Stories about Belarus from January, 2008
Marginalia watches Ploshcha (“The Square”), a film about the March 2006 mass protests in Minsk – “and watching it is a good way to mark Ceauşescu's birthday and Suharto's death” – and muses on freedom in Latvia and the lack of it in Belarus.
Mark MacKinnon writes about Mikhail Kasyanov's failed attempt to run for president and provides “an incomplete list of the invalid signatures phenomenon in post-Soviet elections.”
The post translated below features a photo of a note pasted on the Minsk-Murmansk train - a note that's supposed to assist passengers in locating cars they've got tickets for, but is instead a great illustration of how easily something mundane may turn into the frustratingly surreal in this part of the world.
Window on Eurasia writes about a review of a new book on Soviet fartsovshchiki: “In the 1970s and 1980s, ‘fartsovka’ grew so large that Vasil’yev suggests there were six different groups involved in acquiring goods — hotel workers, sailors on Soviet cargo ships, long-distance truckers, participants in Interclubs, guides, and...