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BELARUS

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Politics, Economy,
Culture
no.12 (951), 2012
. Belarus
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.Belarus
Contents
Monthly magazine
No. 12 (951), 2012
Published since 1930
State Registration Certificate of mass
medium No.8 dated March 2nd, 2009,
issued by the Ministry of Information
of the Republic of Belarus
Founders:
The Information Ministry
of the Republic of Belarus
SB newspaper
editorial office
Belvnesheconombank
Editor: Viktor Kharkov
Executive Secretary:
Valentina Zhdanovich
Design and Layout by
Vadim Kondrashov
.Belarus is published
in Belarusian, English, Spanish and
Polish.
Distributed in 50 countries of the world.
Final responsibility for factual accu-
racy or interpretation rests with the
authors of the publications. Should
any article of .Belarus be
used, the reference to the magazine
is obligatory.
The magazine does not bear respon-
sibility for the contents of advertise-
ments.
Publisher:
SB editorial office
This magazine has been printed
at Belarusian House of Press
Publishing Office UE.
79 Nezavisimosti Ave.,
Minsk, Belarus, 220013
Order No.3813
Total circulation 1965 copies
(including 734 in English).
Write us to the address:
11 Kiselyov Str.,
Minsk, Belarus, 220029.
Tel.: +375 (17) 290-62-24,
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Tel./Fax: +375 (17) 290-68-31.
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E-mail: mail@belarus-magazine.by
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For future foreign subscribers
for Belarus magazine, apply
to MK-Periodica agency.
E-mail: info@periodicals.ru
Telephone in Minsk:
+375 (17) 227-09-10.
. Belarus, 2012
1
10
RatES DEtERmiNED
12 Being aware of ones own worth In a
competitive global market, producers are bat-
tling for customer loyalty more than ever. Buy-
ers expect quality and reliability, with enter-
prises investing huge efforts to build a good
reputation for their brand
18 effeCtofuniqueopportunities
26 Berezina river a symBol of
reConCiliation Belarusian, Russian and
French flags fly at commemorative event mark-
ing 200th anniversary of 1812 War, held on Bri-
levskoe field
29 seyChellesofvolkovyskdistriCt
30 hearttoheart
32 eaCh garland Comprises thousands
ofsmiles
34 silver of native fog Anatoly Baranovsky
awarded title of Peoples Artist of Belarus, fol-
lowing career of hardships
40 CastlesreCeiveguests
42 imaginativedisCoveryoftheworldAt
the age of 63, Grodno sculptor Nikolay Sklyar is
still working hard, earning his living and travel-
ling. He works both independently and with
large teams, regularly participating in open air
workshops
46 lightandshadeoftatianalikhaCheva
54 in a word a master! Famous Belaru-
sian singer, Peoples Artist of Belarus Nikolay
Skorikov is 55! The powerful bass-baritone has
enjoyed a life so far filled with wild, mystical
coincidences and much deserved recognition
BELaRuS takES oN CiS ChaiR
4-5
6 logiCofpragmatiCsenseContemporary
enterprise built on empty site near Mogilev in
just over a year
8 Challengingre-ConsiderationofeCono-
miCfundamentals
52
DaNCiNg FoR quaRtER
oF a CENtuRy
1 2012 .LARU5
By ViktoR khaRkoV,
magazine editor
. Belarus
DITOR5 NOT
I
f we must prioritise, our foremost concern
must be the economy, since our welfare
depends on its growth. Its successes,
innovations and problems are ever under
scrutiny, helping us modify our approach
and achieve our goals efciently.
This issue of our magazine is dedicated
to the Belarusian economy, where 85 percent
of goods and services are exported. Clearly,
the welfare of the state, stability on the
currency market and the sustainability of the
Belarusian Rouble exchange rate rely on the
dynamic promotion of our domestic enter-
prises goods abroad. Exports are vital to our
economic security, so the Government has
long focused on this sphere. Socio-economic
results for the frst nine months of 2012 have
been analysed, to help us fnd the best way to
stimulate exports. Professor Georgy Grits, the
Deputy Chairman of the Belarusian Scientifc
and Industrial Association, ponders this topic
in Changing our Way of thinking.
It has taken just over a year to create the
most contemporary enterprise at an empty
site near Mogilev, as explored in Logics of
Pragmatic Sense. In our competitive global
market, producers are battling for customer
loyalty more than ever. Buyers expect quality
and reliability, with enterprises investing huge
efforts to build a good reputation for their
brand. Of course, protection is also required
for domestic trademarks, to avoid ruthless
rivals from taking unfair advantage.
According to calculations by the National
Academy of Sciences of Belarus, our countrys
economic potential is at least $10 trillion,
ensuring annual GDP growth of 10-15 percent
(until 2020). However, many producers are yet
to realise the true value of their brand either
through false modesty or ignorance. The size
of the global market is such that a reputable
brand is priceless; it can even be used to sell
unrelated goods, such as branded T-shirts
or training shoes. Wise utilisation can add
up to 25 percent onto a products price. The
BelBrand 2012 rating (annually prepared by
MMP Consulting Agency) shows that Santa
Bremor is Belarus number one brand name
worth $75.3m. In second place is Milavitsa
($71.5m), followed by Babushkina Krynka
($49.2m). Read more in Being aware of ones
own Worth.
Boldly Rewriting the Foundations of
Economics is dedicated to Gomel scientists
creation of a computer programme to save
money and energy resources. The shift of
energy-intensive production processes to
night time, when tariffs are cheaper, may
actually bring greater fnancial expenditure and
increase electricity consumption. Gomel State
Understanding
life
Technical University students have developed
methods to save energy and resources, using
their own Optima+ computer programme.
Young scientists Andrey Ivaneichik, Andrey
Kuzero and Alexander Kharkevich analysed
the situation at Gomel Foundry Plant Tsentrolit
and Mozyrsalt JSC and gave their recommen-
dations, helping reduce energy consumption
by 5 percent. More efficient management
is reducing costs by 12 percent and fuel
consumption by more than 5 percent.
Where the economy is efficient, our
standard of living rises. Even our savings need
to work efciently, so we look at methods of
personal saving in Rates are Determined,
helping you make your plans.
Specialists assert that bank savings are
the most universally benefcial, although not
everyone is convinced. Of course, there are
other ways to store your money such as
property investment. The latter has long been
popular in Belarus although it remains beyond
the reach of many. Buying property requires
us to lock in funds for some period usually
at least fve years. Its possible to sell property
earlier but national legislation prevents this
from being beneficial. Since the beginning
of the year, the price of one square metre has
risen by approximately 4 percent.
The National Bank has long understood
that alternative investment avenues exist
and is keen to expand its services to attract
citizens savings. An interesting draft decree is
being approved, aiming to open up fnancial
markets and appoint new regulators. Its desire
to nurture undeveloped fnancial markets is a
broad hint to commercial banks that the days
of unconditional customer loyalty are over;
like other institutions, it will be fighting for
investors money. To date, the National Bank
has enjoyed a monopoly of about 95 percent
of public funds, due to a lack of alternatives.
Securities, pensions and precious metals
comprise just 5 percent of savings.
We hope that this edition gives you much
to ponder. Without doubt, economic success is
at the heart of comfortable living, especially in
these modern times.
2 .LARU5 2012
Importance
of Eurasian
integration
AlExAndEr lukAshEnko
bEcomEs lAurEAtE of
kAzAkhstAns PErson of
thE YEAr nAtionAl AwArd
T
he National Person of the Year
Award is granted for achieve-
ments in spheres of strategic
importance: science, culture, state
management, socially responsible
business, charity and enlightenment.
Tis years laureates of Kazakhstans
Person of the Year National Award
in the State Policy nomination
are President of Belarus Alexander
Lukashenko, President of Kazakhstan
Nursultan Nazarbayev and President
of Russia Vladimir Putin. Te leaders
of the three countries have been
awarded for their contribution to the
establishment of the EurAsEC and the
Customs Union.
In a telegram sent to the Expert
Council and laureates, President
Nazarbayev expressed his gratitude
for being awarded and remarked
that the recognition of the work of
the leaders of the Customs Union
states underlines the importance of
Eurasian integration.
Te award is given for rendering
noticeable influence over the
economic and social development
of our countries and notes that this
Union has proven its great efciency
in practice.
Over past years, the award
has been given to the Patriarch of
Moscow and all Russia, Alexy II,
writer Alexander Solzhenitsyn, aca-
demician Zhores Alferov, and cardio-
surgeon Leo Bokeria, as well as other
prominent public fgures, scientists
and heads of major enterprises.

PanoraMa
Partners
appreciate
eforts
Representative of Belarus elected
Chair of Dialogue Eurasia Platform
International Organisation
T
he First Pro-rector of the Belarusian
State Academy of Arts, Professor
Svetlana Vinokurova, has been elected
to the position of Chair of the Dialogue
Eurasia Platform, by the 10th General
Assembly, in Antalya, Turkey.
Te election of a represen-
tative from Belarus to such a
high position by this prestigious
international organisation is
recognition of our countrys
achievements in promoting
interreligious and interna-
tional co-operation, asserts
Ms. Vinokurova. She notes that foreign
partners truly appreciate the peace and
tranquility, which exists in Belarus
between various nationalities and faiths.

Ms . Vi nokur ova
bel i eves t hat t he
Di al ogue Eurasi a
Platform has seen
progress in Belarus
i n r e cent ye ar s .
She explains, The
central values of the
organisation are rationality, dialogue
and culture.
Ms . Vi nokur ova he a ds t he
National Committee of the Dialogue
Eurasia Platform in Belarus, which
was created in 2009.
The international organi-
sation was founded in 1998,
comprising representatives
of 14 countries with the aim
of promoting peaceful co-
existence by various cultures,
pe opl e s and r e l i g i ons .
Previously, the post of chair was
occupied by such influential figures as
Chingiz Aitmatov (Kyrgyzstan), Harun
Tokak (Turkey), Rostislav Rybakov
(Russia) and others.
The best
presentation
Belarusian pavilion takes frst place in
foreign category at 32nd International
Trade Fair in New Delhi
T
he forum was hosted by the Pragati
Maidan exhibition complex, with
Belarus presenting production, samples
and sci-tech developments from over
60 of its industrial enterprises, scien-
tifc and educational organisations and
institutions.
Bel ar us was
ranked frst among
t he pav i l i ons ,
fol l owed by the
S out h Af r i c an
Re p u b l i c a n d
Turkey, and was
awarded a separate
prize for its role as a
partner country of
the event.

Te closing ceremony was attended


by the leadership of the Indian Trade
and Industry Ministry, by the India
Trade Promotion Organisation, and
by representatives of Indi an and
foreign exhibiting companies, as well
as the Ambassador Extraordinary and
Plenipotentiary of Belarus to India,
H.E. Mr. Vitaly Prima, and employees
of the Belarusian diplomatic mission.
3 2012 .LARU5
BelARuS
takes on
CIS chair
Ashgabat hosts
session of CIS Heads
of State Council
O






n the eve of the
session, foreign ministers met to discuss
humanitarian issues and collaboration
in the field of culture, sports, tourism
and environmental protection. Security
matters were also in the spotlight.
The major document proposed
for discussion was a Plan of Action
for Humanitarian Collaboration for
2013-2014, centred around 2013 being
the Year of Ecological Culture and
Environmental Protection in the CIS.
Te Belarusian delegation has proposed
INTEGRaTION sUMMit
Belarushasalwayssupported
integrationinvariousforms
anditswidelyknownthat
theCountryhasBeenasteady
supporteroftheCis,withits
furtherstrengthening
an agreement to co-operate in the sphere
of environmental protection, reviving
the interstate ecological council to co-
ordinate the implementation of decisions
adopted by the higher authorities of the
Commonwealth.
Practical aspects were on the agenda
of the CIS Heads of State Council session;
these included preparations for the
70th anniversary of the Soviet Peoples
Victory in the Great Patriotic War. An
international CIS programme of solemn
commemorative events is planned, while
an honorary order and medal devoted to
the anniversary is to be created.
Some issues of economic collabora-
tion were tackled, with heads of state
discussing the formation of an inte-
grated currency market and interaction
in the feld of communication and infor-
matisation. Several agreements relating
to security were prepared for signing:
the establishment of a council of heads
of sub-divisions of fnancial reconnais-
sance; training for anti-terrorist sub-
divisions; and material provision for
those involved in battling terrorism and
extremism. A united CIS anti-missile
defence system was also discussed. Te
heads of state worked energetically and
in high spirits, agreeing all issues.
Alexander Lukashenkos working
schedule began with bilateral talks with the
President of Turkmenistan, Gurbanguly
Berdymukhamedov. The two heads
of state are happy with existing inter-
state co-operation and the wonderful
relations between our two nations but
are convinced that further development
4 .LARU5 2012
is possible, extending current business
and artistic projects. Mr. Lukashenko
thanked Mr. Berdymukhamedov for
the recent performance of Akhal-Teke
horses in Minsk, assuring his colleague
that Belarus is a reliable and responsible
partner, whose specialists will fulfil all
obligations to construct a potassium
facility at the Garlyk mining facility.
Before the launch of the summit,
Mr. Lukashenko also met his Ukrainian
colleague, Viktor Yanukovych, discussing
our two states interaction and Ukraines
liaisons with the Customs Union. An
extended session of the CIS Heads of
State Council then followed, organised
promptly owing to preliminary prepara-
tion of the agenda.
The presidents agreed to jointly
celebrate the 70th anniversary of Victory,
within a plan of national programmes.
The CIS Cultural Capitals inter-state
programme is to be continued, as
approved by a corresponding decree.
The CIS will devote 2013 to ecological
awareness and environmental protec-
tion, while creating an integrated foreign
currency market, aiming to open a wider
financial space to foreign operators. A
package of documents was accepted
to ensure security. The presidents
listened to reports from the CIS Inter-
Parliamentary Assembly and agreed that
this useful avenue needs further develop-
ment. Importantly, a decision was made
on major procedural issues, with Belarus
taking over the CIS presidency from
Turkmenistan next year. Mr. Lukashenko
assured his colleagues that Belarus will
work tirelessly to the beneft of the CIS
community. He noted that Belarus
has always supported integration in
various forms and reminded everyone
that Belarus has been a steady supporter
of the CIS and its further strengthening.
Mr. Lukashenko voiced a slogan for his
countrys presiding over the organisa-
tion next year: Integration for the beneft
of all people: strengthening of good
neighbourly relations; development of
ecological co-operation; and expansion
of cultural dialogue.
By the end of 2012, Belarus will have
prepared a concept for its chairman-
ship and a plan for its realisation. Te
President voiced its major directions:
the development of our common infor-
mation space; the strengthening of inter-
cultural and inter-ethnic co-operation;
the expansion of contacts between
scientists, artistic circles, veterans and
young people; and the realisation of
projects in the feld of ecology and envi-
ronmental protection. He emphasised,
Well proceed from the interests of all
CIS member states.
The presidency of the CIS was
approved by all states, showing that CIS
heads of state support Belarus position.
The Council adopted a declaration on
the further development of the CIS
multi-sided co-operation, as proposed by
Turkmenistan. All sides agreed that this
has worked efficiently to date and that
fruitful work is expected from Belarus,
fulflling our policy of integration within
the post-Soviet space.
By Vasily kharitonov
B
E
l
T
A
Participants of the CIS Heads of State Council session in Ashgabat
sUMMit INTEGRaTION
B
E
l
T
A
5 2012 .LARU5
ECONOmY eXPerienCe
Contemporary enterprise built on empty site near
mogilev in just over a year
A








l t hough t he
construction works are still in process,
VMG Industry has already begun
production of bedroom suites from
MDF board. It might seem strange for
foreign investors to be interested in yet
another furniture producer, since its
already a crowded global market, but,
despite sharp competition, VMG is
already set for success.
The secret lies in its well-planned
strategy, as used by some other domestic
enterprises. Rather than producing goods
with hope of future sale, which can lead to
stockpiling at warehouses and cash fow
problems, VMG is manufacturing to
order. Te companys technical director,
Victor Shorikov, tells us that his enterprise
loGIC
of pragmatic sense
has seven years of orders already, ensuring
that all start-up costs are covered.
He explains, Over a set period of
time, we need to produce a particular
number of bedroom suites, so we know
exactly what schedule to use to fulfil
orders in time. We dont need to concern
ourselves about demand and future sales
since every item already has a buyer and
price, allowing us to plan our expendi-
ture in advance. We know how much we
can afford to pay for raw materials, so
can fnd suppliers to meet our require-
ments, and can calculate how much we
can aford to pay our workers, without
any risk of future disappointment.
According to Mr. Shorikov, this
strategy also allows the enterprise to
calculate the number of people it needs
to employ, ensuring efciency in every
aspect of production; the number of
employees is optimised perfectly. At
full capacity, around 900 people will be
needed, including 45 on the technical
side (5 percent of the total much fewer
than is usual).
The factory is using contemporary
machine-tools, controlled automatically,
via online technology, allowing problems
to be solved within a few seconds. Clearly,
this saves time and money. Te enterprise
is breaking with established stereotypes
and is happy to share its innovations
and experience, to help other companies
improve their efciency.
By Pavel mezinov
B
E
l
T
A
Adjustments in a furniture work shop
.LARU5 2012
Mentality
ABle To
AlTeR
The Belarusian economys
openness is confrmed
by exports: 85 percent
of all domestically
produced goods and
services are sold abroad
T
he countrys wellbeing (and the stability of its
currency) depends on sales promotion. Exports
are a key factor in Belarus economic security
so, unsurprisingly, the Government is paying
special attention to them of late.
Analysing the countrys
social-economic development over
the past nine months, it is ques-
tionable whether all reserves are
being used to the full; what can
we do to inspire further exports? The
Deputy Chairman of the Belarusian
Scientific-Industrial Association,
Professor Georgy Grits, tells us, Te
problem lies in the changing market situation
globally. It has been our lifeline of late but the
prices of most of our exported goods have
fallen: ferrous metals, potash ferti-
lisers and food. Demand is also
decreasing. Belarus has joined
the Single Economic Space
while Russia (our key partner)
has become a WTO member.
Both structures are based on
open market conditions: an
equal playing feld for all. Tis
creates new opportunities and
new risks.
What can be done to improve the
situation for Belarus?
Strategically, we need to diversify our economy,
shifing to new technological approaches and manufacturing
products with high added value. Selling raw materials either
beef or timber does not ensure the necessary proft, even
when selling abroad. It usually takes fve to seven years to make
such a shif, so we need to act now. In our favour, we pay half
as much as Ukraine for natural gas while we are raising the
energy efciency of our enterprises and reducing the amount of
materials used, improving our costs and energy efciency.
Do we undervalue the role of efcient commodity distribu-
tion networks?
All over the globe, intermediary structures are a natural
avenue for sales. They dont simply buy and sell goods;
trading agents seriously study their markets and competi-
tors, making supply requests to producers
to reflect their perception of
future demand. To some extent,
they bear responsibility for
whats manufactured. Tey also
provide afer sales services.
Many even pay upfront
for orders, receiving a
discount in return.
Internationally,
producers are battling
for sal es, so a well-
thought-out marketing
policy must be vital...
Defnitely. Potential production of goods
and service globally is double that of demand so
promotion is crucial. Traditional sales schemes
are no longer effective. Company heads
need to be innovative and choose their
dealers carefully, checking credit history.
Marketing looks beyond current sales to
future potential, using strategy to shape demand
and research to discover emerging trends. A senior
engineer might work directly at the manufacturing facility
while the director must create a longer-term strategy involving
investors, partners, dealer networks and state programmes.
Tis is the only way to ensure success.
By Kirill yemilyanov
eXPerienCe ECONOmY
7 2012 .LARU5
5CINC & PRACTIC
Foundry and at Mozyrsalt
JSC. Their recommenda-
tion enhances the efficiency
of consumption by 5 percent,
while reducing energy costs
by 12 percent and cutting fuel
consumption by over 5 percent.
Weve even developed
a timetable for companies,
stipulating specific times
for particular equipment,
explains the Director of
Gomels Pavel Sukhoi State
Technical Universitys Institute
for Qualifcation Improvement
and Re-training, Candidate
of Technical Sciences Yuri
Kolesnik. Of course, it would
be a challenge to achieve the
mentioned fgures under real
production conditions, when
many unexpected factors
emerge. However, its quite
possible that we can come
close as the companies
energy and technol ogy
specialists admit. Our recom-
mendations cover large energy
intensive enterprises operating
under market conditions. Te
transition of energy intensive
processes to night time would
yield fruit, assuming a steady
production cycle (as seen
usually). Our enterprises
are working hard to fulfil
orders, relying on demand,
supply and availability of raw
materials. However, their
pace of work varies so they
dont need to work 24/7. If we
shif all energy intensive tech-
nologies to night time, taking
advantage of lower tariffs,
it may not have the desired
result. We may do better to use
less powerful machines during
the day. Were still considering
the best strategy.
The s ci ent i st s hope
to make thei r Opti ma+
sofware more widely known,
including simplifying it for
less experienced users. Tey
could teach specialists how to
use it efectively, supported by
the Institute, and the sofware
could more widely go on sale.
They hope that the Soviet
tradition of making plans
based on past results wont
hamper the implementation
of the innovation.
By Pavel Drobov
S
cientists from
Gomels State
T e c h n i c a l
University have
been assessing
how be s t t o
help enterprises use energy
efficiently, coming to the
concl usi on t hat energy
intensive production should
switch to night time when
cheaper tariffs apply. This
would save money while
being benefcial to all parties.
Using their own Optima+
software, young scientists
Andrey Ivaneichik, Andrey
Kuzero and Al exander
Kharkevich analysed the
situation at Gomels Tsentrolit
ChAlleNGING
Re-CoNSIdeRATIoN
of economic
fundamentals
software developed
by gomel sCientists helps save
money and energy
8 .LARU5 2012
example
RATING
GOOD TNDNCY
I






t is 50th in its number of users
of mobile access per 100 residents (18.9
which is comparable to the average).
Belarus is an impressive 21st for the
number of households with Internet
access; while the worlds average is 20.5
percent, as many as 40.3 percent of
Belarusian homes have access.
Belarus Ministry for Commu-
nications believes that the report
allows us to positively evaluate the
intermediate results of the first year
of the National Information and
Communication Infrastructure sub-
programme being launched. Te latter
is part of a national programme to
promote ICT services from 2011-2015,
aiming to improve Belarus ranking
by 2015 (as rated by the International
Telecommunication Union and the
United Nations Organisation). The
country plans to advance into the
worlds top 30 countries for ICT access.
nologies remain the most prevalent for
wired broadband Internet access across
the globe, used for about 60.8 percent
of broadband connections. Data trans-
mission via cable television networks
common in some European states
has a share of 19.4 percent.
Meanwhile, FTTx technologies are
developing fast, with fbre optic cable
being laid directly to a subscribers
private house (14.1 percent of connec-
tions) or a flat (2.6 percent). These
replace conventional copper wire and
enable speeds of up to 100Mbps.
As t he Mi ni st r y comment s ,
similar infrastructure development
trends are registered in Belarus. The
growing need for information among
Belarusians and, as a result, demand
for more Internet access, has encour-
aged telecom operators to introduce
new technologies.
By Andrey afanasiev
The report points out the need
to encourage the development of
broadband Internet access at national
level since it aids economic growth and
social integration. Currently, xDSL tech-
ChAlleNGING
Re-CoNSIdeRATIoN
of economic
fundamentals
Belarus has been ranked 34th among
over 170 global economies for its number of fxed
broadband Internet users per 100 residents
thegrowingneed
forinformation
amongBelarusians
and,asaresult,
demandformore
internetaCCess,
hasenCouraged
teleComoperators
tointroduCenew
teChnologies
9 2012 .LARU5
INV5TMNT TOOL5
RATeS
determined
Which method of personal saving will be
most proftable by the end of the year?
A
ccording to specialists, bank savings are the most universal
investment instrument, although some Belarusians still
prefer to save cash at home: in a wardrobe, bedside table or
under a mattress. However, despite limited alternatives, some
other avenues of saving do exist. Which will be the most prof-
itable by the end of the year?
RouBLE oPtimiSm REmaiNS
Vl adimir Savenok, a financial
consul t ant and t he Head of t he
Personal Capital Consulting Group,
tells us, You dont need to be an
expert to understand that, at present,
the most profitable instrument of
savi ng is the Bel arusi an Roubl e,
since it offers a rate hardly found
elsewhere. Other instruments are
far more modest, with gold values
rising by just 10 percent since the
beginning of the year. Meanwhile,
bonds offer a return limited by initial
terms. However, Belarusian bonds
ci rcul at i ng abroad (Eurobonds)
have risen in value by more than 15
percent since early 2012 in US
Dollar equivalent. They began low
due to last years crisis and are now
offering a return of around 8 percent
per annum (for minimum invest-
ments of $100,000).
He adds that other instruments in
Belarus offered by credit unions
and si mi l ar i nst i t ut i ons are
unsecured, with no guarantee of
return if crisis hits. Their high interest
rates, which often exceed those of the
bank market by several points, need
to be viewed with caution. Early in
the year, the National Bank of Belarus
offered very attractive interest rates
for deposits in national currency:
44.7 percent per annum for deposits
of up to one year and 46.8 percent for
longer periods. By September, rates
were more modest: 29.2 percent and
28.2 percent respectively. However,
by October, these had risen to 33.7
percent and 38.7 percent.
Banks are clearly reluctant to
offer greatly higher rates for longer
term savings, since they are unable
to place such money at a higher long-
term rate themselves. Nevertheless,
Belarusian Roubles remain one of the
most efficient forms of saving. They
even ofer a proftable return, since the
ofcial level of infation stood at almost
20 percent in November (around half
of the rate being earned by national
currency deposits in early 2012).
A
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10 .LARU5 2012
INV5TMNT TOOL5
PaSSiVE SaViNgS LaCk
EFFECtiVENESS
Moods in the banking sphere do
influence depositors. By the end of
the year, expectations of devaluation
traditionally grow strong in Belarus,
with many believing that its a good
time to spend Belarusian Roubles.
What are the prospects for 2013? In
the absence of investment diversity,
Id recommend forei gn currency
savings in US Dollars and Euros:
either held with banks or as cash, Mr.
Savenok is convinced.
Vladimir Tarasov, an observer in
Belarusy i Rynok (Belarusians and
the Market magazine), doesnt agree
completely, noting, Id rather invest
in Belarusian Roubles, since their
interest rates will remain high, regard-
less of many forecasting a gradual
weakening of their exchange rate
next year; these high interest rates
will definitely compensate. As far
as foreign currency is concerned, he
doesnt cherish any illusions, believing
we ll see a rerun of last year, with
foreign currency interest rates defi-
nitely falling. In January, Belarusians
were able to save foreign currencies
with the bank at 7.9 percent per annum
for up to one year or 9.2 percent for
longer periods. By November, these
rates had dropped to 4.9 percent and
6 percent respectively.
Mattress savings in foreign curren-
cies have brought very little return,
proving that money needs to be put
to work rather than gathering dust.
The exchange rate of the US Dollar
has changed insignificantly against
the Belarusian Rouble, only slightly
exceeding figures from early in the
year: in January, it stood at Br8389.87,
rising by October to Br8525.53. The
exchange rate of the Euro has also
altered little, hitting Br11,050.56 from
an earlier Br10,822.34.
my houSE iS my CaStLE
Property i nvestment has l ong
been known as a valid alternative to
bank saving but there are other ways
to safely store your money. Buying
property is beyond the reach of many,
and requires the investor to lock in
their money for some period of time
usually at least five years due to
outlay on documentation (and the
peculiarities of Belarusian legislation).
In early January, analytical centre
Realt.by noted that the average price
per square metre for existing apart-
ments in the Belarusian capital stood
at $1,299; by the end of November, this
had grown to $1,351, and looks set to
rise steadily. New homes are enjoying
a similar trend, with each average
square metre having reached $1,220
(compared to $1,166 in January).
Experts believe other means are
more profitable in terms of capital
growth. Financial adviser Vladimir
Savenok, who heads Personal Capital,
tells us, Im quite suspicious of the
current market, since construction
rates are high countrywide; I think
that property prices are l i kely to
drop dramatically. Vladimir Tarasov
agrees, saying, People rarely have
enough money to buy homes outright
and banking mortgages are few and
far between, so prices should soon
fall, along with falling demand.
aLL that gLittERS
Belarusians tend to view gold and
other precious metals as profitable
investments but experts warn that
theyre better seen as souvenirs or
gifts, since the investment potential
of t he gol d reser ve i s modest .
Mr. Tarasov explains, I believe that
precious metals have exhausted them-
selves. After a sharp growth in prices
over recent years, the market is stabil-
ising and may even see prices fall. Of
course, if the exchange rate against
the American Dollar or European
Euro falls, things may change but this
looks unlikely in the near future.
that oNE PRomiSES to LEaVE
The Nat i onal Bank has l ong
understood that alternative invest-
ment avenues exist and is keen to
expand its services to attract citizens
savings. The Council of Ministers and
the Presidential Administration are
now approving an interesting draft
decree, aiming to open up financial
markets and appoint new regul a-
tors. In particular, in the short term,
leasing, forfaiting and forex services
may appear, as well as microfinance
i nst i t ut i ons i ncl udi ng credi t
unions. The Ministry of Finance is to
focus on pensions and other insurance
policies, as well as securities.
To date, the National Bank has
enjoyed a monopoly of about 95 percent
of public funds, due to a lack of alterna-
tives; securities, pensions and precious
metals comprise just 5 percent of
savings. Its desire to nurture undevel-
oped fnancial markets is a broad hint
to commercial banks that the days of
unconditional customer loyalty are
over; like other institutions, it will be
fghting for investors money.
By Alexander Burmistrov
inBelarus,
property
investmenthas
longBeenknown
asavalid
alternativeto
Banksavings
11 2012 .LARU5
BeING
AWARe
of ones
own
worth
RAND5
in a Competitive global market, produCers are
battling for Customer loyalty more than ever.
buyers expeCt quality and reliability, with
enterprises investing huge efforts to build a
good reputation for their brand
O
f course, protection
is also required for
domestic trade-
marks, to avoid
r ut hl ess ri val s
from taking unfair
advantage.
Already, many Belarusian products
enjoy demand abroad; furniture,
cosmetics, food and knitwear. Sadly,
Belarusian goods arent subject to patent
protection. Customers look for brands
when they shop so manufacturers really
need to defend their brand identity;
branch associations are working to
help them do so, explains the Director
of the Marketing Technologies Centre
12 .LARU5 2012
Giant for a giant
130 tonne unit arrives at countrys largest
oil refnery: Novopolotsks Naftan JSC
T
he new coking unit has been a
major investment for Nafan in
scale of size and funds. Te 130 tonne
unit (21m long and 6.5m in diameter)
left from Klaipeda, transported by
BelDorTyazhTrans JSC, which won
the tender. Director Valery Pristavka
tells us that the journey took ten
days, although preparation work
took 7-8 months. Naftans special-
ists helped choose the best route,
checking the road; the size of the load
required the lifting of 212 electric
lines including around a hundred
on Belarusian territory. Moreover, oil
workers have also deepened passages
under overhead roads and a Czech
14-axis modular trailer was used to
transport the construction, travelling
at a speed of no more than 25 km/h
(just 2-3 km/h along some sections).
Naftan had other parts of the
coking unit delivered previously: 24
parts of two coking chambers for high
refnery of oil-tar and a fractionation
column (weighing 180 tonnes and
having a length of 45m) were delivered
by the same route in September.
The total volume of injections
stands at around $733m, with Nafan
being the single investor. The unit
should be ready for launch by late
2015, enabling Naftan to increase
its degree of oil refinery to at least
92 percent. Importantly, the realisa-
tion of the project will result in higher
efficiency and quality, meeting high
European standards.

for Strategic Development, Anatoly


Akantinov.
The situation is complicated by
the history behind many old Soviet
trademarks, whose ownership is much
disputed. Weve now realised that
trademarks exist and that they need
protection, asserts the Chair of the
Market Researchers Guild Board,
Svetlana Petukhova. However, its too
time-consuming to try and distinguish
each of ffeen companies trademarks,
deciding what should be done with
famous names.
Belarusian manufacturers face two
main problems: working within the
Single Economic Space and raiding of
their trademarks. Already, several law
cases have been lost, alongside sales
revenue due to lack of foresight. Te
international registration of trademarks
is now a necessity. In
2010, around 100 regis-
trations were made;
in 2011, the figure
doubled. This year,
t here have been
about 240 trademarks
registered, explains
patent agent Valentin
Rachkovsky. Its not
enough to register in
Belarus though; you
need to do so in
each Customs
Union state.
Only then
c a n we
assert that
a brand is protected.
The Bank of E-Passports for
Commodities is designed to help,
notes the Director of the Belarusian
National Academy of Sciences Centre of
Identifcation Systems, Gennady Volnisty.
Te database allows each product to be
recorded, using up to 80 parameters.
Barcodes are then issued to include the
code of the product and its registered
company within a certain territory.
Te database already unites over seven
million products, from around 4,000
domestic producers. Each product has
a detailed description and photos may
soon be added (especially for products
which lack a bar-code). Tis should help
control production and sales, with forged
goods more easily detectable.
Mr. Volnisty adds, The Belarusian
Bank of E-Passports for Commodities
is part of a system of global standards,
uniting 150 countries. Well continue
our work. We recently proposed that the
Customs Union Commission and the
Eurasian Economic Commission establish
a single trading information space for the
Customs Union based on the standards
and technologies of e-business. Clearly,
this would be an advance in ensuring
transparency, market regulation and
customer protection.
According to calculations by the
Belarusian NAS, our countrys economic
potential is at least $10 trillion, ensuring
annual GDP growth of 10-15 percent (until
2020). NAS academician Piotr Nikitenko
tells us that no external
loans are needed to
achieve these fgures.
Such growth should
signifcantly increase
standards of living,
with people living
longer and raising
larger families. Ho-
we v e r , ma n y
producers are
yet to realise
t h e t r u e
value of their
brand either
through false
modesty or ignorance. The size of the
global market is such that a reputable
brand is priceless; it can even be used to
sell unrelated goods, such as branded
T-shirts. Wise utilisation can add up to
25 percent onto a products price.
Te BelBrand 2012 rating (annually
prepared by MMP Consulting Agency)
shows that Santa Bremor is Belarus
number one brand name worth
$75.3m. In second place is Milavitsa
($71.5m), followed by Babushkina
Krynka ($49.2m).
By Marina Dorokhova
NW5
13 2012 .LARU5
CONOMIC MANAGMNT
CASCAde
of 120
megawatt
energy
The Vitebsk Region launches largest hydroelectric
project in countrys history
O
n the Zapadnaya
Dvina, a cascade
of four hydroelec-
tric power stations
is planned to open
by 2018, wi t h a
tot al capacity of
over 120 megawatts: enough to satisfy
six cities with a population of 100,000
people. Construction has begun on
two such plants in the Vitebsk and
Polotsk districts; the Verkhnedvinsk and
Beshenkovichi plants will follow.
The village of Luchno is 10km
from Polotsk, boasting one of the most
powerful rivers in Belarus. Its the ideal
spot for a hydroelectric power station.
In fact, the Zapadnaya Dvina River has
the most such potential of all our rivers,
being fast fowing and over 150m wide.
The Polotsk Districts section is to be
dammed, so that a hydroelectric power
plant can be built 25m tall. Water will
then pass through a controlled artifcial
channel. About 100,000 cubic metres of
sand have already been ordered, ready to
make cement for the structure.
Vitebskenergo is a customer of the
construction of the Polotsk and Vitebsk
hydroelectric power stations while
Minsks Belnipienergoprom has designed
the project. Te tender for construction
was won by Russian Technopromexport,
which is known for building power
plants in Asia, South America and
Africa during the Soviet years. It even
constructed Aswan hydroelectric power
plants on the Nile, where the dam is over
110m tall.
Vl adi mi r Komi ss arov, Chi ef
Engineer for Technopromexport in
Belarus, is based at the Chuvash hydro-
electric power station: the large complex
on the Volga. He notes that Polotsks
hydroelectric power plant will be more
modest, explaining, Its water, turning
the turbine, will fall from 8m above: quite
sufficient to produce electricity. Czech
firm Mavel is to supply the equipment
which will be installed for launch by the
summer of 2015.
The dams height remains modest
to ensure that nearby villages and
farmlands are safe from flooding.
Dmitry Tarasenko, Deputy Director
of HPP construction in Polotsk for
Vitebskenergo, tells us that water levels
around Luchno wont exceed those seen
during spring foods, so no residential
resettlement will be necessary. Only
the levels around Turovlyanka and
Ulla rivers will rise, necessitating new
bridges: the usual approach.
B
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14 .LARU5 2012
Pol otsks HPP is
being built with funds
f rom t he Eurasi an
Devel opment Bank
while Chinese corpo-
rat i on CNEEC wi l l
build the plant near the
Vitebsk Districts village
of Bukatino, with help
from Chinese Exim
Bank for the purchase
of Chinese equipment.
Beshenkovi chi and
Verkhnedvinsks plants
are t o be bui l t by
Turkish company CET,
at its own expense; it
will then own the sites
for 30 years, afer which
theyll be given freely
to Belarus: the first
such co-operation with
foreign investors for our
country.
Lukoml state district
power plant produces
about 40 percent of the
countrys electricity at
present, burning natural gas; of course,
this means dependence on imported raw
hydrocarbon. By harnessing the natural
power of water, Belarus will be taking
steps towards fulflling its energy security
Victor Antonik, HeAd of tHe depArtment for Vitebskenergos
promising deVelopment And design:
plan. By 2020, this aims to
reduce dependence via the
use of renewable and alter-
native energy sources.
Of course, the other
advantages of hydro-
electric power are that
its cheaper and more
eco-friendly. Polotsks
station alone will save
over 35,000 cubic metres
of standard fuel annually,
wor t h about $7. 5m.
The money can then be
spent on other projects
i n t he energy sector.
The Zapadnaya Dvina
cascade will also slow the
flow of water, allowing
freight trafc and tourist
cruising to take place,
thanks to the locks which
will be in operation. Near
reservoirs, we may see
recreational areas, lodges
and fish farms appear,
inspiring wider develop-
ment of the economy and
boosting infrastructure.
Te Vitebsk Region already has six
mini hydroelectric power plants on its
smaller rivers, with a combined capacity
of just over 2 megawatts.
By Sergey gomonov
7,5
PoloTSkS
STATIoN AloNe
WIll SAve oveR
35,000 CuBIC
MeTReS of
STANdARd fuel
ANNuAlly,
WoRTh ABouT
MIllIoN dollARS
BeSIdeS, The
CASCAde WIll
MAke The
ZAPAdNAyA
dvINA
NAvIGABle
expertopinion:
Booking a place in
electronic queue
Its now possible to book your border
crossing time online
T
he customs services of Belarus and
Poland have agreed to pilot e-queuing,
allowing people to book their time for
crossing the border online, alleviating the
problem of queuing at checkpoints.
At recent meetings for the heads
of our two countries customs services,
hosted by Bialystok, Poland presented
the experimental project. The Internet
booking system is to trial in Poland and,
if successful, will be adopted by Belarus.
Te Poles have also suggested using green
corridors for passenger trafc. Belarus is
to trial the idea in Bruzgi, in preparation
for possible use during the 2014 IIHF
World Championship.

Consumption of Belarusian
energy has reached 6, 000
megawatts so the project on the
Zapadnaya Dvina River wont
signifcantly infuence the countrys
energy balance. this can only be
achieved by the nuclear power
plant. Well continue to burn gas
but hydroelectric power plants,
such as are being constructed, can
ensure the security of the petro-
chemical enterprises in Polotsk and
Novopolotsk, where even short
power cuts can lead to production
failure and, at worst, technogenic
catastrophe.
in addition, an energy efcient
unit producing 400 megawatts is
to come into operation at Lukoml
state regional power plant within
the next fve years. its being built
by the Chinese. moreover, two
mini heat power plants are to
launch in Vitebsk and Baran, built
by an austrian company and using
local fuels.

Interesting ofer
for tourists
Purchases of just Br800,000 to quality
for tax free benefts
T
he Deputy Minister for Trade,
Irina Narkevich, has told the press
that long discussions have resulted in
the decision to allow foreign visitors to
reclaim tax on purchases which total
about $100. Lithuania and Poland
ofer tax rebates on purchases of about
$50 while, in Italy, the figure stands
at about 180-190 Euros, the Deputy
Minister explains. The Baltic States
already operate such a system and
Russia is debating the idea.

NW5
15 2012 .LARU5
FLLOW5HIP PRO5PCT
Twin city derives
from the word
BRoTheR
minsk and indian bangalore, grodno and
frenCh limoges, brest and polish biaa
podlaska, vitebsk and latvian daugavpils
T
hree hundred Belarusian
citi es are currentl y
twinned with others in
more than 35 countries
worldwide. The inter-
nati onal movement
for such twinning has
proven a powerful form of public
diplomacy for many years, bringing
collaboration in the spheres of trade,
culture, science, education, medicine
and environmental protection. Our
nations are brought closer as a result.
Most of Belarus twin cities are
in neighbouring Russia, with close
relations being established with 76
Russian cities. In November, Minsk
hosted the 7th meeting of twin towns
and partners of Russia and
Belarus, with the presidents
of both states sending their
greetings to participants.
PaRtNERShiP With
ECoNomiC FoCuS
The event gathered 160 participants
from 55 Russian cities and 35 Belarusian:
heads of municipal departments,
employees of state run public authori-
ties and directors of enterprises. Before
the meeting commenced, a speech was
given by Nina Ivanova the Chair of the
Presidium of the Belarusian Society for
Friendship and Cultural Ties with Foreign
Countries. She noted that the forum difers
from previous events in being the largest to
date. She added, Its goal is to enhance the
efciency of business interaction between
our two states. Today, Belarus is actively
developing, modernising its economy and
Executive Vice-President of the
Twin Cities International
Association Sergei
Paramonov, Ambassador
Extraordinary and
Plenipontiary of the Russian
Federation to Belarus H.E. Mr.
Alexander Surikov,
Ambassador Extraordinary
and Plenipontiary of the
Republic of Belarus to Russia
H.E. Mr. Igor Petrishchenko
and the Executive Secretary
of the Twin Towns Public
Association Nina Ivanova
B
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opening up new opportunities for invest-
ments by Russian partners.
According to the Ambassador
Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the
Russian Federation to Belarus, H.E. Mr.
Alexander Surikov, 80 (out of 83) Russian
Federation regions are already directly co-
operating with Belarusian partners. In all,
39 cities have been twinned and, last year,
mutual trade turnover, reinforced by these
connections, reached $39bn. It is likely
to achieve $40-41bn by the end of 2012.
Belarus and Russia have exceeded pre-crisis
volumes of 2008, while many thousands
of jobs have been created. Disposable
incomes have risen and peoples standard
of living is ever improving.
The potential of bilateral relation-
ships is gradually being revealed
via the Customs Union and
the Single Economic Space
(and, we hope, via the future
Single Economic Union).
Mr. Surikov notes the benefts of
such unions, saying, We now
have freedom of movement
for goods and services,
as well as for capital and
labour. These approaches
bring opportunities for new
joint projects. Te Russian
Embassy is to provide assis-
tance to Russian trade repre-
sentatives in Belarus, helping
1 .LARU5 2012
FLLOW5HIP PRO5PCT
set up mutually beneficial contacts and
developing businesses.
Existing successful ventures were
named by Boris Batura, the Chairman of
the Minsk Regional Executive Committee
and the Head of the Belarusian Twin
Towns Public Association. Several
modernisation projects are to be found
in the Minsk Region: Avgust-Bel JSC
(Pukhovichi District), which manufac-
tures pesticides; Krupki horticultural
factory; and Smolevichis veterinary prep-
arations and forage additives plant. He is
convinced that further bilateral collabora-
tion is possible, stressing, As part of twin
relations, we attend familiarisation trips,
seminars and exhibitions, trade fairs and
cultural events. However, we need to start
thinking bigger.
Areas for co-operation were presented
concisely at the forum, with three
thematic sections: housing construction,
the processing industry and agriculture.
Participants visited enterprises and agri-
cultural co-operative farms, seeing with
their own eyes that Belarus boasts a high
culture of manufacturing competitive
goods which should be promoted more
actively to the Russian market.
Alexandra Kovaleva, the Deputy Head
of Rzhev Administration, was inspired
by her visit to Minsks dairy factory #1
and meat packing factory. She now plans
to set up a specialised department at
the municipal trade enterprise to sell
Belarusian food products.
Meanwhile, the Chairman of the
Lyuban District Executive Committee,
Vasily Akulich, has called on our
Russian partners to promote Belarusian
trade houses in twin cities. Such collab-
oration should support the economies
of both our states.
LoBNya EVER CLoSER to VoLoZhiN
Remarkably, the number of twin
cities increased even during the forum,
wit h correspondi ng agreements
signed between Lobnya and Volozhin,
Dzerzhinsky and Dzerzhinsk, and
Kostroma and Bobruisk. Mr. Batura espe-
cially noted the fact, saying, Pleasingly
the twin-city movement continues to
gather momentum and popularity. Tis
inspires optimism and confidence that
were on the right path.
Mr. Batura is keen to see Belarus
and Russia modernising their industries
and establishing innovative manufac-
turing, using well trained personnel, the
richest mineral resources from Russia,
large scientifc centres in both states and
banking capital. Attractive conditions
have been created for business, enabling
Belarus to spark the interest of serious
investors. In line with the World Bank
rating, our country has shifted from
69th to 57th place, outstripping Russia.
Mr. Batura has urged partners to join in
creating small enterprises (employing up
to 50 people) oriented towards high value-
added produce. Injections are still needed
in Russia and Belarus in the spheres of
science, machine building, instrument
making, micro-electronics, telecommu-
nications, bio- and nano-technologies and
space exploration.
Within a year, current agreements
should be bearing fruit. Te 8th meeting
of twin cities is to be hosted by Russia
and its agenda is already taking shape.
Mr. Batura has proposed that twin cities
report on their economic development,
explaining, We need to have full infor-
mation on the number of economic
agreements and treaties signed by twin
cities, in order to follow the results of
joint regional developments. We must
realise concrete investment projects and
set up more joint ventures.
By Liliya khlystun
Belarus first twin city treaty was signed by minsk and Nottingham
(uk) in 1957, later joined by regional and district centres. the
Belarusian Society for Friendship and Cultural ties with Foreign
Countries co-ordinated the move and, in 1995, the Belarusian twin
towns Public association was founded. in 2010, Boris Batura, the
Chairman of the minsk Regional Executive Committee, was elected
the head of its board. the Belarusian twin towns Public association
is a collective member of the international twinning association.
the Belarusian twin towns Public association currently unites 31
Belarusian cities twinned with 313 cities from 35 countries worldwide.
its most active participants are Brest (23 twin cities), minsk (15),
Baranovichi and Lida (14 each), gomel (11) and mogilev (10).

Participants of the Twin Cities meeting lied a wreath on the Pobedy Square in Minsk
17 2012 .LARU5
TCHNOLOGICAL RAKTHROUGH
effeCT
of unique
opportunities
nano-materials and nano-tubes allow strength
and enduranCe to be raised. to date, it has been
too expensive to use nano-tubes in mass
produCtion. however, the belarusian national
aCademy of sCienCes institute for heat and mass
transfer is preparing a breakthrough,
having developed several deviCes
to generate nano-materials
O
ne aims to produce
multi-wall nano-
t ubes , boas t i ng
great energy effi-
ciency. The Russian
Academy of Sciences
Si beri an branch
has created the necessary catalyst,
so manufactured products could be
supplied to Russia to make high-
tech products such as space craft.
The proj ect is an exampl e of
Belarusian-Russian scientifc collabora-
tion in nano-technologies under the
SG Union State programme, which was
launched in 2009 and runs until late 2012.
It covers 35 major projects, opening the
doors to many fantastic possibilities and
inspiring international interest.
Work on nano-materials and nano-
technologies began at the beginning
of this millennium, with some results
achieved accidentally through intuition
as often occurs. Since then, the
sphere has taken of, with a laboratory
of nuclear-power microscopy set up
and expensive diagnosing equipment
purchased.
Te Deputy Director of the Institute
for Heat and Mass Transfer, Kirill
Dobrego, guides us to the labora-
tory of high-speed processes,
where seni or researcher
Yevgeny Prikhodko shows
us a stand for covering silica
solar batteries with super-
thin protective covers, via
a plasma discharge. Unlike
previ ous met hods, t hi s
Belarusian approach halves
t he worki ng tempera-
ture of the process, while
requi ri ng no vacuum.
Such flms can be placed
on polymers and many
other materials, states
Mr. Prikhodko, adding,
We offer high speed and
relative cheapness.
Anot he r l abor a -
t or y i s i nvol ved
i n produci ng
membrane
A
R
T
U
R

P
R
U
P
A
S
Senior researcher
Yevgeny Prikhodko
18 .LARU5 2012
NW5
flters for separating gases, liquids and
biological molecules via super-thin
coverage of micro-porous materials.
Properties of coverage can be managed,
allowing a filter to be self-cleaning,
distinguishing certain materials.
Many of the Belarusian scien-
tists developments are likely to enjoy
demand in other high-tech branches
such a watch making and the
electronic and optical industries.
Diamond-like carbon fields can be
used as a universal protective covering,
resistant to aggressive environments
and mechanical infuence, while being
current-conducting or dielectric,
lustrous or anti-glare.
Many Belarusian developments focus
on the space sphere, as co-operation
between Belarusian scientists and the
Russian Space Agency is already a
tradition. Nano-additives to fuel space
craft have great prospects, improving
the combustion of fuel and enhancing
efficiency. However, these technologies
also have application on Earth, being able
to enhance the quality of of-grade fuel
(used for ordinary energy facilities and
engines), yielding great economic results.
Our Russian colleagues are super-
vising their part of the programme,
explains Mr. Dobrego. Of course, we
exchange information, trying out their
results in our conditions. Meanwhile,
we jointly oversee some aspects: our
Institute produces a special facility to
polish optic elements with high accuracy,
while super-accurate lenses (curvature
measured in Angstrom units) are being
supplied by the Russian Academy of
Sciences Institute of Chemistry of
High-Purity Substances.
Over the course of time, a complex
of functional equipment for space craf
should launch, using absolutely new
technologies to help reduce the satellites
weight 2-3-fold, and improving possi-
bilities of remote Earth sensing, while
reducing costs. Both Belarus and Russia
are interested in such co-operation,
with their liaisons in mastering space
ever expanding.
By Vladimir yakovlev
SuPERCOmPuTER
clusters to unite three states
Technological
solutions to
improve search
Belarus and Russia to create
contemporary complexes for seismic
surveillance
S
cientists from our two countries
are t o use t he SKIF-Nedra
programme t o creat e modern
software and hardware solutions for
seismic surveying, explains Alexander
Moskovsky, the Director General of
Russian RSK Technologies. He notes
that major oil companies require such
analysis, with several dozen such
working in Russia alone.
SKIF-Nedra envisages the develop-
ment of domestic sofware and hardware
solutions for the future, helping survey
for extractable resources. At present,
Russian companies are using non-
specialised computers and imported
sofware for this purpose, while paying
considerably more. Te programme
should favourably influence the
development of high-tech companies
which create high added value, asserts
Mr. Moskovsky.
common cYbEr
infrAstructurE for
bElArus, russiA And
moldovA
T
he CIS i nnovat i ve
de vel opment
programme is
next being discussed at
the forthcoming session
of the CIS Heads
of Government,
envisaging the
creation of joint
supercomputer
centres to develop
tel ecommuni ca-
tion infrastructure
and new sofware. It is
yet to be decided where
exactly the supercomputer clusters will
be placed.
A supercomputer cluster could also
be created in association with Chinese
Inspur, with support from the State
Science and Technology Committee
as part of the Belarus-China sci-tech
co-operative programme. Naturally,
Belarusian scientists also take part in
European projects, with Belarus included
in European grid-infrastructure.
Belarus is a full member of the
EGI - I ns pi r e pr o j e c t
(Integrated Sustainable
Pa n- Eur op e a n
Infrastructure
for Researchers
i n Eu r o p e )
expl ai ns Prof.
A l e x a n d e r
Tuzikov, who
is the Director
General of the
United Institute
o f I n f o r ma t i c s
Probl ems (UIIP) at the National
Academy of Sciences of Belarus. The
Doctor of Physical-Mathematical
Sciences tells us, We support our own
segment but computing influences
everything else. Meanwhile, its good for
us to make use of European resources.
19 2012 .LARU5
CITY OUTLIN5
SAIl
rushes into
the sky
The tallest building in
the Belarusian capital
now rises 133 metres.
Known as the Parus,
its located at the
crossing of three of
minsks busiest
streets: Timiryazev,
Kalvariyskaya and
maxim Tank
I
t boasts 30 foors (fve minutes by
lif) but the fnal four fights are still
only accessible on foot. Te steps
are rather icy but the builders only
laugh, as they are used to climbing
precarious structures. Tey origi-
nally traversed 15 foors without
a lift, carrying tools and construction
materials, in worse weather.
Along the way, we explore the layout;
by 2013, residents will be moving into
some of the 204 apartments. Teir area
ranges from 61 square metres to 179,
with one to four rooms and two-level
penthouses on the upper foors, with
access to an open terrace. Te views
are amazing, revealing the city in its
full glory. So far, only 40 apartments
have been sold but property devel-
opers are confident that the ready
to move into homes will prove
popular. Only a small part of the frst
foor is to be set aside for commer-
cial outlets, with about 40 percent
already sold. Spacious parking for
250 cars is also planned.
Unlike another skyscraper whose
construction is to begin a little closer
to the centre in spring, the Parus is
designed as living accommodation
rather than ofce space. Together, they
form an ultra-modern urban ensemble
which is sure to add some favour to Minsk,
asserts Vladimir Alexandrovich, the Director
General of the developing company. He tells us,
By next April, the frst skyscraper in Belarus will
also be the frst residential building to have a glass
faade. It will serve as a sun screen in summer
and reduce heat loss in winter. Being Belarus
frst such building, construction workers have
reinforced the structure 3-4 fold more than
usually required, to cover themselves; no code
exists for such designs.
Over $50m is being invested, with devel-
opers emphasising that only advantages are
evident including new jobs and higher
standards of housing. Although skyscrapers
are generally considered to be over 150m tall,
while the Parus is just 133m, anything over
30 floors is usually designated within the
category. Of course, Minsks low level skyline
and modest population negates the need for
skyscrapers on a par with those in the United
Arab Emirates.
On New Years Eve, freworks
will be launched from the
roof of the Parus, giving
a view from further
afield. Incidentally,
Minsk already has a
building called the
Parus Business Centre,
on Melezh Street, but it
has only 16 floors. The
developers joke, The
more sails we have, the
further well sail.
By Olga Pasiyak
V
A
D
I
M

K
O
N
D
R
A
S
H
O
V
20 .LARU5 2012
mEn In
demographic
refection
dEmogrAPhic dAtA shows
thAt, in EArlY 2012, thErE
wErE 4.5m mEn in bElArus
just undEr hAlf of thE
PoPulAtion, with thrEE
quArtErs rEsiding in citiEs
uRBaNitiES youNgER
thaN ViLLagERS
Annually, over 50,000 boys are born
countrywide (in 2011, 56,000). On
average, there are 945 baby girls for every
thousand boys: 947 in cities and 939 in
rural areas.
As of early 2012, the average age of
Belarusian men stood at 37 years, with
those living in cities and towns being
younger than those in villages (35.8 and
40.3 years respectively). Over all, the
average age of men is fve years younger
than that of women.
LiFE BEgiNS at 40
Surprisingly, despite there being
more women than men countrywide,
theres a lack of brides in the age category
of under 33.
Older men are more greatly outnum-
bered by women, with the greatest difer-
ence seen among the elderly; by 65, there
are 1.5 times fewer men than women aged
73. A signifcant 33 percent of men create
families aged 25-29 while the average age
for a bridegroom marrying for the frst
time was 26.6 years in 2011; for second
marriages, 40 is the average.
giVE uP SmokiNg aND gEt Fit
Curiously, one poll shows that 32
percent of men assessed their health
as good in early 2002, compared to
36.5 percent in early 2012. Moreover,
a quarter of all men are involved in
physical exercise while the number
of smokers has f al l en st eadi l y ;
however, half of all men still smoke
(as of early 2012).
FACT5 ONLY
Statistics
empower
state
Belarus is CIS leader in car
ownership per capita
A
ccording to the National Statistical
Committee of Belarus, as of early
2012, there were 280 personally owned
cars per 1,000 citizens. In Russia, this
fgure stood at 242 while Kazakhstans
was 203; Ukraines was 143 and
Kyrgyzstans was a modest 64.
Since 2000, Belarusian ownership
of cars has doubled, from 139 per
1,000 residents. It rose to 180 in 2005,
230 in 2009 and 264 in 2010.
CI S I nt e r s t at e St at i s t i c a l
Committee reports have been used
to produce Te Belarus and the CIS
States catalogue, which presents
statistical information on the socio-
economic development of Belarus
compared to other CIS countries
f rom 2000 to 2011. It t ackl es
issues of demographics, employ-
ment, standards of living and gross
domestic product. It also details
average statistical data on the devel-
opment of key branches: industry,
agriculture, construction, transport
and communi cat i ons, and t he
consumer market. Data describing
foreign trade is also published.
V
I
T
A
l
I
Y

G
I
l
21 2012 .LARU5
Mr.Kovalenya, why do you love
history?
Id like to say that Ive inherited my
passion from my ancestors but, sadly,
I know little of them. I remember my
mothers father,Zabelo Alexander; he
headed a village council and was a highly
educated and respected man. With writer
and genealogist Anatoly Statkevich-
Cheboganov, Im researching the roots
of this noble family.
My grandfathers wife,Yustina, was
from a wealthy family but my father was
a simple man. He graduated from the
Mozyr Pedagogical College and then
worked in the Kopyl District for some
time. I was born in Kopyl in 1946. My
fathers business and his participation
in the partisan movement inspired my
interest in history: Alexander Kovalenya
is still remembered in the village of Sadki
where our large family lived as a
teacher, an elementary school head and
a partisan. My father was respected by
all; he received two orders, showing how
highly he was appreciated.
Im also known in the district but
not as the Belarusian NAS academic-
secretary, a doctor or a professor. Im
known as a son of the teacher. Young
people from neighbouring villages were
taught by my father and, as I was told at
a scientifc conference in Kopyl, he is still
remembered widely. Ive been recognised
as an honourary citizen of the district.
Words of memory and history are
close in their meaning...
I grew up with people having first
hand memories of the war. All my
teachers took part and wore great-coats.
Tis also sparked my interest in history.
Teyd come from the frontline and their
high spirits and determination were
transferred to us children. I remember
What will we remember of 2012? What facts and events from
our countrys life will attract the most attention from future
generations? We can only guess... Time and historians will sift
all that we view as important today,analysing each aspect.
Of course, the end of the year always inspires such speculation
A
lexander Kovalenya,
of t he Bel arusi an
National Academy of
Sciences Department
for Humanit ari an
Sciences and Arts, and
a doctor of historical
sciences, gives us his opinions.
Can we use the past to guide our
future? It might seem incredible but this
is what historians do. Many are found at
ancient Neolithic or Bronze Age settle-
ments during summer digs. However,
Professor Kovalenya prefers to study little
known pages from the Great Patriotic
War. His doctoral thesis was devoted
to the origin, structure and activity of
pro-German unions of youth in Belarus
from 1941-1944. One of his colleagues
explains, Tis is the frst fundamental
work here or abroad to be devoted to
the investigation of a politically acute
problem. Until recently, it had failed to
be scientifcally explained.
Bef ore di s cussi ng hi st ori cal
science or sharing thoughts on the
most remarkable events of the past
year, Mr.Kovalenya takes us back to
Belarus past. Te National Academy of
Sciences Archaeological Museum has
an exhibition entitled Development of
Archaeological Science at the Belarusian
NAS. Its the only such show here or
abroad, presenting the most interesting
artefacts discovered by Belarusian
archaeologists on our territory. Among
them are mammoth bones, arrow heads,
coins and, even, whole ancient settle-
ments. Te museum is worthy of its own
article and artefacts from the exhibi-
tion were collected when Mr. Kovalenya
headed the Institute (from October
2004). The museum opened in 2007,
on the eve of the 1st session of scientists
although Belarusian historians were
eager to see it open earlier, in the 1930s
(when the Institute of Belarusian Culture
a predecessor of the Academy was
operational).
Mr.Kovalenyajoins me at the History
Institutes beautifully decorated Hall
of Sittings now headed by his pupil,
Vyacheslav Danilovich.
LINK5 OF TIM
key
MoMeNTS
from past
year
22 .LARU5 2012
excursions to battle fields, where wed
put the graves of our countrymen in
order. Later, during my studies at Minsks
Construction College and my time with
the airborne troops, war became a key
theme. Ill always remember one of my
commanders (a war participant) who
wrote a poem about the Sapun Mountain.
He read it to me with deep feeling.
Did you ever wish to join the
military?
I did! I even entered Military College
but, afer studying for a while, I realised
that I disliked hiking and living in barracks.
I enjoy freedom. Science has no rules so
its a paradise for anyone eager to learn
something new; force produces nothing.
Your soul is the most essential element,
alongside a methodical approach and
some creativity. Wonderfully, the History
Institute is flled with a spirit of artistry.
Is the same true of the museum?
LINK5 OF TIM
Just look at the books our Institute
has published recently. Among them
is Belarus Archaeological Legacy a
richly illustrated album depicting our
fndings, includingdetails on the place,
time and those who discovered them.
This mini-encyclopaedia honours the
country and its scientifc historians. Its
release is the event of the year to be long
remembered. In 2009, the frst volume of
the Great Historical Atlas was published;
we are now completing a second volume
and are starting work on the third and
fourth. Te series is a landmark, as our
neighbours lack similar editions.
This year, we organised an inter-
national scientific-practical confer-
ence entitled Republic of Belarus 20
Years of Independence. Not long ago, a
collection of materials was published: a
serious edition for researchers, written
by experts in history and politics. The
conference gathered chairs from all
over the Republic, with each participant
contributing to our research of recent
history.
Interestingly, the Academys Institute
has its own chair of recent history. We
organised the conference jointly with the
Academy of Management under the
President of the Republic of Belarus. It
was the frst such major event of its kind.
Among our other recent achievements is
the launch of the unique seriesHistory of
the Belarusian State. A second volume is
soon to be released.It throws light on
the origins of our nation, describing its
development, and looks at Belarus from
its Russian Empire days until 2010. Its
the frst such profound study and a true
achievement. Each school and univer-
sity should have a copy. I speak with
authority, having a teaching diploma. I
also lectured at the Belarusian Maxim
Tank State Pedagogical University for a
long time.
Is it difcult to write about modern
history?
Yes, since we cannot give any fnal
words: our heirs will be better placed
to do so. We must try to be objective,
with ascientific approach. Its not like
writing fction, since each word and date
I
V
A
N

Z
H
D
A
N
O
V
I
C
H
Academician-secretary
Alexander Kovalenya
is proud of the books
on history published
in Belarus in recent years
23 2012 .LARU5
LINK5 OF TIM
is important. Its also difficult to write
history when those who took part are
still alive. Weve done our best to describe
everything in detail, avoiding exaggera-
tion or underestimation. We need to
put aside our own individual points
of view, creating a blank sheet of facts
and objective analysis. Time will show
whether were right about social trends.
Really, great ideas can be seen from a
distance. We also need to demonstrate
whats been achieved so far.
Ive travelled a great deal through
Belarus recently and have seen how
beautiful our cities and villages
have become. Peoples eyes
are shining. Over the
past 20 years, weve
acquired a new
view of ourselves
and our nei gh-
bours; we are now
more bold and brave.
Dont you love our agro-
towns? Theyre different
and people treat them
differently. They represent
a trend forwards. Our desire
to nurture the agro-complex
allows Belarus to be among the
few European states supplying its
own domestic food needs to the full.
Were also exporting high quality agri-
cultural products. I believe that our agri-
cultural industry is in a good state. Of
course, rural areas have problems yet to
be tackled but progress is evident.
Tis year, over 10 tonnes of grain
and corn were harvested. Do you
consider this worth remarking upon?
Definitely! All citizens should be
proud of this achievement by our agri-
cultural workers. Im convinced that
the fgure would have been higher if the
weather had been kinder. I remember
when 1,500kg per hectare was a record;
now, 4,000kg is the norm. Our Snov
farm collected 9,000kg so the sky is
the limit. Our soil isnt perfect but high
harvests show that we boast a profound
culture of grain growing and developed
infrastructure. Tis has been achieved
by our people, with help from talented
scientists. Of course, we illustrate such
achievements and landmarks in our
books. One classical author wrote
ploughs are the starting pointand its
true. Our nation is built from agri-
culture upwards, although were now
highly intellectual and cultured. Weve
overcome all obstacles thrown
at us through history.
Which obstacles?
We all know that
Belarus is situated at
the geopolitical crossroads, at the centre
of Europe. Global spiritual processes
generate new energy here. Dozens of wars
have afected our territory, killing people
and destroying their achievements,
hampering our progress. According
to some estimates, around a hundred
conflicts have passed through Belarus.
However, weve managed to retain so
many national traditions even more
than our neighbours. We boast our own
view of the world and paths to harmo-
nious existence. We believe that tolerance
and open heartshelp us flourish,rather
than obstinacy or double standards
(as observed in some countries). Weve
pres er ved our
language, culture,
traditions and
s pi r i t ual and
material treasures
despite many
art works, books
and preci ous
archives being
taken out of
t he count r y
during cruel
times of war.
Morality was
absent during
t he peri od of
German occu-
pation. We even
risked losing our
Bel ovezhskaya
Pushcha, si nce
i t s t rees were
steadily being cut.
We sometimes fail
to tell our foreign
friends and coming
generations of our
spiritual strength
but we should be
proud of it. The
History Institute is
working to promote
this approach.
How?
Scientist-histo-
rians dont just dig
up the past; rather,
they work for the future, promoting
our rich historical-cultural legacy and
achievements. Every year, we organise
dozens of events countrywide; this
year, I attended 46 conferences, deliv-
ering speeches. Were eager to share our
knowledge. InKopyl, the local history
teachers and school heads talked to
me for an hour and a half, discussing
24 .LARU5 2012
LINK5 OF TIM
the Kopyl Districts rich history, among
other subjects.
Te conference Kopyl: History from
Ancient Times to Modern Days wasor-
ganised jointly by the History Institute
and the District Executive Committee
dedicated to the 360th anniversary
of the towns acquiring the Magdeburg
Right. It had three sections, hosted by
the gymnasium, museum and District
Executive Committee. Each attracted
crowds who stayed late into the evening.
Related materials will soon be published,
as is now usual following a conference. In
Kopyl, schoolchildren also gave speeches
and we awarded those young people
who have done most to study their
local history. Our Institute expressed
its gratitude, inspiring young peoples
further interest.
Interest is also being seen among
those with no professional connection
to history such as businessman and
writer Anatoly Statkevich-Cheboganov.
Not long ago, he was awarded a Patron
of Books diploma by the Information
Ministry. Representatives of the Belarusian
diaspora in Russia have shown interest in
his seriesIm Your Son Chronicles of
the Belarusian Gentry,which has been on
show at our Embassy.
Its no secret that weve a different
outlook these days, concentrating on
facts and the contribution of Belarus
to world development. We should be
remembering all the talented people
who were born here and there are a great
many including Kazimir Semenovich
who, 260 years ago, proposed the idea of
a multi-stage rocket.
To arouse peoples interest in their
native land, Anatoly Vasilevich has been
writing books distributed all over the
world and giving reports at scientifc
conferences. Its wonderful but I think
we should have a hundred or more
such fundamental researchers. With
Mr.Vasilevich, weve decided to establish
an organisation (perhaps public) to
study family trees. We hope that the
history of our homeland will be viewed
differently as a result. Presenting his
books at the National Library, he spoke
of setting up a fund to co-ordinate such
activities. Some have money and the
desire to learn more about their family
tree, while others are capable of working
with archives and some have journalistic
talent, being able to write about history,
interviewing eye witnesses.
Its a good idea and weve already
discussed it several times including
at an international conference in
Pol otsk. A researchers approach
envi s ages t he publ i s hi ng of a
document but scientists are interested
in analysing data. How do these two
aspects interrelate? A great job will
have been done when we manage to
analyse everything published.
As far as I know, the History
Institute is doing much to study our
historical legacy, studying documents.
Our scientists pin great hopes on foreign
archives...
There are about 600 books on
the Grand Duchy of Lithuania in our
archives, uniting materials which shed
light on the Medieval period of Belarusian
history. Weve published eight books so
far, with the ninth being prepared all
accompanied by commentary. We plan
to publish around a hundred editions
on the history of our modern territory.
Well be objective, avoiding hypothesis
or speculation. Aferwards, well be able
to prepare fundamental works all
based on facts. With the Department for
Archives and with help from Vladimir
Adamusho, were working on this now,
aiming to publish objective editions. Let
our heirs judge us. We need to uncover
an important layer of documents.
Interestingly, when we arrived in
St. Petersburg to continue studying
the Belovezhskaya Pushchas history,
we discovered documents wrapped in
splintin the 17th or 18th century and
since unused.
History is a living science, with
our understanding adapting as new
documents are discovered. We still
have many documents to study, so
the work of the History Institute is
unique: all papers are being verifed and
commented upon by professional histo-
rians. Tose employed at higher educa-
tional establishments have no time to
work in archives, since they sometimes
need to lecture 800 hours a year. The
History Institute is proud of its work
with foreign archives, although such
trips do not always bear fruit. If were
lucky, a discovery can be made in just
one day as when we are digging.
Were ploughing a virgin feld and
are proud to do so. We wish to present
our history in a way ftting for an inde-
pendent state, giving a national view.
Otherwise, there is no need for histo-
rians. Why should the state allocate
funding if not for our historians to write
our national history?
We dont work in isolation, liaising
closely with Ukraine and Russia.
Already, several agreements have been
signed with the Moscow State University,
the Institute of Slavic Studies and the
Russian Academy of Sciences Institute
of General History. We also co-operate
with Siberian historians. Tis is how our
history is being written.
By Ivan Zhdanovich
weneedtounCoveranimportant
layerofdoCuments.interestingly,
whenwearrivedinst.petersBurgto
ContinuestudyingtheBelovezhskaya
pushChashistory,wedisCovered
doCumentswrappedinsplintinthe
17thor18thCenturyandsinCeunused
25 2012 .LARU5
B
ri l evskoe f i el d,
ne a r B o r i s ov,
saw thousands of
Russian and French
soldiers fall in 1812.
After an unsuc-
c e s s f u l
crossing of
the Berezina, the largest military
force of its time was defeated. Te
Napoleonic troops fled West in
what resembled a stampede.
Deputy Prime
Minister Anatoly
Tozik has told jour-
n a l i s t s
HI5TORICAL RVIW
BeReZINA
RIveR
a symbol of
reconciliation
belarusian, russian and frenCh flags
fly at Commemorative event marking
200th anniversary of 1812 war, held
on brilevskoe field
that this year has seen many conferences
and exhibitions of archival materials
conducted. New tourist routes have
been developed and a joint Belarusian-
French archaeological dig has been
organised, with remains of unknown
Russian and French soldiers reburied
ceremoniously.
One more event remai ns, as
the chairman of the Minsk Region
Executive Committee, Boris Batura,
notes, Many of t he Bel arusi an
a nd Rus s i a n
cities through
whi ch t he armi es
of Napol e on and
Kutuzov travel l ed are
connect ed by t wi n-
r e l a t i o n s .
S m a l l e r
t owns a r e
also joining
i n , wi t h
t he r ural
settlement
of Borodino,
near Moscow,
being twinned with Veselovsky Rural
Council in the Borisov District; their
territories saw the most wide-scale
of tragedies in 1812. Belarusians
and Russians woul d be happy to
see European cities join in similar
twinning since this would be the most
fitting tribute to the memories of all
victims of the 1812 War.
European diplomats were invited
to the memorial ceremony, at which
the Ambassador Extraordinary and
Plenipotentiary of France to Belarus, H.E.
Mr. Michel Raineri, gave a speech, noting,
In 1812, Europe had yet to reach equi-
librium, being in turmoil. Tere was no
established legal system, which resulted
in pain and conflict. Unfortunately,
Europe faced more conficts in the years
to come before war was replaced by
dialogue. Tose soldiers who fought 200
years ago, regardless of their leadership
or army allegiance, would doubtless have
preferred dialogue to combat if they
had enjoyed such a choice.
Of course, no such choi ce
existed and they were obliged to obey
Historical reenactment of a battle on Brilevskoe feld
2 .LARU5 2012
HI5TORICAL RVIW
orders. Accordingly, we today honour
the memory of those who fell in those
cold November days two centuries ago.
Wreaths and flowers were laid at all
four of the monuments on Brilevskoe
feld. Te frst, from Soviet times, was
erected in 1962. Another is dedicated
to Russian soldiers, unveiled for the
180th anniversary, paid for by some
of their descendants. A third appeared
15 years ago, in memory of French
soldiers. The last was unveiled just
recently: a simple memorial inscribed
Grief and Confession.
Te Military Attach of the Russian
Embassy, Maxi m Kazantsev, was
concise but spoke poignantly, saying,
There has been much controversy,
with theories and opinions differing.
Its a subjective process. However,
standing where so many people fell,
all this fades into second billing. Tis
is a place to simply honour the fallen,
remembering them and promising
ourselves that here, at the crossroads of
Europe, where Belarus is located and
where many tragic events have been
witnessed, in future, such things will
never happen again.
In attendance was Charles Napoleon,
a genuine descendant of Bonaparte, who
was clearly overwhelmed by emotions,
repeating several times to curious jour-
nalists, My feelings are very strong,
standing here today; Im happy to be here
to remember these events with you...
A small reconstruction was also
presented, featuring Russian hussars
and Polish lancers, Belarusian and Swiss
regiments and detachments of Cossacks.
Tree hundred horsemen and infantry
forces and, even, vivandieres (the women
who accompanied troops during their
campaigns) took part. Tose from clubs
in Belarus, Russia, Poland, France and
Switzerland were joined by two Belgians
on horseback. Two hundred years
ago, Napoleons army, retreating from
Moscow, tried to cross the Berezina, on a
misty day, surrounded by the sharp smell
of gunpowder and the thunder of guns.
Somewhere out there, Charles ancestor
galloped on horseback.
By Alexander alexeevsky
Exhibition of
unique issues
Worlds largest collection of alphabet
books in Vitebsk
A
unique exhibition entitled The
Amazing World of Alphabet
Books is being hosted by Vitebsk.
Latvian linguist Juris Cibuls acquired
over 8,000 alphabet books in 1,039
languages from 216 countries to create
the collection, which includes such
rare exhibits as an edition by the Indian
Akawaio tribe and a Latvian alphabet
book from 1796. The exhibition has
appeal across all age ranges and has
arrived in Vitebsk from Grodno and,
previously, Orsha.

Park deserves its


award
The Palace and Park Estate of
Rumyantsev-Paskevich has received the
Grand Prix at The Museums of Belarus
to the Third Millennium contest
Hosted by Grodno, the event
gathered representatives of 150
museums across the country, as well
as those from Russia and Lithuania:
state, departmental and private.
Gomels Palace and Park Estate
of Rumyantsev-Paskevich was recog-
nised as the best, with admiration
shown for its work with visitors and
its export of tourist services. It hasnt
yet decided how to spend its prize
money but, no doubt, its infrastruc-
ture and preservation work will be
further extended.

A
l
E
x
A
N
D
E
R

R
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Z
H
E
C
H
K
A
Historical reenactment of a battle on Brilevskoe feld
27 2012 .LARU5
IOR5OURC5
WelfARe
E
nvironmental project
to raise ground water
level being imple-
ment ed by APB-
Bi r dl i f e Be l ar us
public organisation.
The project aims
to make an inventory
of seasonal and temporary water fow
in the Belovezhskaya Pushcha, explains
the Director of the APB-Birdlife
Belarus, Victor Fenchuk. A sharp fall
in ground water levels has brought
about a dramatic rise in the number
of eight-toothed bark beetles and, as a
result, to a loss of fr and ash trees.
As you know, the Belovezhskaya
Pushcha National Park has experienced
a complicated history. For a long time,
it was a hunting forest, so the priority
was to increase the population of wild
animals and intensify forest manage-
ment. Many parts of the forest were
drained via small channels, to encourage
trees to grow better. Tis led to a signif-
cant fall in ground water levels, as seen
today, Mr. Fenchuk explains.
With the Research Department of
the National Park, were now creating
an inventory of water fow, aiming to
then use forestry methods to reduce
the impact of temporary seasonal
streams. Mr. Fenchuk adds that
conservation of biological diversity
is a key objective of his organisation
countrywide. Belarusian marshes
are ecosystems of critical importance
globally. Fortunately, despite recla-
mation, weve managed to save them.
Now, all Europe is watching to see how
we protect them. Sponsorship from the
Coca-Cola Company has allowed us
to implement a number of measures
to conserve our marshes. Teyve set
a good example to other commercial
companies, showing how they can help
minimise negative impact on the envi-
ronment, improving the situation by
implementing such projects. Businesses
should be responsible for their actions
and work to preserve our countryside,
Mr. Fenchuk emphasises.
By Anna Drobova
of amazing
environment
B
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l
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28 .LARU5 2012
IOR5OURC5
The 17th Belarusian Energy and Ecology Congress recently saw
the national Academy of Sciences propose a new way of using
chalk pit lakes efectively: giving them the status of natural
hydrological sites for use as tourist attractions
A
ccording to the Head of
the Scientific and Practical
Centre for Bio-resources,
of the NAS of Belarus,
Vladimir Baichorov, chalk
pits banks were traditionally required, in
Soviet times, to have a slope of less than
30 degrees, with application of fertilisers
for the planting of forests. However, these
measures are harmful to the environment.
He explains, In particular, the fertilisers
quickly leach into water, killing organisms
and causing irreparable harm to biolog-
ical diversity. A number of quarries have
their own sustainable ecosystem. Many
such lakes are now several decades old,
surrounded by plants and over 60 species
of living organisms.
A reviewed approached is clearly
needed to ensure that tourists can visit
safely without harm to the environment.
Chalk pits currently create revenue for the
state in the form of taxes, Mr. Baichorov
notes. About 10,000 tourist cars visit
the Volkovysk District annually, paying
Br3.5bn for fuel over Br800m of which is
paid into the budget in the form of taxes.
Chalk pit lakes could be created
as sites of natural beauty; rather than
spending money on destructive recla-
mation, it could be invested into tourist
infrastructure and safety measures.
Are these quarries so dangerous?
Mr. Baichorov muses. Teir landscape
differs little from that of the Black Sea
coast of the Crimea; every year, hundreds
of thousands of tourists go there. He tells
us that necessary documentation is being
prepared to give chalk pit lakes hydrolog-
ical status as sites of national importance,
with completion expected in 2013.
Researches in the formed lakes, many
of which are already several dozen years,
have revealed over 60 species of living
organisms in addition to lots of plants.
By Sergey mikhalevsky
The SCIeNTISTS
CoNSIdeR AS
folloWS: ChAlk
PIT lAkeS Could
Be CReATed AS
SITeS of NATuRAl
BeAuTy; RATheR
ThAN SPeNdING
MoNey oN
deSTRuCTIve
ReClAMATIoN, IT
Could Be INveSTed
INTo TouRIST
INfRASTRuCTuRe
ANd SAfeTy
MeASuReS
SeyChelleS
of volkovysk
district
29 2012 .LARU5
CHARITY
heart to heART
i refuse to believe that anyone dislikes deCember. its impossible,
being a month of miraCles and festivities. the winter solstiCe
raises our spirits, as we look ahead to longer days and the
approaChing spring. new year and Christmas are a time of joy
and sharing and, of Course, Charity
C
harity works occur
all through the year
but our desire to
help others seems
to grow stronger in
December, when
we are inspired to
embrace our fellow
man. In the past, state run organisa-
tions set the pace, supported by finan-
cially independent and large companies.
Now, ordinary citizens are more often
involved; regardless of income, everyone
can give their time. The philosophy of
charity dates back to the earliest days and
remains just as pertinent today.
Its hard to say how many charity
events are organised countrywide at this
time of year but the largest is held under
the aegis of the Belarusian President;
Our Children unites the countrys public
organisations. Heart to Heart involves
international funds and Kind Hearts for
Children is supervised by young volun-
B
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Campaign Kind Hearts for Children at the children's community #4 of Minsk
30 .LARU5 2012
CHARITY
teers. Meanwhile, smaller initiatives
abound in towns and villages with the
number growing every year.
Giving our time and resources to
help others plants seeds of kindness for
the future. Tose in need will always be
with us: children without guardians and
those who are unwell, alongside large
families.
hEaLiNg joy
Alla Smolyak chairs the Gomel
regional branch of the Red Cross Society
and is supervising various charity events.
She agrees that more are registered
at this time of year. She adds that the
number of those wishing to help is also
rising. In 2011, the New Year Fir Tree
Wishes were organised for children not
only in Gomel but across district centres;
even large stores had their own fr trees.
Children tied notes for Father Frost to
the branches and gift donations were
made for pupils of orphanages.
Are people kinder these days? What
inspires them? I ask Alla. She replies,
I think people have become more
sensitive and responsive. In sharing
with others, our soul grows lighter. As
everyone knows, the more you give, the
more you receive. I think youd
agree that our world needs
more joy and light.
In an attempt to
pur s ue mor e s uc h
spiritual facts, I visit the
Gomel State Professional-
Technical College of Arts
and Crafts. Their New
Year preparations begin
i n earl y November,
explains College Director
Yelena Alexeenko. Shes
convinced that young-
sters should be nurtured
in a culture of charitable
works, encouraging them
to make presents with
their own hands and give
mini-performances for
children. Ms. Alekseenko
bel i eves t hat s oci al
responsibility is vital; if
overcome our own problems once weve
undertaken charitable work. Psychologists
ofen advise their patients to start helping
others when they face difculties of their
own, since mutual benefts are the result,
bringing healing joy to those who give and
those who receive.
Without Limit
Its best to act from the heart in such
matters rather than spend too much
time thinking. One elderly lady I know
goes out to her courtyard at 5am every
morning, while most of us are asleep,
to feed the pigeons. Shes been doing so
for several years and the birds are accus-
tomed to their breakfast. She cant act
otherwise now, fnding it impossible to
sleep longer or succumb to illness. Te
act has become a necessity of her soul.
I also know an elderly man who
transfers half of his pension to the Peace
Foundation, as his father died during the
Great Patriotic War. Hes convinced that
if we all did the same, peace would reign.
In the past, Ive tried to change his mind
with no success. He simply looks at me
with an air of superiority as if to say:
youll see as you grow older. I wouldnt
disagree now, as I understand that even
a thought can violate the balance in our
delicate world.
Not long ago, I read an article about
schoolchildren raising funds to send
their class mate for an operation. Tey
were happy to use the money set aside for
their school leaving party but needed
more, so were requesting help. I was
impressed by these modern children,
whom we sometimes reproach for
their selfshness, apathy and love
of the virtual world... In fact,
they were behaving in a kindly
manner, mindful of anothers
wellbeing.
There are so many ways of
being charitable, from making a
bird feeder to helping someone
cross the road or dismount from
a bus. Each little drop of kindness in
the savings box of humanity adds up,
creating a veritable ocean.
By Violetta Dralyuk
itshardtosay
howmanyCharity
eventsare
organized
Countrywideat
thistimeofyear
Butthelargestis
heldunderthe
aegisofthe
Belarusian
president
ourChildren
sympathy for others is promoted from
an early age, we create a better society,
as well as beneftting particularly vulner-
able groups.
Gomels Frantsisk Skorina State
Universitys Psychology Department
emphasises that unselfsh acts are proven
to raise our spirits. In recent years, much
research has been conducted on this
theme, showing that we tend to successfully
31 2012 .LARU5
where should father frost and the snow
maiden live, if not in the mysterious and
anCient belovezhskaya pushCha?
Dwarfs, as well as Buratino
(Pinocchio), and a pike, goat,
hare and bear. Tere are also
those portraying each of
the twelve months, with
corresponding star signs;
HOLIDAY5
each garland
comprises
ThouSANdS
of SMIleS
T
he fairy tale location, deep in the forest,
surrounded by 15 hectares of 200-300 year
old pines and frs, frst welcomed guests in
December 2003 and the festive pair have
since delighted thousands of children
from around the world.
If you havent yet been then many
surprises await you. From the first
moment, you feel as if youre entering a
place where goodness, laughter and happiness reign. At dusk,
garlands of colourful lights illuminate the village, sparkling
and shimmering. Father Frosts cottage alone has 40,000
bulbs. Meanwhile, his 40-foot living fr tree is covered in 5,000
twinkling lights, which refect childrens smiles.
At the gates, guests are met by two wooden knights:
Dub- Dub ov i c h and Vyaz-Vyazovich. Near the
festive tree, wooden sculp-
tures depict char-
acters from Snow
White and the Seven
32 .LARU5 2012
if you touch your own month and make a wish, it may come
true. Inside, youll fnd a windmill, a magic well and a number
of other fairy tale sites, including a pond with the Frog Prince.
Of course, most young visitors are most keen to explore
Father Frosts home, with its grand throne room, its study on the
ground foor; upstairs is his bedroom and balcony. Meanwhile,
the Snow Maidens cottage, adorned with pictures of squirrels, is
flled with over a hundred toys, fgurines, pillows and Christmas
decorations. Its a delight. Te amazing collection was provided by
Natalia Koritich from Brest, who graduated from the Belarusian
State University as a geographer-ecologist. She plans to devote
her life to ecotourism and collecting pictures of squirrels is her
hobby. Her collection remains with the Snow Maiden until
Maslenitsa (the festival which bids farewell to winter).
Naturally, you can also see about 400 real squirrels in the
forest. Teyre used to people, so will come quite close. Tere
are also 428 bison within the national park.
December is the time to write letters to Father Frost or to
visit him. He enters on the frst day of winter not in a sledge
but in a carriage, with the Snow Maiden and her entourage.
Te charming parade was as bright as ever this year although,
sadly, there was no snow. Dancing, warming tea made with
Belovezhskaya Pushcha herbs, and delicious pancakes with
honey and cranberries always encourage a festive spirit.
Te pair were met, as is traditional, with gifs of bread
and salt, before touring the whole estate. Old and young
gathered for dancing around
the main festive tree so
large in number that several
r i ngs wer e needed.
Father Frosts costumes were sewn by the Skarbnitsa
factory in Minsk. His bushy beard and sack of gifs complete
his look. Fashion designer Irina Schubert created his robes,
portraying him as a true resident of the Belarusian forest.
Patterns on his coats are drawn from ancient Belarusian shirt
designs while Snow Maidens dresses contain elements of the
traditional garset (female waistcoat) and karunki (petals
around the waist). Te gold embroidery on their outfts is the
work of masters from Orsha: on their hats and mittens, and
even on the white felt boots and coat of Father Frost. His beard
and moustache were bought from a famous German
company, making him rather resemble Europes
Santa Claus. Father Frost and the Snow Maiden
have various outfits, made from velvet with
fne gold embroidery. On the last day of winter,
the Snow Maiden leaves the estate, and Father
Frost changes his winter dress for a lighter
one made from linen. Tat is far of at
present, with snow already now arriving.
Fat he r Fr os t a nd t he Snow
Maiden invite us to visit them in the
Belovezhskaya Pushcha and assure us
that the coming year holds all that
is cheerful, happy, kind and wise.
Tamara Tiborovskaya, from Brest,
has come dozens of times, despite
being aged over 30. She explains, I
can forget about everything during my
visit work and problems, returning to
my childhood. I wish myself good luck and
dream a little, as dreams do come true.
Unfortunately, all the hotel rooms in the
National Park are already booked for the
New Year holidays but the beautiful fairy
tale village is open until spring, ready to
entertain and delight you. You can also
tour the eco-museum, learning about the
forest, and see the animals in their enclo-
sures. Winter is a time for joy and wonder.
By Valentina kozlovich
each garland
comprises
ThouSANdS
of SMIleS
B
E
l
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A
The holiday of meeting the Snow Maiden
in the Belovezhskaya Pushcha traditionally took place
in early December
HOLIDAY5
33 2012 .LARU5
A
natoly Baranovsky
produced most of
his works in the
late 20th century
when Belarusian
realism was flour-
ishing. Tis was his
greatest infuence, coupled with a keen
love for his homeland.
His landscapes often depict the
Braslav District, as well as the Pripyat
and Nieman rivers, Mozyr and Mogilev.
His canvases abound with the poetry of
autumn and spring: silver clouds and
golden birch-trees. Te melodies of the
seasons resulted in his Clouds Sailing
Over Native Land (1977), Land of My
Golden Birch-Trees (1981), Melody
of Autumn (1994), Miraculous Days
Clear and Blue (2003), and Autumn
Over the Pripyat (2004).
He also painted architectural land-
scapes such as those depicting the
12th century Kalozha church, the towers
of ancient Mir Castle, and Peter and
Pauls Church of Novgorod; all radiate
historical spirit. His epic pictures are no
less magnificent: Mother. 1941 (1972),
Braslav Width (1991), Portrait of a
Daughter (1994) and Te Lilac (2008).
His love for his homeland and
its countryside was shared by other
20t h centur y Bel arusi an art i sts:
Vitold Byalynitsky-Birulya, Vladimir
Kudrevich, Nikolay Tarasikov, Ivan
Dmukhailo and Ivan Rey, among others.
Mr. Baranovsky was also infuenced by
the Russian and French Impressionists,
using seemingly accidental compo-
sitional elements, soft colours and a
combination of delicate and trans-
parent paints. He also introduced his
aRT PersOnaLitY
Anatoly Baranovsky awarded
title of Peoples Artist of Belarus,
following career of hardships
SIlveR
of native
fog
34 .LARU5 2012
PersOnaLitY aRT
own trends: warm colours with pattern
to create a balanced mood.
His Nest (1983) is the quintes-
sence of his artistic aspirations. Like
the outstandi ng works by Yanka
Kupala and Yakub Kolas in praise of
their Motherland, it is a hymn to his
homeland, its nature and people. Mr.
Baranovsky sees each of us as a world
in ourselves: lofy and optimistic. He
perceives his own life as one towards
The Light as he named one of his
exhibitions. His early 21st century
works continue to pursue the theme of
realism enriching Belarusian art with
miraculous and precious treasures.
His work entitled Peoples epitomises
a signifcant period in his artistry from
the 1960s, when his motifs, moods and
colours revolved around his native land.
He continued in the style of 1920s new
Impressionism while adding his own
Belarusian spirit. We see sophisticated
shades of silver and linen in his woods,
felds and fast fowing rivers.
Each of Mr. Baranovskys works is
individual, with its own initial impression
and chosen corner of nature. However,
they form a harmonious almost
musical whole, as seen rarely among
his colleagues. His canvases depict fragile
birch-trees, spring felds and transparent
blue skies, with tenderness; he seldom
repeats himself, since each day brings
new impressions. His study of nature
dominates, with each landscape resem-
bling an open window. Looking through
them, we cant but admire the untouched
beauty of Belarusian nature.
He reveals his soul most fully at
his workshop, where his most beloved
pictures are kept. Mr. Baranovsky speaks
35 2012 .LARU5
aRT PersOnaLitY
sparsely but, here, shares sincere views
on art and his work.
I believe that art is more signifcant
than literature, as argued by Lev Tolstoy.
On attending an exhibition of great Russian
painters Surikov, Repin and Serov he
told a rather anxious Repin that the latter
had no need to worry. Tolstoy stressed
his envy of artists, believing it possible
to read a picture simply by looking at
it briefly. He joked that it was far more
arduous and less enticing to read two
volumes of War and Peace!
Gegel also ranked art at the summit,
above music and poetry. As a student, I
read his books but only now can admit to
true admiration, having learnt through
experience. This art expert placed
pictorial art at the supreme height!
How did you begin drawing?
From childhood, I had problems at
home, so devoted all my time to drawing. I
couldnt sleep properly at night as I wanted
to stay up alone and paint. I was born in
Minsks suburbs and my family were
involved in agriculture. My mother used
to say that I was interested in nothing but
paper and paints. My grandmother was
talented, making patterns, and came frst
at an international contest in Belgium.
Later, the Belgian Parliament purchased
three of my works. I was self-taught and
would love to walk along Botanicheskaya
Street (where we lived), painting all I saw
with water colours.
I then entered college but it was no
easy path. My application to the pictorial
painting department failed, so I studied
sculpture. After a year, I discovered that
my drawing wasnt bad and, in my third
year, was ofered a transfer to the pictorial
painting department, where two places had
become free. I was told to simultaneously
study at evening school to make up for
lost school time (Id only had eight years at
school) but disliked this: I wanted to devote
all my time to painting. Nevertheless, my
application was approved and I was trans-
ferred to the pictorial painting department
(as a second year student).
We had a high level of training and, by
my third year, I enjoyed only the highest
marks. Afer college, I tried to enter the
3 .LARU5 2012
Teatre and Art Institute but failed: others
had connections and all ten places were
occupied. At that time, the Institute was
headed by Vitaly Tsvirko a wonderful
artist and man who did much for others.
He persuaded Moscow (those were Soviet
times) to open evening courses at the
Institute, allowing me to study there.
honoured Fi gure of ar t s
of Belarus, Professor anatoly
Baranovsky, a laureate of Belarus
State award, was born in minsk
in 1937. in 1965, he graduated
from the Pictorial Department
of the Belarusian theatre and
art institute (now the Belarusian
State arts academy), being taught
academic painting by mai Dantsig
and ivan Stasevich.
Do you remember your teachers?
At that time, Ivan Stasevich worked at
the Institute; he was a wonderful artist
a graduate of Moscows Surikov College.
Mr. Stasevich was sincerely interested
in my fate as a father would be. In
1963 (during my third year of studies),
Peoples Artist Ivan Akhremchik arrived
and everything changed. He didnt
like my style, which he made clear. He
once asked me for paints and brushes
and spent three hours working. All the
other students left for various classes
but I stayed, repainting the canvas afer
Mr. Akhremchik had left the room. I
didnt like his method of revealing the
theme but realised I could be severely
punished.
Later, when I was given a job under
the chair headed by Mr. Akhremchik, he
admitted, I was so disparaging to you
but you never answered back. I then
responded, A single word from you
could have had me sent away.
Feeling ill at ease, I decided to leave,
taking my resignation letter when I
saw a note on the wall stating that Mr.
Akhremchik had died. Afer a new chair
was formed, its frst session decided that
pictorial painting would be lectured by
my friend, Ivan Stasevich, and by myself.
Ive been working at the Belarusian Arts
Academy for 36 years now.
What was the most vital element of
your studies at the Institute?
I learnt to see, understand and
overcome mistakes. Mr. Akhremchik
made me stronger although he could
have broken me. He said, If you had
listened to me, you would have immedi-
ately joined mainstream life. I replied, I
need no other life...
When did you realise your own style
and unique manner?
PersOnaLitY aRT
37 2012 .LARU5
In 1965, when I graduated from the
Institute, or perhaps earlier, when I was
creating my diploma paper (a compli-
cated figure composition). I felt I was
meeting the theme, despite disapproval.
My great desire saved me and I always
took risks. I visited Moscow exhibitions,
simply buying a ticket to go to those
wonderful shows. I met some interesting
people and would never agree to false or
forced ideas.
Did your themes vary?
Tey were stipulated but I drew from
my personal experience. Actually, I
remember the war better than yesterday.
I lived through it. My diploma paper
was entitled Of to the Frontline. Later,
I drew a picture on this theme for an
exhibition. Of course, life continues. Ive
fallen in love with landscapes, portraits
and still-life.
mr. Baranovskys ar t i st i c
manner was finally formed in the
1970s, when he produced many
works. he prefers easel painting
and has contributed much to the
development of the landscape
genre, focusing on nature. he
strives to reveal not only its beauty
but its inner character: its melodic
voices and hidden colours. he uses
many shades of silver, which he
sees as the defining colour of the
Belarusian countryside.
his works are notable for their
precise fgurative structure, which
harmoniously combines his artistic
manner and his sharp composi-
tional eye. his pictures are lyrical
and deeply fgurative.
Evidently, you paint landscapes
more ofen. Why?
Tis is a good question. A landscape
is a universal theme. To be more exact,
it is the essence of eternity. I was young
when I fell in love with nature. It captured
my soul forever.
However, you dont always depict
nature in an obvious way.
A landscape painting is not a photo; it
reveals its creators perceptions. My land-
scapes are flled with ideas and moods.
Painting is the core of my life, as it was
in my student years, when I used to draw
every day: morning and evening.
Is silver your favourite colour?
Look [he shows me a picture]. Tis is
the Braslav area, which is unforgettably
beautiful. Ive always loved drawing it
with my students (some are well-known
now). Our countryside is so wonderful
aRT PersOnaLitY
38 .LARU5 2012
in Polesie and the Mozyr District. Mist
is the most delicate of natures mysteries;
Im yet to unravel its secrets. When it
refects in water, it gives me chills.
Your early pictures were colourful
but gradually became less so why?
I treat bold colours with suspicion,
since they seem to desire an immediate
impression. My approach is more elusive,
which is more ftting for the Belarusian
countryside. Te seasons change but all
are wonderful. We should notice the
soul of our native land. I always advise
my students against using too many
bright colours since they should be
refecting the true tones and shades of
nature. Tere are three secrets: colour,
form and space. I use them all. This
secret accompanies human develop-
ment, allowing us to enrich our feelings
and become more attentive to the envi-
ronment. Its vital for our souls.
Pictorial art and music are divine,
enhancing our humanity. They dont just
please our soul; they nurture and protect it.
What of artists responsibility?
We have a responsibility to ensure
that the truth passes through our souls.
We must make audiences our co-artists,
establishing a connection.
Some fail to achieve this and others
do not wish to follow this path.
Tere are plenty of such cases, espe-
cially in our modern days. Anything
is permissible and accessible. In the
19th century, it was felt that we lagged
behind by at least two hundred years.
We are now in a new millennium and
morals are falling, evidently.
mr. Baranovsky has been
lecturing at his alma mater since
1966 and has so far taught many
monumental-decorative artists.
among them are Vladimir tovstik,
Vl adi mi r Zi nkevi ch, Vl adi mi r
krivoblotsky, Vasily Barabantsev
and Victor olshevsky. many of
his pupils lecture at higher and
secondary special educational
establishments of culture and art.
in 2000, he was awarded a prize For
merits in Fine arts, by the Belarusian
union of artists.
As a teacher, can you pass on the
principles of hard work and persever-
ance?
Ive always felt a connection to nature
and have encouraged young people in the
same path. So many years have passed
but they still remember my lessons. Ive
fulflled my duty. Ive experienced times
of anxiety, when I could hardly draw, but
Ive always tried to attend open air sessions
with my pupils. People difer, of course.
You were recently awarded the title
of Peoples Artist. What will follow?
What are your feelings?
Im anxious. However, this is supple-
mented with joy, a sense of responsibility
and gratitude to our people.
many reference books and ency-
clopaedias contain information on
mr. Baranovsky, who has taken part
in many international exhibitions.
his best pictures are kept at Belarus
National art museum, the museum
of Contemporary Fine arts (minsk),
the Republican art gallery of the
Belarusian union of artists, Bulgarias
Sozopol Picture gallery and mogilevs
P. maslenikov art museum. his Nests
(1978-1980), Clouds Sailing over
Native Land (1977), memory (1978),
Land of my golden Birch-trees (1981)
and Roofs of Sozopol (1984) are
particular landmarks of Belarusian
pictorial painting.
mr. Baranovskys pictures have
been exhibited in Russia, Bulgaria,
holland, germany, Denmark, italy,
Poland, japan and elsewhere. the
artist and his pupils also took part
in the modern Belarusian artists
show hosted by Paris Pierre
Cardin hall in april 2002.
Can the Motherland give artists all
they need to fully reveal their mastery?
Yes. Our talents are given by God.
Our education system could be improved
upon, so needs attention, being viewed
from all angles. Everything will work out
fne if we keep an open mind.
Do you work hard?
Every day without any days of.
By Victor mikhailov
PersOnaLitY aRT
39 2012 .LARU5
R5TORATION
CASTleS
receive
guests
legaCy of the past
popular with
investors and
tourists
O
n e o f n e w
phenomena of
modern ti mes
is private-public
partnership in the
sphere of protec-
tion of historical
a nd c ul t ur a l
legacy. The state treasury is financing
the restoration of several ancient
monuments, with help from patrons of
arts. Tere is even a division of labour.
Maj or proj ects are
financed from the
countrys budget: 38
ancient fortresses
and their ruins are
included on the 2012-
2018 Castles of Belarus
p r o g r a mme ,
a p p r o v e d
b y t h e
Council of
Ministers.
NoVogRuDok CaStLE:
RENaiSSaNCE 300 yEaRS oN
The Castles of Belarus programme
was inspired primarily by Novogrudok
Castle, whose condition had long raised
fears among enthusiasts. A list of sites
countrywide needing attention has now
been compiled, explains architect and
restorer Sergey Drushchits,
who is heading restora-
tion at Novogrudok
Castle. He
has j ust
finished
working in Nesvizh, where he supervised
the return of the Radziwill residence to its
former glory.
Novogrudok Castle is already a hive of
activity, with work starting on Kostelnaya
Tower (which looks rather like a Catholic
church). The semi-ruined walls, which
sit on a steep slope with a drop of 24m,
are in critical condition. Since Swedish
troops destroyed Novogrudok Castle
in 1706, nothing has been restored. Its
second tower is Shchitovka, which is to
be completely restored, with a museum
exhibition being housed on all four
foors. Half of the tower fell down in the
early 20th century so photos are proving
invaluable. Last year, digs began, with the
remains of 13th century buildings discov-
ered at a depth of 7m; a further two towers
(previously hidden under earth and turf)
were also unearthed.
In 2013, specialists will begin to
conserve ruined Krevo Castle, which
is connected with three grand dukes
A
l
E
x
A
N
D
E
R

R
U
Z
H
E
C
H
K
A
The historic
Novogrudok
attracts
fanciers of the
medieval
culture
The number of visitors of the Radziwill Palace and Castle ensemble has been increasing
40 .LARU5 2012
LyNtuPy aWaitS ViP guEStS
Te Culture Ministry has developed
a plan to transfer 46 former noble estates
which are standing empty into private
hands. One such is Byshevskie Estate
in Lyntupy, near Postavy (on the border
with Lithuania and Latvia). It recently
acquired new hosts and, by 2016, is to
launch accommodation for up to 100
VIP guests. According to modest calcu-
lations, around $7m is to be invested.
Work has begun, with mountains of
accumulated waste removed, alongside
the old roof deck. The only condition
put before the investor was to retain the
architectural monument and restore its
former appearance.
PoLotSkS ChuRCh REtuRNS
to itS 12th CENtuRy Look
By 2015, a helm-shaped dome and
corbel arches will grace the Saviour
Transfiguration Church in Polotsk,
with 12th century frescoes being newly
unveiled inside. Restorers are now
examining the faades, deciding how
best to return the church to its former
glory without damaging the historical
layers of later centuries.
We found out during restoration
that the basement needs to be reinforced
in some places and that some walls
have cracked, needing repair. During
rebuilding by the Jesuits in the 18th
century, niche burial vaults were walled-
up with bricks and the foor raised by 30-
40cm. Several niches have been cleared
of bricks, revealing ancient frescoes, but
more clearing work is required, while the
foor needs to be lowered again.
In 2006, Belarusian restorer Vladimir
Rakitsky, who was working almost
alone, discovered less than a third of the
frescoes: 200sq.m. A brigade of restorers
from Russia then joined him, later accom-
panied by those fom Belrestavratsiya.
Frescoes on the altar, credence table and
diaconicon are now restored to their
original appearance and those in the
under-dome space are being revived.
By Viktar korbut
R5TORATION
of Lithuania: Ksttis, Jagieo and
Vytautas. According to Igor Chernyavsky,
the Head of the Culture Ministrys
Department for Protection of Historical
and Cultural Heritage, Knyazheskaya
Tower may also be restored.
aNCiENt RESiDENCES CaNt
yEt CoPE With guEStS
In line with the Castles of Belarus
programme, Golshany Castle and
that in Bykhov are being restored. In
2013, Bykhov will be hosting the Day
of Belarusian Written Language, so
investors are already taking interest in
its castle. Mir Castle was among the frst
to receive attention, alongside Nesvizh
Palace; the latters park and wider estate
are now being returned to their original
beauty. Lida Castle is also undergoing
reconstruction, with plans afoot to
restore the castle in Grodno.
Te popularity of tourist sites is ever
rising. From January to August 2012,
Mir Castle hosted 190,000 visitors, with
more than ever coming from Poland,
Lithuania, Russia, France, Holland,
Spain, China and Brazil. According to
Olga Popko, Director of Nesvizh Palace
and Park Estate, foreigners account for 40
percent of all visitors. Moreover, museum
employees have studied the popularity
of each hall, with the Stolovaya Izba (a
living room in the Renaissance-style
palace) proving most popular. It was
restored in line with documental sources
and analogues from the late 16th-early
17th century. The Portrait Hall is the
second most loved room, followed
by the apartments of Duke Mikhail
Svyatopolk-Mirsky the last owner of
the castle. Close behind are the castles
library, study and dining room.
Nesvizh Castle is thinking of intro-
ducing a limit on its number of visitors,
as the site is proving rather too busy for
guides (and local accommodation) to cope
with. Belarus Deputy Culture Minister,
Tadeush Struzhetsky, tells us that, in 2010,
135,000 tourists visited the Radziwills
former home; this rose to 170,000 in 2011
and, from January-September 2012, over
300,000 guests were recorded.
thepopularityof
touristsitesisever
rising.fromJanuary
toaugust2012,mir
Castlehosted190,000
visitors,withmore
thaneverComingfrom
poland,lithuania,
russia,franCe,
holland,spain,
ChinaandBrazil
B
E
l
T
A
The 12th century frescoes being newly unveiled inside the Saviour Transfguration Church in Polotsk
41 2012 .LARU5
MA5TR
IMAGINATIve
At the age of 63,
Grodno sculptor
nikolay Sklyar is
still working
hard, earning
his living and
travelling.
He works both
independently
and with
large teams,
regularly
participating in
open air workshops.
He has enjoyed
many personal
exhibitions and
continues to fnd
inspiration in his
surroundings
B
E
l
T
A
Nikolay Sklyar and Valentin Bogdevich work on a guerilla sculpture
discovery
of the
world
42 .LARU5 2012
MA5TR
T
his year has been
rich in events and
impressions for the
s c ul pt or, havi ng
prepared a personal
exhibition and taken
part in the fourth
international open
air workshop for wood carvers. Young
people from Russia arrived, who had a
slightly diferent approach to carving,
from which we can learn, he smiles.
I dont tend to copy from real life but
there are sometimes aspects and small
details which can make a work more
perfect. I do my best to focus on what
Im doing, to produce something worthy.
For example, I love one particular
sculpture by Georgian master Elgudzhi
Amashukeli, as its well organised
and has an interesting national style.
Among Belarusian masters, I admire
Zair Azgur.
Mr. Sklyar is a designer by education,
having graduated from Kiev Art-
Industrial College in 1968. He recollects,
At that time, design was in its infancy
in Ukraine and we were taught the foun-
dations well. We studied modelling,
sculpture, pictorial art and design. We
drew a great deal.
Afterwards, I moved to Grodno to
take a job at its Plant of Trade Machine
Buildings Design Department. Later, I
began decorating the interiors of energy
enterprises. At that time, a network
of institutes of technical aesthetics
operated, so I contacted them directly,
often working as part of a team on a
major project such as Grodno City
Electric Station.
However, his foremost love was wood
cutting and sculpture.
On being asked about the popularity
of wood as a material, he notes, Wood
is gradually returning to our homes
albeit it not as solid wood.
Mast ers of garden- and- park
sculpture are often asked to create a
group of sculptures united by a single
theme, perhaps each carving a single
fgure. Te variation possible is endless
from traditional to exotic. At present,
the most popular styles are folk, African
and Japanese. Customers simply agree
an idea with a master and choose the
material: wood is cheaper than stone
while adding warmth to a courtyard
or garden rather than monumentality.
An oak sculpture can cost up to $1,200
while a lime and oak sculpture of any
size may be had for $600. On average,
decoration of a courtyard costs $400
per square metre.
Not long ago, your personal exhibi-
tion Cats and Birds completed.
Which characters did you use?
All my cats are polite rather than
hunting birds. They are friendly with
mice, sharing cheese with them and
ofering fsh to birds.
Which wood do you prefer working
with?
Oak is best used for large sculptures
in our region, being strong and more
durable. Its also most beautiful. Ive
worked with various woods including
poplar, lime, pine and alder. Sometimes,
open air workshop organisers propose
a certain wood in which each sculptor
must demonstrate their artistry. You
have to know the qualities of the wood
to use it most efectively.
Are you aware of these?
I cant say that I know everything,
although an acquaintance of mine once
said that I can see inside wood. Of course,
this isnt true. I can still be surprised,
even when working with a well-known
tree. However, I can distinguish pine
from oak.
When you frst hold a piece of wood
in your hands, do you immediately know
what youd like to carve or do ideas come
gradually, as you work?
Its bad when you aim to carve a fox
and end up with a crocodile! Sometimes,
you need to make adjustments though.
For example, at one Grodno open air
workshop, I decided to carve a fgure of
a Ukrainian. However, my piece of wood
had a knot at the base, so I decided to carve
a cat near the mans foot, to avoid tackling
the knot. A plot composition appeared:
the Ukrainian is smoking, causing the cat
to cover its nose with its paw.
Mr. Sklyars artistic life is certainly
rich, bringing forth many major joint
works such as Kolas Path, which
begins by the memorial mansion of
Akinchitsy; there are over 40 wooden
sculptures devoted to Yakub Kolas
characters, honouring his work. He
also worked on Grodno Fortress and
the Partisan Camp complex with
Valentin Bogdevich, he carved four
Belarusian partisans from wood.
Specialists say that Mr. Sklyar is
a virtuoso, bringing characters alive;
they radiate warmth and wisdom. His
creations are found in state and private
collections in Belarus, Lithuania, Poland,
Israel, Denmark and Japan.
By Svetlana Devyatkovskaya
speCialistssay
thatmr.sklyaris
avirtuoso,
Bringing
CharaCtersalive;
theyradiate
warmthand
wisdom
43 2012 .LARU5
XPO5ITION
AMAZING
ARTefACTS
in original
museums
Belarus boasts not only traditional museums of local and wider history or
literature but some unusual examples. One such is the tram museum in
Minsk. Another is the apron museum in the village of Bezdezh, in the
Drogichin District, Brest Region; it has about 200 exhibits, with some over
100 years old! Its unique worldwide. Our correspondent tells us about
several other unusual museums in Belarus
W
a l k i n g
through the
Zhdanovichi
trading house
in Minsk, its
i mpos s i bl e
not to stop
at the Our Heritage collection: one
of Europes largest samovar exhibits.
Hundreds shine golden in glass cases,
available to view free of charge. The
collection began in the spring of 2002,
when the trading house bought over
150 of Minsker Nikolay Shevtsovs
samovars. These form the basis of
the exhibition, which now numbers
over 260 antique samovars and about
1,000 other household items from
the 18th-20th century. New items are
being constantly added, sourced from
private collections, antique shops and,
even, market stalls. Many have been
donated by visitors who find inter-
esting antiques in their attics.
T
he vi l l age
of Rakov, in
the Volozhin
Di s t r i c t ,
40km from
M i n s k ,
b o a s t s
u n u s u a l r e d - b r i c k
buildings, found in the
vegetabl e garden of a
local resident. According
to a large inscription on the
facade, this is the Museum
Art Gallery. The site is
protected by a large aris-
tocratic bronze sculpture of
a greyhound, as in Nesvizh;
both have been created by
Valerian Yanushkevich, the
brother of the museum owner,
Felix Yanushkevich. Te latter has a
Ph.D. in Art History and has worked
as a restorer. He is also a famous painter,
with works hanging in the Tretyakov
Gallery. His gallery is flled with inter-
esting possessions which reveal Rakovs
B
E
l
T
A
Our Heritage museum contains a samovar of the Shishkin brothers, Tula, xIx c.
44 .LARU5 2012
XPO5ITION
history: paintings by Felix and
his talented brothers; ancient
documents, furniture,
musical instruments,
pottery, fragments of
Slutsk sashes; and much more.
Every item has its own story
and over 12,000 artefacts
reside there!
T
he Museum
o f F o l k
Architecture
and Life is found
in a remarkably
beautiful location,
near the village of
Ozertso, in the Minsk District, where
the Ptich and Menka rivers meet. It
opened in the late 1970s, housing
items collected during expeditions
by historians, architects and
restorers. For ten years, they
searched the country for
monuments of wooden
folk architecture, household
visitors, with others from Ponemanie
(the Nieman River area) and Eastern and
Western Polesie soon to be launched.
Ethnographers have distinguished six
historical and geographical regions,
explains the director of the Museum
of Folk Architecture and Life, Svetlana
Lakotko. They are each individual
in language, traditional costume and
buildings so the museum is divided
into separate areas of place and time.
Each building is flled with sympa-
thetic objects to create an authentic
atmosphere: antique furniture, house
wares, woven fabrics and tools. Some
halls host particular exhibitions such
as Zabrodskya Snastsi, which explores
the history of fishing in Belarus.
Transport Means includes an early 20th
century sledge, as well as an ancient cart,
which you can ride between the old
wooden houses and windmills.
Of course, many more fascinating
museums are to be found across Belarus:
we could write a whole book! Minsks
Museum of Money (at the National
Bank of Belarus) features Byzantine
coins from the 10th-11th century, and
the leather purse in which 127 Golden
Horde coins were found, as well as money
from Prague, West European thalers and
Spanish reals. Meanwhile, the Museum
of Items Confiscated by Customs, in
Brest, includes valuable 16th-20th
century icons, a Faberg grooming set
made of rock crystal in a silver setting,
Chinese and Japanese handmade vases
and seascapes by Aivazovsky. All were
confiscated by Brest customs officers
during the interception of smuggling
operations.
Evidently, there is much to inspire
wonder in Belarus.
By Lyudmila minakova
and craft items, with the most
val uabl e t ransported to
Ozertso.
The 150 hectare site
recreates vi l l ages,
towns and farms
of the late 18th-
e a r l y 2 0 t h
c e n t u r y .
E x a mp l e s
from central
B e l a r u s ,
Podneprovie
(the Dnieper
River area)
and Poozerie
( l akel and)
are open to
ethnographershavedistinguishedsix
historiCalandgeographiCalregions,eaCh
withitsownlanguage,traditional
CostumesandBuildingssothemuseumis
dividedintoseparateareasofplaCeandtime
The Museum of Folk Architecture and life near the village Ozertso boasts many interesting artifacts
45 2012 .LARU5
THEaTRE aCtress
Tatiana Likhacheva, Honoured Artist of Belarus,
is rehearsing for a beneft performance at her native
national Academic Drama Theatre (named after Yakub
Kolas) in Vitebsk, taking the leading role in Love Lab
lIGhT
ANd
ShAde
of Tatiana
likhacheva
H
er career has
been successful,
with the founda-
tions laid in early
childhood. Her
creative parents
encouraged her to
perform from the
age of two, reading
poetry while standing on a stool or table.
Her father would tie table cloths between
two trees in the courtyard to act as stage
curtains, ready for her entrance...
Her delight at appearing before an
audience remains with her, transformed
into deeper and more complex feelings of
course. When she puts on her stage make
up in her dressing room, she begins to
enter the realm of her character. In Rook
Despair, by Vladimir Korotkevich, she
even played Death. Her outer self may be
able to answer questions from the costume
team, make-up artists and colleagues but
her inner self is elsewhere. Tis profound
ability to transfgure is characteristic of
our greatest actors and is unknown in
other professions.
4 .LARU5 2012
aCtress THEaTRE
Tatiana is known for her charisma,
her melodic voice, her insightful
expressions, impeccable pronuncia-
tion, fluid movements and a special
ability to reach within the essence of
any character. She admits that she was
born to act and is thankful for her gif
of intuition, which helps her summon
up various personalities.
Ive watched her take on various roles
upon the Kolas stage, where she was
sent afer graduating from the Teatre
and Art Institute (now, the Academy
of Arts). Shes appeared in Romeo
and Juliet, Symon the Musician and
Last Summer in Chulimsk. Te young
actress was the perfect Juliet, Hanna
and Valentina, displaying romanti-
cism, subtlety, integrity and impetu-
osity as needed. Other characteristics
appeared from the vaults of her inner
world, conjuring up depths of lyrical
and dramatic tragedy.
Ive always wondered how each
role leaves its mark on an actor, since
some part of the character must remain
within, like a quiet echo. To understand
this, of course, one meeting with Tatiana
would not be enough. Fortunately
for me, our long conversation at the
editorial office was supplemented by
a chat at the National Teatre Awards,
which recently took place in Minsk.
Tatiana has taken on the role of Chair
of the Vitebsk branch of the Union of
Theatrical Figures of Belarus and is a
leading actress at the Kolas Teatre.
Her charm, dignity, genuine friend-
liness, optimism and openness are most
immediately apparent from chatting
and from watching her in intervals
between performances. However,
she admits that she has her dark side
like anyone else. Yes, there is light
and shadow inside me, says Tatiana.
She views her shortcomings are useful
though, saying that she strives to
overcome her weaknesses, which keeps
her on her toes. We all gain valuable
experience from battling hard times; its
how we grow as mature adults. Tatiana is
convinced that our souls die if we allow
ourselves to stagnate. We need always to
push forward, setting new challenges.
As I listen to her, I realise that she keeps
her demons well hidden, smiling even
through adversity.
Most of all, Tanya wishes to retain
her love of life and the theatre. She
cherishes her loved ones and nurtures
a sense of peace. Six years ago, her
beloved husband and famous fellow
actor, Honoured Artist of Belarus
Gennady Shkuratov, died. In May of
this year, her mother followed. We
endure drama when we are sick; its as
if you are half-alive. Tragedy is when
we lose that which is infnitely precious.
Ive endured tragedy but want to live to
see my sons and grandchildren happy.
Its fascinating to see someone develop
from birth. Im still alive, so there are
things to be enjoyed: watching my
family grow; creative meetings; and
new roles. I have the strength to carry
these out. Sometimes, I lose my will to
love myself and the world becomes grey;
the sun may be shining but everything
turns to grey or, at least, to black and
white, she admits. There are times
when you feel a lack of interesting or
talented people around you. However,
I then realise that the problem resides
inside my own self, since Im creating
a barrier to their approach. I turn away
from them myself.
Its true that all lifes joys and sorrows
can be packed away inside you for use in
the acting profession. Observing other
people is also valuable, allowing actors
to mimic mannerisms and gestures
theyve noticed. Te characters created
by Tatiana Likhacheva are lively and
believable: Cordelia, Yevfrosiniya of
Polotsk, Rogneda and Golda... Shes
played over a hundred roles!
Tatiana is lucky, having been born
and raised in a loving environment; it
seemed to her that everyone on Earth
loved her. However, she also learnt that
not everyone is sincere and open, with
the ability to rejoice in life. She once
thought that rogues and scoundrels
existed only in films and, even now,
tends to make excuses for the poor
behaviour of others.
Here, Tatiana Likhacheva tells us
about herself, as a Belarusian with
Russian-Greek origins.
my ChiLDhooD
Every year, Id spend my summer
holidays, until the 8th grade, in the
Caucasus, in the mountains of Georgia,
with my grandparents. Tere, in a Greek
village, for some reason called Ivanovka,
my Greek mother was born: Parfena
Georgievna. Its a heavenly place with
beautiful people. Id watch them and would
speak to them in Greek. Tey baked bread
in huge Russian ovens in the street and I
ate wonderful pancakes, cheese and butter
which I learnt to beat in clay jars.
Te mountain air is so pure and you
can drink the spring water. Lambs and
bufalos walk up the mountains at dawn,
disappearing into the mist, returning
each evening to their houses. Old Greek
women in black sit, watching the children.
My aunts and uncles live in Ivanovka.
Some immigrated to Greece after the
collapse of the USSR. Last year, I visited
them in Tessaloniki and toured the city
of Epidaurus, with its ancient theatre. It
still hosts festivals of ancient drama and
I was struck by the acoustics: all ffy fve
rows can hear even a whisper. Suddenly, I
wanted to sing in this place. I dont know
why: maybe because of my Greek roots.
So, I sang a song in Belarusian language,
from Rook Despair.
myprofessional
experienCeiaCquired
inaloving
environment.
i'vealways
rememBeredthat,
andmydevotionto
theatreisunfailing
thoughnowthe
theatreisdifferent
47 2012 .LARU5
My father, Vladimir, was a soldier,
born in Orel, and my grandfather was a
Muscovite. My grandmother was from
Tambov. Tey lived in Volozhin until I
was 7 years old, then in Polotsk, before
moving to Minsk.
My parents really wanted me to
become a doctor or teacher but Fate had
other plans. In addition, I was guided
by my mother, who danced and sang
very well, and participated in art activi-
ties. She read a lot and encouraged my
artistic education. By the time I reached
fifteen, she even wanted to send me to
the Drama Teatre in Tbilisi. As they had
fve children, this was difcult though; I
was the eldest and they couldnt send me
away to school although we didnt live
in poverty.
I frst performed at the age of two,
in the role of a nesting doll, with other
children, for the New Year holiday. I
sang: I was born a nest-doll. I remember
clearly my head-scarf, sarafan [pinafore]
and the stage on which I stood, which
seemed tremendous to me. I learnt to
read very early, perhaps inspired by
my father, who loved classical litera-
ture and adored poetry. He recited
Yesenin, Pushkin and Mayakovsky
and had a wonderful trained voice. He
also composed poems and fables and
painted with watercolours, as well as
taking photographs.
At school, I gained a diploma as a
young ballet dancer and I was supposed
to study at the college of choreography
located in Minsk, but my mother did't
allow me to. Aged six, I told my friend
that Id become an actress, and she told
me of her wish to become a doctor. Now,
she is a doctor, and Im an actress.
Path to PRoFESSioNaLiSm
Next January, it will be 40 years since
my frst and second applications to join
acting schools in Moscow and Minsk
failed. Life was testing my determination
to become an actress! I passed the third
time and gained a place at drama school.
Strangely, there was a problem with my
documents, so I had to return to Polotsk,
working at the international telephone
station. I joined the Polotsk Peoples
Theatre but, one day, when we were
in Vitebsk for a concert, our director,
Nikolay Manokhin, told me that the
Kolas Teatre was auditioning. He urged
me to attend so I did and fnally had my
dreams fulflled.
In Vitebsk, I lived on the ffh foor
which is now the office of the chief
artist. It was an unknown city, without
relatives or friends. On my first day of
work, I was an hour and a half late to the
rehearsal as I was lost for some time in
the city and then within the theatre itself.
Red in the face and sweating, I arrived
at our rehearsal room, where Peoples
Artists Tishechkin, Kuleshov, Dubov
and Markina were waiting. The Chief
Director, Semion Kazimirovsky, simply
said, Meet Tanya! She lives the farthest
away, so we forgive her. I was close to
hysterics and it took me some time and
THEaTRE aCtress
48 .LARU5 2012
efort to learn all the entrances and exits
of the theatre.
I love the theatre at night: darkness
and the black square of the stage. Its
fantastic and romantic my home!
I worked for six months and hardly
seemed to need to go to university, as
I appeared in so many performances.
However, Mr. Kazimirovsky, who
treated me like a daughter, advised me
to return, warning me that another
actress could appear with a degree and,
even if less talented, could be taken
on, leaving me unemployed. I entered
a course under Alexander Butakov,
studying while still acting with the
theatre for another six months, before
touring Ukraine.
Te company loved me as a daughter,
granddaughter and sister. The profes-
sional experience I acquired in that
atmosphere of love remains forever with
me and my dedication to the theatre is
unchangeable although the theatre
is quite different these days. Time
dictates our style of communication
and behaviour. People come and go but,
truly, I believe that the Kolas Theatre
is different to those in the capital and
in other regions; it has a purity which
distinguishes it.
My four years of study at the univer-
sity were wonderful, every day being so
full. We went to Riga, performing for
those in military units along the border.
We even performed in trains, putting
on sketches about those who check the
tickets. Tere was never a dull moment
and, without exception, everyone
loved their teachers. Stasevich Lilia
Yefremovna, who taught us to speak on
stage, was like a mother to us. Other real
professionals were Tamara Sergeevna
Uzunova and, of course, Alexander
Ivanovich Butakov. Tey played a great
role in my life and how they loved us!
Tat love stopped you from ever feeling
angry with life. Visiting teachers from
Moscow marvelled at how handsome
and tall our Minsk boys were: Gennady
Shkuratov, Sergei Zhuravel (People's
Artist of Belarus Wr.), Yury Kulik (the
Director of the Young Spectators Teatre),
Victor Gudinovich (an actor with the
Russian Theatre) and Alexey Dudarev
(a playwright and the Artistic Director
of the Belarusian Army Teatre).
gREEk goD
The most vivid memories from my
university years and beyond are bound up
in Gena. I didnt notice him straight away
and, for some reason, was convinced that
he was married and had been born in the
Baltics, brought here his sister to enter
the institute. I dont know who started
this rumour. Id also decided not to fall
in love until Id fnished university. Later,
I discovered that Gena had told himself
the same thing!
Tat autumn was sunny and, one day,
I was running up the stairs, late for my
lecture, when I saw him from a distance.
He opened the door and sunlight blazed
around him. It made his hair shine and I
Tatiana likhacheva in life and on stage
aCtress THEaTRE
49 2012 .LARU5
could see that his profle was chiselled.
He looked bronzed with green eyes and
I quite forgot that it was him: I thought
that it was Greek god! Te door closed
and the picture disappeared but the
image remained. I was then absolutely
head over heels and, at the end of the
frst year, decided that I had to tell him
of my love. I was anxious about this
being unreciprocated and him thinking
me odd but I had no time and decided to
act, telling Gena my feelings.
It was early in the morning and our
lecture would soon begin. I arrived and
waited, then saw someone already seated.
It was him. I said, Shkuratov, come here, I
want to tell you that I love you. I think that
you already know and yet do not. Time is
passing and Im sufering. I opened my
heart, revealing all, and then returned
calmly to my seat. Our lecturer came and
we began; I saw Gena writing but also
glancing at me from under his arm.
We married in the fourth year
and, afer graduation, joined the Kolas
Teatre together. Wed been invited to
join Minsk theatres but I made everyone
fall in love with my theatre. Dudarev
was originally going to Vitebsk but
I talked him out of it. He was already
writing fction and poetry and went to
the Young Spectators Teatre.
Our creative and marital partner-
ship was successful and I really appre-
ciated Genas professional opinion;
wed ofen advise each other. As we are
both leaders, wed have been incom-
patible were it not for our creativity.
Two such forces in the house, two
strong characters and temperaments,
would have led to arguments; it could
not have been otherwise. When we
disagreed, we simply stopped talking
and, even when we quarrelled more
seriously, we were able to put those
diferences aside when it came time to
go on stage together. Once we began
acting, our conflicts would pass. We
also put aside such arguing when our
children arrived.
When people grow tired of each
other, they try new experiences but
Gena and I never lost interest and
were actually afraid of losing one
another despite what others may
have thought. Gena starred in many
films and I was always afraid that
my husband might be attracted by
one of his beautiful leading women.
However, he was born to be a one-
woman man and treated other women
only as sisters. He lacked the usual
glint in the eye that men tend to show
women. Women could never cross his
line of decency, even if they wanted
to. So, I trusted our marriage to last.
I once asked him if hed ever felt
stronger, warmer feelings for another
woman but he assured me, Why would
I when I have you? People loved him
everywhere he went and wherever he
appeared: it was his gif from nature. My
husband was beautiful in appearance and
in his soul. People would go to theatre
just to see him as he was a wonderful
actor. Even six months before his death,
he was playing roles of healthy men.
When he began having heart problems,
he managed to convince me that there
was nothing to worry about. When he
died, no one believed it and asked if it
was a mistake or a joke. They thought
his name might have been confused with
Shmakov [Fiodor Shmakov People's
Artist of the USSR]. It took me a while
to come to my senses aferwards, as I felt
like Id been turned to stone for three
months. I still cant truly believe hes no
longer with us.
Work saved me and my friends
helped. In addition to the theatre, I teach
acting techniques and etiquette at a
modelling agency run by Sergey Nagorny,
who chairs the jury of the Student Spring
festival and is engaged in work with the
Union of Teatrical Figures.
Ive had periods when I havent
worked but filled them with painting,
embroidery and reading. Im not afraid
of old age or loneliness as Im never
bored by my own company and always
I love my roles, which are so various
THEaTRE aCtress
50 .LARU5 2012
The role of Yevfrosiniya of Polotsk is
wonderful; I actually went to live in a
monastery to prepare myself. Bizarrely,
I played a monkey at 50, in Krasnobaevs
Doctor Aybolit, climbing up and down
a mast. You have to embrace an element
of fantasy as an actor; its a test of your
professionalism. Te possession of this
profession brings me joy.
i LoVE BEautiFuL thiNgS...
I dont play games as I find them a
bit awkward and lacking in sincerity. My
sons sometimes say me: youre not at the
theatre now so you dont need to act.
However, your profession has an impact
on people whether you are a teacher
or a doctor... Maybe my children have
this in mind...
I love to look at all things beautiful
and eat delicious foods. We are what
we eat in the literal and figurative
sense. Our nourishment of the soul
then afects what we give to the world.
I have never felt inferior which is
probably why I love beautiful people.
All my friends are beautiful and I can
express my admiration for the beauty
of any man I meet even for the
first time. Ive understood with time
that others can fnd this confusing, so
Im more careful these days. I admire
the work of colleagues and easily
express my admiration if they perform
wonders on stage with their talent. It
doesnt matter whether or not I like
them of stage.
I dont tolerate laziness in myself,
but Im only human, so am susceptible. I
tend to be the one who jumps on a horse
and gallops off in different directions.
Im spontaneous. I believe that we should
love Heaven and Earth and everything
in between. Te prism of love sofens all
imperfections in the world. We should
live, giving life to children with pleasure
and raising them in love.
If you have talent, you should develop
it and give pleasure to others. Take care
of your health and retain an open heart
and soul. If you do so, the whole planet
will be better for it.
By Valentina Zhlanovich
have things to do. I write short stories
and poetry, which appear suddenly.
Even the smallest thing can impress me.
I began with quatrains and wrote this
afer Genas death:
I cry at night and read poetry, with no
power to confess my love: you no longer
exist in reality or dreams. You come to me
only in transparent reality. Its so painful
severe. I cant explain. So much needs to
be pondered and solved. I love you. I love
you in the scream of the night, in our song
of love and green eyes, and in my bitter
weeping, because of your kindness
because you were, are and will be you...
RoLES
Ive worked with various directors,
who each have different styles. I feel
closer to psychological theatre, when
form appears later, but its also interesting
to work with those who have established
form. You explore and develop. I try
to express each directors idea and am
grateful to each director for sharing his
experience and style.
Im one of those actresses who
always need a director. Ive been lucky in
working with good ones. I once played
a role in the comedy Cylinder, directed
by Boris Vtorov; I could hardly dream
of it! I worked with Yury Pakhomov
and of Mikhail Krasnobaev and am
now rehearsing Love Lab, with Mr.
Pakhomov. I love my roles, which are so
various: an evil aunt in Gorins Plague
on Your Two Families (which continues
the story of Romeo and Juliet); Lyuti in
Dudarevs Remembrance Prayer; and
Death in Rook Despair. Im proud of the
latter. Vladimir Korotkevichs dialogue is
wise and philosophical and I have a large
monologue. I also sing rock music and
have quite unexpected stage make-up.
Its a true departure for me.
Maturity has quietly crept up on
me, with age-appropriate roles also
arriving. Tese refect my inner world.
aCtress THEaTRE
51 2012 .LARU5
F5TIVAL
dancing for quarter
of A CeNTuRy
festival of modern Choreography, whiCh traditionally gathers the
worlds best danCers in vitebsk, Celebrates 25th anniversary
C
an a choreographed
piece really portray a
game of football or the
divine order uniting
the Sky and Earth?
Of course, anything
is possible, creating
a fascinating art form which remains
long in the memory.
These and other themes were in
evidence at the International Festival
of Modern Choreography (IFMC),
recently hosted by Vitebsk for the 25th
time. Recognised as one of the largest
and most prestigious within the CIS
and Eastern Europe, it brought together
dancers from over 40 countries. Star
guests and a bright international contest
lef the audience in true awe.
ChoREogRaPhiC BattLE
The major IFMC-2012 event was
an international contest, which brought
together 28 choreographic groups
from Belarus, Lithuania, Poland, Russia,
Ukraine, Switzerland, Estonia, Japan,
Italy, Cyprus, Germany, China. Of the
45 performances given, 17 fnalists were
selected by the jury, headed by famous
Russian ballet master Vladimir Vasiliev,
who holds Nizhinskys Best Dancer of
the World award.
Two Belarusian groups reached
the finals: Diana Yurchenkos Modern
Choreography Teatre-Studio (Vitebsk)
and SKVOs Dance Company (Minsk).
B
E
l
T
A
Fragment of
the Festival
opening
52 .LARU5 2012
F5TIVAL
Russi an and Ukrai ni an groups
dominated, with fve performances each,
and the Grand Prix (with $5,000) went
to Kievs Alexey Busko, for his miniature,
entitled Album. Japans Dance Creation
Award took first prize in the One-
Act Ballet nomination, with dancers
transformed expressively into butterfies,
grasshoppers and ants.
Te frst award in the Choreographic
Miniature nomination went to Eternal
Movement a modern choreography
ensemble from Siberian Kemerovo.
Their Wheel of Life caused a real stir,
with the audience giving a long standing
ovation. Second prize was shared by four
groups: Ukraines Sergey Kon, Anastasia
Kharchenko with Dances, and Totem
Dance Group, plus St. Petersburgs
Aq u e d u c t Da n c e Co mp a ny,
choreographed by Konstantin Keikhel.
Te latter also won a prestigious IFMC
award (named afer Yevgeny Panflov).
Larisa Barykina a ballet critic and a
member of the Russian National Golden
Mask Theatre Award jury chaired
the festival board, which also awarded
Vilnius Arts Printing Haus Company,
German Cie Shen Company and Oleg
Stepanov, from Yekaterinburg.
StaR guEStS
One of the most long-awaited guests at
the Vitebsk festival was National Golden
Mask Theatre Award holder, Perms
State Theatre Yevgeny Panfilov Ballet.
Great things are always expected and
choreographer Alexey Rastorguev lived up
to his reputation, with his Destino ballet.
Mr. Panfilov himself is a landmark, and
almost mythical, fgure for the festival.
A video message from his grand-
children was screened during the
opening ceremony, congratulating the
festival on its 25th anniversary. They
announced a show being performed by
their mother, Arina Panflova.
Many other unforgettable choreo-
graphic works were seen, with Sergey
Mandriks Street Jazz Ballet returning,
old friend of the festival, Estonian Fine
Five Dance Teatre, charmed everyone
with its expressive Mandala exploring
spiritual formation.
Nevertheless, the greatest attention
was paid to Norways Jo Strmgren
Kompani, for its famous Dance Tribute
to the Art of Football; this received
the greatest response in favour and
against. Having toured since 1997,
visiting over 20 countries, the dancers
meticulous presentation of all aspects of
the game is a delight from preparatory
stretches to swearing at the referee, the
disappointment of defeat and post-
play washing rituals. The passion and
madness are explored professionally
and with delicate humour.
Many view ballet as the prerogative
of the elite, while believing that only the
working classes attend football matches,
but choreographer Jo Strmgren shows
that sport has its own beauty. Te show
also visited Minsk this year and, according
to Marina Romanovskaya, the organiser
of the festival and Deputy Director
General of the Vitebsk Cultural Centre,
the performance has certainly been one
of the innovations of the jubilee IFMC.
For the frst time, IFMC performances
were held in Minsk, Molodechno,
Bobruisk and Grodno, as well as Vitebsk.
Te chairman of the jury, Vladimir
Vasiliev, was pleasantly surprised
that all performances saw
full houses. He views this as
the utmost honour any artiste
can receive. Belarus Deputy
Culture Minister, Tadeush
Struzhetsky, sees the
Vitebsk forum as a
venue for supporting
new names and
a pl at f or m f or
d e v e l o p i n g
c ont e mpor ar y
c hor e og r aphi c
art. It enjoys great
p o p u l a r i t y a mo n g
spectators and artistes,
which is a guarantee for
its future, he notes.
By Semen gomanov
having appeared at the very first
festival. Laureates from various years
include Minsks D.O.Z.SK.I. Modern
Choreography Theatre and Eccentric
Ballet from Yekaterinburg. Another
group from this Russian city Provincial
Dances staged its performance based
on Kobo Abes Woman in the Dunes.
Da n c e r s f r o m Co l o g n e s
HeadFeedHands Teatre distinguished
themselves with their original acrobatic
elements, while French La Vouivre
presented Oups a witty performance
about male-female relations. Another
themaJorifmC-2012
eventwasan
internationalContest,
whiChBrought
together28
ChoreographiCgroups
fromBelarus,
lithuania,poland,
russia,ukraine,
switzerland,
estonia,Japan,
italy,Cyprus,
germany,China
The president of the jury Vladimir Vasiliev
awards Kievs Alexey Busko with the Grand Prix
53 2012 .LARU5
next day. A black limousine
drove me to the New York
City Opera, and, holding my
head proudly, I attended my
audition wearing a luxurious
dinner jacket. Meanwhile,
a clerk carried my briefcase
of music. It was high-class
PR. It all seemed unreal, so
I wasnt in the least nervous.
My throat wasnt dry, as ofen
happens at competitions,
and my knees didnt shake. I
performed Prince Gremins
aria Love Knows Nothing
of Age and was asked back
for the second round of
auditions, this time with the
orchestra. It was my chance
but I dismissed the idea. So,
a Peoples Artist of Belarus
sits before you. America just
wasnt for me...
Its interesting that your
daughter, Natalia a world
champion in professional
ballroom dancing, has been liv-
ing in America since she was 18.
Yes but Im waiting for
her to come to Minsk. Shes
arriving to congratulate her
father on his birthday.
LEaRNiNg thRough
ExPERiENCE
Its said that our younger
artists simply copy other
people rather than being
individual. Do you like any
of them?
Belarus has many talented,
skilled people. I like the work
of Sasha Nemo and Yury
IN A
WoRd
a master!
famous belarusian singer,
peoples artist of belarus
nikolay skorikov is 55! the
powerful bass-baritone has
enjoyed a life so far filled with
wild, mystiCal CoinCidenCes
and muCh deserved
reCognition
T
he Belarusian
Magomayev
h a s s t y l e
and charm
and remains
slim, being in
good shape.
Known for his smiling coun-
tenance and melodic speaking
(as well as singing) voice, he
tells us how life is treating him
as his new album, Fall in Love
with Me, launches.
Mr. Skorikov begins by
telling me that he hasnt slept
for several days as hes always
anxious before a concert,
despite having spent a quarter
of a century on stage.
Nikolay, do you lack
confdence?
On the contrary, Im very
confdent, but any artist who
isnt nervous before appearing
on stage must be dead inside.
ComB EVEN FoR thoSE
With No haiR!
You served in the Baltic
Fleet as a young man how
romantic! I envy you.
Honestly, afer graduating
from the conservatory, I didnt
really want to leave my beautiful
young wife to serve in the army.
Im a Scorpio so my jealousy is
boundless. However, I knew
that I needed to serve my
homeland. Friends told me that
by joining the Song and Dance
Ensemble of the Baltic Fleet
(with my vocal education) Id
serve only two years instead
of three. Afer a live audition,
I was invited to join without
question. Of course, I still
undertook the same duties as
other young sailors.
Did you clean the deck?
Certainly, and the toilet
sailors call it the latrine. By
the way, they are very serious
about using seafaring termi-
nology. If you called a bevel a
basin, youd be hit with it!
Your wife met you when
you had leave?
Of course, she came
several times to Liepaja the
Latvian city where the fleet
was based and where I took
my oath. I dont know if its
changed now but, in Soviet
times, to go on leave, you
had to carry a handkerchief
and a comb. I remember the
frst time I had leave to meet
her I couldnt get through the
check point as I didnt have a
comb. I still dont understand
why it was necessary, as my
head was shaven!
FatE aND DEStiNy
Did the army teach you
anything?
Sure. Serving with the
ensemble, I became seriously
interested in Soviet patriotic
songs. It was in my blood
perhaps, as my father fought
in the Great Patriotic War;
i nteresti ngly, he helped
liberate Konigsberg, where I
served many years later. Its
a fascinating link between
generati ons. My grand-
mother believes that we each
have our own path, as set by
Fate, from birth. We can only
follow Destiny.
You had the chance to
become a lead singer with
the New York City Opera but
decided against the move.
In the early 1990s, I came
to America at the invitation
of the Belarusian community,
with a group of our artists.
A friend of mine, born in
Belarus, was an influential
American banker and a great
joker. At a party, he intro-
duced me to some music
producers and organised an
unofficial audition for the
B
E
l
T
A
SINGER anniVersarY
54 .LARU5 2012
IN A
WoRd
a master!
Vashchuk. However, there
are a lot of tenors; we need
to fnd a good baritone Id
teach him myself. We need
a better system of nurturing
t rue t al ent , wi t h more
funding required. I think that
many artists lack full musical
training, with only a vague
idea of staging and good
manners.
Who taught you these
things?
Today, young artists have
no idea of their luck and how
easy their lives are. When I
frst heard Finbergs orchestra,
I watched and listened atten-
tively, being spellbound. Tey
were the absolute best: truly
fantastic. I never imagined
that, one day, Id work with
them. When I joined the
orchestra, I fnally understood
the true nature of musical
education. My elder musician
colleagues recorded every
show all my performances
then sat me down in front
of the tape recorder to point
out all my errors. Tey picked
up on every word and musical
phrase sung incorrectly.
Mikhail Yakovlevich Finberg
didnt need to do this, as there
were others perfectly qualifed
to ofer criticism. It was useful,
allowing me to develop profes-
sionally. Today, I can say with
certainty that all my learning
has been thanks to my work
with the orchestra. I now have
frm foundations on which to
build my work independently.
Without a producer?
Im happy that Ive found
a Russian company, called
Avgust, which is interested
in my work. Ive established
a good relationship with the
management, which has
resulted in my new album. Id
like to thank my artistic patron,
m u s i c
lover Igor
K o b z e v ,
w h o i s
the deputy
head of the
c o mp a n y.
He h e l p s
me i n al l ways
possible. When I come
to his ofce, Im happy to see
people who not only know
how to make money but
who recognise good classical
music. Fortunately, I never
hear Murka or Stas Mikhailov
in his office as beloved by
most of the population.
Why do you say that?
I don t t hi nk t hat
Mikhailovs songs will endure
like those of our countryman
Yury Antonov. I remember
falling in love with his Mirror
and Anastasia when I was
young. How much time has
now passed!
Your new album features
Fall in Love with Me. Are all
the songs similar ballads or
do you have any surprises
for us?
I dont think Ill ever be a
wild child, as Ive always been
a fan of Muslim Magomayev.
Sitting at the piano, his singing
is stylish, elite and beautiful;
in short, he is a master. Over
half of the songs on my album
are written by Vladimir
Sukolinsky, whom I met by
chance. When he opened his
computer to show me some
musical material, the very frst
song I noticed was Fall in Love
with Me. I decided for myself
and told him that it would be
a hit. Of course, so it has been.
It seemed a good name for the
album. Incidentally, you may
like In the Fleet, which recalls
my sailor days...
By Victoria Popova
thankstoyourdistinCtive
talent,strongvoiCe,high
professionalismandBright
artistiCskills,youveBeCame
oneofthemostfamousand
Belovedmastersofthe
Belarusianstage.ihopethat
yourCreativityBringsfunand
goodspiritsintopeopleslives
whileenriChingtheCultural
lifeofBelarus.
Alexander Lukashenko
anniVersarY SINGER
55 2012 .LARU5
Heavenly
horses
thrill and
delight
G
al kynysh ( Revi val )
acrobatic horse troupe
have brought t r ue
Akhal-Teke horses to Belarus:
the pride of Turkmenistan as
depicted on the countrys coat
of arms. Akhal-Tekes are called
heavenly horses, being thought
the most spiritual, as well as the
cleverest and most passionate.
Their delicate and graceful
movement s s eem al most
mythical, thrilling audiences
with their silky beauty.
The Turkmen dzhi gits
performed wonderful acro-
batics on their horses, led
by Pygy Bairamdurdyev, an
Honoured Figure of Culture of
Turkmenistan. His love of his
horses is in his blood, making
his work with the troupe a joy to
behold. He tells us, Horses are
special animals for the Turkmen
and Akhal-Teke are our true
pride. Tey are known for their
elegant bearing, as well as their
fuid, beautiful movements.
Dunia Babaeva, an acrobat
with Galkynysh, tells me about
one trick which required six
months of practise, We build a
pyramid with our bodies, which
is a serious test of strength; I have
to hold two girls with my hands.
The circus programme
currently includes Belarusian
riders also, in addition to trained
bears and trapeze artistes.
MO5AIC
Junior
Eurovision
songs now sung
bElArusiAn YEgor zhEshko hAs
comE ninth At thE 10th junior
Eurovision song contEst
T
he winner was Ukraines charming
Anastasi a Petri k, aged ten,
whose surprisingly mature,
strong voice brought her 138 points.
Belarus was among those countries giving her the
maximum 12 points for her rendition of Sky in Ukrainian
and English. Second place went to Georgias Funkids band,
with Armenias Compass Band coming third.
Anastasias victory is the frst for Ukraine at the childrens
contest in its seven years of participation. She sings with the
Interior Ministry choir and has already taken part in the
Childrens New Wave Song Contest. Her elder sister, Victoria,
came second at Junior Eurovision-2008. Te Petrik family
lives in the suburbs of Odessa, in the village of Nerubaiskoe.
Immediately after the competition,
Anastasia admitted that she
would love a new dog and
hopes that her father will
give her a puppy in honour of
her victory in Amsterdam.
The head of the Belarusian
de l e g at i on, Ly udmi l a
Borodina, was delighted by
the performance of our team,
saying, Yegor has done
well. As far as the
voting results are
concerned, they are
always unpredictable.
Te favourite with bookmakers and journalists was Russias
Lerika singing her Sensation. She fnished in fourth place but
promises to reach the adult Eurovision Song Contest.
Yegor Zheshko brings home many impressions and new
friends from Amsterdam and believes that Anastasia Petriks
win is deserved. He admits, She sung best of all. Te vote
took place in two stages, with the jurys decision announced
almost immediately afer the frst round of performances.
Te second round saw an audience vote, with Anastasia
proving the most popular over the two rounds.
B
E
l
T
A
Audience really
enjoyed the
Turkmen dzhigits
performance
5 .LARU5 2012