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  issue 4, year XI, 2004


THE PRIME-MINISTER OF THE REPUBLIC OF
BELARUS MR. S. S. SIDORSKI BEFORE THE
"EUROPE 2001" MAGAZINE
   An interview by Valentin Kostov          page 4
   "We are building today an independent sovereign state. But before joining some new union, we should first finish all things undertaken. With regards to our history, the orientation of the economy and the political realities, we cannot and should not take out of consideration our allied relations with Russia. That is why we will build our ties with both the European Union and Russia on the basis of preserving the status quo of Belarus as an independent European state. I think that we can find a reasonable balance. Judging by the new conditions and guided by its national interests, the Republic of Belarus will set up its own approaches to and forms for participation in the European integration. Moreover, I would like to point out that Belarus considers itself as an inseparable part of the European civilization and culture. Our future depends entirely on a participation in the European processes, which is both active and equal in rights."

H.E. THE AMBASSADOR OF THE REPUBLIC OF
BELARUS BEFORE THE "EUROPE 2001"
MAGAZINE: "CULTURAL COOPERATION IS
IMPOSSIBLE WITHOUT SPONSORS"
An Interview by Tsvetanka Elenkova          page 6

THE ECONOMY OF BELARUS
   By Christo Jenev          page 8
   Excellent! This should be the assessment that befits the economy of Belarus in the last few years. The country has been renowned as one of the leading republics of the (former) USSR from an economical point of view. This is the reason for its quick recovery and retrieval of late. The turning point for the flourishing of the economy came in the mid-90s of the last century. For the period 1995-2003 the country has marked a remarkable growth of an average 6% annually of its gross domestic product (GDP). Belarus is a leading country in the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS), judged by the indicator GDP per capita of the population. The active state economic policy of the government and the traditional openness of the country towards foreign markets and commercial partners are the main factors for the rise of the economy indicators. The most promising branches for attracting foreign investments are electronics, automobile building, the oil-chemical complex, light industry, the production of medical equipment, etc. The number of the enterprises with foreign participation or with entirely foreign capital, registered on the territory of Belarus, is 2451 from 81 countries. Most numerous of these are from Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, and the USA. 40% of them are oriented in industry, 21% - in machine-building. The major investors which definitely have their presence here, too, are "McDonald's", "Bayer", "Legrant", "Siemens", "Moulinex", "Coca-Cola", "Man".

PAVEL MARIEV: "WE ARE BUILDING HIGHLY
EFFICIENT LOW-PRICED AUTOMOBILES"
   An interview by Tzvetanka Elenkova          page 10
   The "Belaz-Balkan OOD" Company is the exclusive dealer of the BELAZ Works -Belarus for Bulgaria, Greece and Macedonia. It has been established in the year 2000 and specializes in the import and maintenance of dump-trucks for the mining industry. Its central office is in Sofia and there are two more auxilliary offices, too, - one in Asarel, above the town of Panagyurishte, and another in the Elatzite, above the town of Etropole. The Company keeps a well established service, a solid consignment warehouse in Sofia and warehouses in Panagyurishte and Etropole. 30 people altogether work in the Company. The last tender of the Asarel-Medet mine in 2004 has been won by the "Belaz-Balkan" Company in competition with the five biggest producers of dump-trucks in the world, namely Caterpillar, Derex, UPI, Kamatzu, Riphe. The Director of the Company Mr. Stanoy Rangelov states: "Italians and Belgians, who are traditional producers of such dump-trucks, are buying our machines and this fact speaks by itself about their quality."

ON THE MAP OF BELARUS
             page 12

CHERNOBYL - A BREACH IN THE
SPACECRAFT CALLED EARTH
            page 16
   The accident with the nuclear reactor in the Chernobyl atomic electric station, which broke out on 26 April 1986, entered history as the biggest technogenic disaster ever happened on our planet. It affected the plight of millions of people. But hardly anyone could imagine the real scale of the tragedy that Belarus endured and keeps enduring. One fourth of the territory of Belarus and one fifth of its population have suffered by that calamity. The total loss is estimated to 235 billion USD, which equals 32 state republican budgets. Agriculture has suffered most. Forestry also underwent great loss. Out of the 471 settlements contaminated with radionucleids 135 thousand inhabitants were forced to resettle in the past years, including 235 settlements from the Gomel district, 174 from the Mogilev district and 2 from the Brest district.

BELARUS' PARTICIPATION IN THE RUSSO-
TURKISH LIBERATION WAR
   By Dr. Rumyan Sechkov         page 17
   The Russo-Turkish War of 1877-1878 that came to be called by the wide social circles as the War of Liberation, is one of the most written of events in the new Bulgarian history. But only a few know that the soldiers and commanders from the Russian Army that have perished in the war were not solely Russians. It has become clear from historical documents, that beside the Minsk and Mogilev infantry regiments, the Belarus Ulan and Grodnen hussar regiments, who have been entirely manned by Belarus people, thousands of other inhabitants of the country have served in the Suzdal, Serpuhov, Volinski, Kolomenski, Kazanski and other regiments. In the Minsk province alone 11 561 people have been mobilized and sent to the battlefield in 1877. In the very beginning of the fighting, started with the forced crossing of the Danube river on 27 June 1877, the Belarus warriors show their bravery. The 54th Minsk infantry regiment, famous with its high morale shown already in the Crimean War, is among the first who overcome at dawn the water barrier and take the town of Svishtov by force. Later on, the 54th Minsk infantry regiment becomes renowned for the heroic defense of the Shipka Peak and the victorious battle at Sheynovo. Commander of the assault force of the Russian Army at the Balkan theatre of operations is lieutenant-general Yosif Vladimirovich Gurko /Romeiko-Gurko/, who was born in the Mogilev province. Already during the April Uprising and particularly after its defeat, a mass fund-raising campaign was undertaken in Belarus with the aim to help the Bulgarians who had suffered from the violence. Just for the period from 10th December 1876 to 1st February 1877 13 071 roubles and 2 copecks were gathered in the Minsk province, which was a colossal sum for that time.

THE BREST HERO-FORTRESS
   By Dr. Rumyan Sechkov         page 19
   Third of July is a symbolic date for Belarus. On this very day 60 year ago the country was liberated from Nazi occupation that had lasted three painful years, filled with atrocities. Over 2 200 000 people perished in the flames of the war, and another 380 000 were forcefully deported to Germany. 9 200 settlements were devastated during the occupation, while 627 villages were burnt out together with their inhabitants. 186 of those were never reconstructed after the war. One of them is the Hatin village, which was turned into a memorial of the genocide against the Belarus people. For the period from June 1941 to July 1944 the participants in the underground movement in Belarus neutralized about 500 000 Germans, destroyed 11 128 enemy echelons and 29 railway stations in the legendary rail war, and crushed 948 military headquarters and garrisons. Against the background of those tremendous battles the Brest hero-fortress stands out particularly vividly. The fortress was the target of intensive bombings from the air and of incessant artillery fire, but its defenders fought for more than a month. Finally, short of ammunitions, they were forced to withdraw. Immediately after the end of the war, the few Belarusians who have suffered the horrors of the Nazi concentration camps, were sent to the even more horrible Stalinist camps. For, according to the beliefs of that time, everyone, who had been held in captivity, was a traitor and had shown faint-heartedness before the enemy. The vicissitudes of fate and the political doctrines turned the Brest heroes into martyrs, and the Brest Fortress was awarded the honourable name "Hero-Fortress".

APPLE BLOSSOM AND DUST
DVORTZOVO - THE PARK COMPLEX OF
THE RUMIANTZEVS-PASKEVICHIS IN GOMEL
   By Veneta Buchvarova, Senior expert,
Bulgarian Academy of Sciences (BAS)      page 23


THE LIFE OF THE REVEREND
EFROSINIA POLOTZKA
   By Goran Blagoev, Bulgarian National Television (BNT)      page 26
   Every Christian people has its own celestial guardian - a holy man, who has come out of its roots, but who stands in Heaven and constantly pleads before the Lord's throne for its fellow countrymen. Such a celestial protector for the Orthodox Belarus Christians is the Holy Reverend Efrosinia Polotzka. The life and holiness of this bride of Christ takes us back to the remote 12th century. She was born in the home of the Polotzki Prince Georgii Vseslavich and his wife Sofia. Her Grandfather was the powerful Prince Vseslav, who had governed the Polotzki throne for 57 years! But the young Predslava was not tempted by power and glamour, which were guaranteed to her by her princely origin. When she turned 12, she asked to be ordained as nun. One day, in the year 1128 while dreaming, Efrosinia saw a celestial angel appearing to her. He conveyed to her God's will to go to the outskirts of Polotzk where the modest church of "St. Spas" was situated and which served as the tomb of the local bishops. It was there that Efrosinia pledged that she would remain a nun for all her life and will find a cloister on that very place. Thus, nearly 22 years of age, Efrosinia became Mother-Superior of the Spaso-Efrosinia monastery, which exists in Polotzk to this very day.

THE FATE OF THE "CROSS OF LAZAR BOGSHI"
   By Goran Blagoev, BNT       page 28
   In 1161 Saint Efrosinia Polotzka orders a special cross-relicvarium for the church of the Spaso-Efrosinia monastery, founded by her. One of the most skillful jewellers of the country - Lazar Bogshi - takes up the working out of the cross. Five Christian relics are built-in in five "nests" in the middle of the cross, namely: a fragment of the Lord's cross with drops of the Saviour's blood, a piece of stone from the grave of the Holy Mother, a bit of the relics of the bodies of St. Stefan and St. Pantheleimon, blood of St. Dimitrii. All of these relics have been brought by a special expedition, sent with a mission to Byzantine by Efrosinia Polotzka herself. In this way the cross functions as a relicvarium where Christian holy objects are kept. It is made of cypress wood, probably brought from Byzantine or the Holy Places. The Cross is faced with 21 golden and 20 gilded silver plates, decorated with gems and pearls. Thus, the relic becomes a unique piece of art of the old Belarus jewelry. Generations of Belarusians treasure this Cross as its greatest spiritual sacred object.

THE FORTRESS OF THE WHITE RUS
(BYELA RUS) POLOTZK - THE OLD CAPITAL
OF BELARUS
   By Goran Blagoev, BNT       page 30
   The history of the ancient Belarus capital Polotzk is shrined in mystery. In the book "The History of Poland", written in the 14th century, the town was called the Fortress of the White Rus (Byela Rus). Polotzk is mentioned for the first time in 862 in the famous "Povest vremennih let" ("A Tale of Temporary Years"), but it is presumed that the town is much older. In the middle of the 11th century the foundations of the main church of the state - the Sofia Sobor (Cathedral) - were laid in Polotzk and it reminds to this very day of the glamour and fame of the Polotzk Principality. The "Saint Sophia" Church has housed for centuries the famous library of Polotzk, which was devastated, however, in 1579 during the invasion of the Polish king Stefan Batori. It is presumed that old Bulgarian manuscripts have constituted a part of the remarkable Polotzk library. Those were some of the Bulgarian books and scrolls, distributed and preserved in the big monasteries and towns of Russia and Belarus after the conquering of the First Bulgarian Kingdom by Byzantine. Polotzk has been one of the few towns where the early medieval Bulgarian manuscripts, understandable for the local people without any translation, have been kept until the end of the 16th century. One of the interesting monuments in the town is the so called "House of Peter the First". In 1705, during the Great Northern War, the Russian Emperor enters Polotzk with his troops. Peter the First turns this house into his own home. Admiring the old monuments, the tourists will see the sculptured figures of a number of renowned Byelorussians who were born in Polotzk and have linked their lives and career with this town. Among them are the famous teacher and man of letters Francisco Scorina and the monument of the great Belarus Saint Efrosinia Polotzka.

WHEREVER I TURN, MACEDONIA CARESSES ME
   By Tzvetanka Elenkova   page 36

THE ATHLETES OF BELARUS
   By Vassilena Matakieva   page 40
   Alexander Medved, Vitalii Shcherbo, Nelly Kim, Olga Korbut, Ekaterina Karsten - just a few of the 59 Olympic champions, who have won 85 gold medals. Thus in short we can define the sport biography of Belarus. In the last summer Olympiad the country took part in 21 disciplines. In Sydney the athletes of the country triumphed with 3 gold, 3 silver and 11 bronze medals, and in the final classification Belarus ranked 23rd among 199 countries.

VALENTIN ELIZARIEV - TALENT AND INTELLECT
   By Boyanka Arnaudova      page 42
   Who is Valentin Elizariev? This name has long ago become famous in the ballet world! With his performances, his ideas and achievements, that are measurable with the world criteria in this art. A name turned already into a legend and symbol of a strong and original choreographic thought. It is with this name that the renowned Belarus ballet troupe, aligned next to the greatest ones in the modern ballet environment, identifies itself (I would only like to mention that since 1974 the troupe has had dozens of guest performances in Europe and Asia, and in the last decade has appeared in the posters of the big festivals and opera theatres, as well.) The 90s of the 20th century are the period of the big upswing of Elizariev and his troupe, as they have been welcomed and appraised everywhere by their merits. Elizariev himself is already a popular personality. He has a lot of productions abroad, too, has been invited in the "Moscow classical ballet" and in the Warsaw Opera, in the St. Peterburg's Kirov Theatre, as well as in Istanbul, Lyublyana and Tokyo. Most of his choreographic realizations are registered and filmed on TV and video records, and many of them have turned into models of ballet art.

BOJANA APOSTOLOVA
   An interview by Tzvetanka Elenkova      page 44
   "I am not a publisher of Bulgarian poetry, but of Bulgarian literature as a whole. For me, the Bulgarian spirit is the most important thing. It keeps Bulgaria upright. Most of all I think that the Bulgarian spirit must survive. In the chaos in which we live, this spirit should be drawn up higher and higher. The enlivened high morale of the Bulgarian can live in the cosmic space, in the open world, without any doors. I am trying to, and publishing mainly Bulgarian literature. Young people need protection most. I publish averagely about 100 books a year and they are written by various people, from different parts of Bulgaria. Thus, not all writers whose books I publish, are famous, and to find an unknown author brings me real satisfaction. I think that the most difficult thing to achieve is to make a book that would be liked both by an intellectual and an average person. Poetry is like a staircase and what I am talking about is its peak, but before climbing to the top you should first pass through the respective levels."

THE DECORATIVE ART OF MARIYANA RAYNOVA
   By Dochka Kisyova-Gogova      page 46
   It is exciting to get in touch with the art of Mariyana Raynova. This is a meeting with a delicate, refined and talented master. Her favourite scope of work is artistic textile. She works in this sphere of decorative art since 1981. Mariyana Raynova shows interest in the problems of both fabric and drawing. She draws flowers and leaves, finding anew the magic of pre-historic rock motives. In 2000 she made an exhibition in the Botanical Garden in Bern, including in it drawings with floral motives. Mariyana Raynova also creates unique painted clothing. She draws the painting, and then mounts it on the dress. Thus come the so called clothes-drawings. In 1995 the artist organized two art shows in the USA - in Hampton,Virginia, and in Norwidge, New York. Her wish to create something new, unusual, different, smaller in size and not so time-consuming as the creating of a tapestry, makes her do a series of collages. She exhibited these works in Geneva in 2000 and in Paris in 2001, participating in the International Collage Salon.

THE WATER COLOURS OF OLGA DENEVA
   By Dochka Kisyova-Gogova      page 47
   Water-colour is the favourite painting technique of the artist Olga Deneva. Her works are very different in style and plastic depiction. She appears before the public already in her student years. During her university studies she takes part in youth exhibitions in Moscow, has independent art shows in Bulgaria, namely in the Russian Cultural Information Centre and in the Embassy of Russia in Sofia, as well as in various towns in the country, such as Burgas, Plovdiv, Pazardjik , and others. Deneva's wish to unite all Russian professional artists, living in Bulgaria, makes her an initiator of the establishment of a Club-Salon "Russian Artist", whose Head she is.

LITART PRESENTS: LITERATURE LINKS BETWEEN BELARUS AND BULGARIA
   Alekdandar Petrov      page 49

LITART PRESENTS AKSINIA MIHAYLOVA
         page 52
   Aksinia Mihaylova was born on 13 April 1963 in the village of Rackevo. She graduates the French Language High School in Vratza, and later on Bulgarian Philology in the Sofia University "St. Kliment Ohridski". In 1990 Aksinia Mihaylova wins first prize at the National Student Literary Competition for the translation of "Madame Edouarda" by George Batai. The same year she also receives the special prize for poetry of the Students' House in Sofia. She participates in the establishment of the literary magazine "Ah, Maria" and is a member of its Editorial Board since 1993. In the period from 1995 to 1998 Mihaylova works as editor and translator in the "Paradox" Publishing House. Her first collection of poems "Dream's Grasses" ("Bulgarian Writer" Publishing House) comes out in 1994. Since 2002 Aksinia Mihaylova is representative for Bulgaria in the Movement of French-speaking poets from Central and Eastern Europe, called "A Bridgehead to the East", seated in Budmerice, the Slovak Republic. In 2003 she is awarded first prize in the National Competition for love lyrics of the "Word" Association. Mihaylova's poetry has been translated in French, Rumanian, Slovak, Serbian and Croatian.

PHOTOATELIER PRESENTS: PHODAR
INTERNATIONAL Biennial PHOTOGRAPHY
MEETING
         page 53
   PHODAR Foundation, under the guidance of the Mayor of the Pleven Municipality, organizes the Fourth Annual PHODAR Biennial under the motto Your World. The Salon is opened for authors from all over the world. Works to be sent to: P.O.Box: 55, 1510 Sofia BULGARIA. For more information: www.fodar.dir.bg

SPIRITUALITY AND SENSITIVENESS OF
THE BELARUS PEOPLE
    Lazarova      page 57

BELARUS - A LAND KNOWN AND
UNKNOWN, DISTANT AND CLOSE
   By Dessislava Lazarova      page 59

ARTS OLYMPIAD
SLAVONIC BAZAAR IN VITEBSK
   By Nikolay Teckeliev       page 60
   The town of Vitebsk will soon strike 1030 years since its foundation. It has witnessed many victories and defeats in its history. It has been destroyed 30 times. During the Second World War it has been razed to the ground. The town is one of the district centres of Belarus. Vitebsk is called the cultural capital of the Republic. The life and creative works of famous writers, artists, and musicians are associated with this town, namely Marc Chagal (who was born in Vitebsk), Kazimir Malevich, Mstislav Dobujinski, Robert Falik and others. It is here that Mihail Bahtin leads his remarkable Kant seminar in the beginning of the 20th century Part of the biography of Ivan Solertinski, Gleb Uspenski, Ilya Repin, Kandinski, Pen is linked with Vitebsk. The famous ballet dancer Isedora Duncan has danced here. Festivals are organized in Vitebsk all the year round. "The Slavonic Bazaar in Vitebsk" is undoubtedly the biggest, most representative and most imposing one of all. Actually, it is a sort of an Olympiad of the arts that is organized yearly in the month of July, gathering between 4 and 5 thousand participants from around the world. In January 2001 the 35th Assembly of the International Federation of the Festival Organizations (FIDOF) announced the "Slavonic Bazaar in Vitebsk" as the Festival of the World for the year 2000! Where do we, Bulgarians, stand in this real "fair"? You can ask about their feelings towards Vitebsk and their experience in this town the Bulgarian singers Yordanka Hristova, Lili Ivanova, Georgi Hristov, Emil Dimitrov, Margarita Hranova, Silvia Katzarova, Pascal, as well as the dancers and singers from the "Tundja" Ensemble, from "Rosna Kitka", or the prize-bearers from the competition Toni Chakurov, Radostina Koleva, Todor Georgiev, etc.

THE STATE EMBLEM OF BELARUS
          page 62
   Symbol of the state sovereignty of Belarus is the State Emblem (coat-of-arms), which has been accepted by referendum and has been established by decree of the President of the Republic Lukashenko. The State Emblem has a round shape; in its centre is the map of Belarus, with green contour, depicted against a background of golden sun rays. The composition is crowned with a five-pointed red star. It is encompassed on both sides by sheaves of wheat ears, in which clovers are intertwined to the left, and linen branches are inserted to the right. A band in red and green - the colours of the national flag - wraps the wheat ears, and in its lower end an inscription reads: "Republic of Belarus". The red colour is associated with the victorious Belarus banners. The green colour is typical for the ancient folklore - for the customs and rich folk culture; it is entwined in the traditions, in the embroideries and ornaments of the fabrics, reflecting the hope and freshness of the green woods and fields of Belarus.

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