 words

Cynthia McKinney: the face of Leftist politics.

Cindy, Cynthia - what's with their names?

02 красавіка 2006

Global population