This is an old version of the site. We have moved to Click here to read Minsk and Belarus latest news

Oksana Volkova

Belarusian opera star about her New-York breakthrough, further plans and has dispelled the myths concerning special diets for artists.

Behind the catwalk

Eastern European fashion is becoming more and more fascinating. Brief review of new names in the insdustry

30 Dec 2013

Old Wine in New Bottles?

Tension in the relationship between Belarus and Russia has remained in the shadow of the more visible discord between Russia and Ukraine, stemming from the latter’s now-spoiled efforts to sign an Association Agreement with the EU at the Eastern Partnership Summit in Vilnius in November. The quarrel between Belarus and Russia arose from a bout of assertive behavior on the part of Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko. For those who assume Lukashenko long lost his freedom of action vis-à-vis Moscow, this was an unusual turn of events. Yet it is easy to explain. Lukashenko perceived an opportunity to exploit his status as Russia’s most valuable ally to increase economic subsidies, a necessity for securing reelection in 2015. Given Russia’s strong and publicly declared interest to rapidly proceed toward the creation of the Eurasian Economic Union, Lukashenko’s gambit is likely to succeed.

"Mystery guest" in the hotel Garni

We continue our series of publications devoted to Minsk «star» hotels. As a reminder, the correspondent of stays at the hotels as a "mystery guest" and shares his impressions. "Minsk"  and "Victoria" were the first hotels which took up the challenge. Now we will find out what level of service is provided in the three-star hotel "Garni". Later you can assess "Yubileinaya", "Crowne Plaza", "Europe" and "President-Hotel".

29 Dec 2013

Top 200 Belarusian businessmen in 2013 (ranked from 101 to 150)

This is the second part of  "Top 200 Belarusian businessmen in 2013" ranking which includes persons placed on positions from 101 to 150. 

27 Dec 2013

"Mystery guest" in the Robinson Club

Robinson Club, a luxury country club and restaurant was opened in 2012. Located on Minsk Sea shore it gives visitors a wonderful opportunity to see beautiful Belarusian nature. But how about having a lunch there? Onliner's "mystery guest" has visited the place and gives his verdict:  for price over 849 thousand Belarusian rubbles he got gazpacho with giant dose of garlic and almost perfect steak.

25 Dec 2013

Top 200 Belarusian businessmen in 2013 (ranked from 151 to 200)

Traditionally, in the end of the year the popular electronic daily newspaper "Ezhednevnik" (The Daily One) ranks the most successful and influential businessmen in Belarus. The ranking is based on available  commercial information as well as expert opinions. There might be some differences in estimation of wealth and influence of particular members of the list but in general the ranking gives true picture of "who is who" in Belarusian business. Now we present you first part of the list which includes people who are placed on positions 151-200.

20 Dec 2013

"Mystery guest" in the hotel Victoria

Hotel "Victoria" is one of the newest and well-located hotels in Minsk. It is just opposite Komsomolskoye Lake and Park Pobedy, a huge green area not far from city center. The hotel claims to have superior service and offers it visitors not only accomdation but various business services and entertainments such as a casino and a night club. The "mystery guest" from popular Bealrusian portal booked a room in hotel "Victoria" and now share his impressions...

16 Dec 2013

Belarusian economy horoscope for 2014

Recently government exchanged views on the current and future state of the economy with parliamentarians. The obvious conclusion – the situation is complicated. “This year was very difficult,” - said Belarus Prime Minister Mikhail Myasnikovich at the joint meeting of both houses of the National Assembly on November 22. But it’s too early to summarize. Basic economic regulations including Decree about indicators, budget and budget-laws must be adopted by the end of the year.

13 Dec 2013

"Mystery guest" in the hotel Minsk

Hotel Minsk is definetely one of the most popular hotels in Minsk. Indeed, being located near Independence Square and close to all "places to be" in Minsk this hotel is favoured by many foreign visitors. But is it staying there worth money the hotel charges its customers. This review will help to find out.

Time to worry about savings in USD?

 During autumn certain rumours have begun spreading in Belarus about possible ban on withdrawal of deposits in foreign currency  from Belarusian banks. They appeared after the publication of the article in the govermental newpaper “Respublika”, in which the author wrote about the reasonability of the banks refusal of accepting deposits in foreign currency in general. People are also worried with current state of Belarus trade balance which has turned negative within last six month.

20 Nov 2013

Fee for a new course

Intergation of Ukraine with the EU will  hurt its aviation industry. But Belarusian industry can benefit from the aggravation of relations between Russia and Ukraine after the latter's convergence with the EU.

   Not so long ago, in Belarus was on an official visit Prime Minister of Ukraine Mykola Azarov. According to him, one of the main purposes of his trip was to develop joint projects with Belarus in the field of industrial cooperation, including in the sphere of military-industrial complex.

   This announcement was seen by many experts as an attempt of the Ukrainian leadership to mitigate the negative consequences for the country of possible actions from Russia after signing an agreement with the EU on associate membership which Ukraine is planning to do next week in Vilnus.

15 Nov 2013

Apartments for sale in Minsk - October 2013

Review of the residential property market in Minsk in October 2013

   In September, the  long-term growth  of residential real estate in Minsk for the first time significantly slowed down . In mid-October we could see that was a turning point and since then we have observed only decline in prices. Reaction of buyers and sellers on trends and changes one can find in this October review of

   Against the background of the incipient decline of supply of apartments, the most important and most expected rate in October was the number of contracts closed. The data show us that in October exodus of buyers from the market did not happen. Compared to September, the number of transactions is even slightly increased.

   At the same time, the volume of supply continued to rise by accelerated pace. Number of apartments for sale on market in October was 14.7% more than inlast month. And rate of growth of supply compared to September remained absolutely unchanged.

   The current ratio of these two main indicator shows that the market is fully recovered from the excessive demand and shortage of supply of apartments  which we had been observing during recent month.

Number of apartment sales in Minsk in September 2013
The number of transactions recorded in September  - finalized
* yellow - offers, red - sales completed

   Compared to September, we recorded the following changes in consumer preferences:

   First, buyers began paying more attention to the 2- room apartments - their share in the total has risen. Number of 1-room and 3 room apartments  bought in October is less than ususal.

  Secondly, people are actively buying within the First transport ring area. High price does not scare buyers - the number of completed deals in the heart of the city has grown by half.

Structure of apartments sold in Minsk - September 2013
Structure of apartments sold

   During last two months numbers regarding  real deals look pretty significant. Buyers, focusing on the growth of the supply of apartments in September and August, traded reluctantly. As a result, if the October average bid price remained virtually unchanged (+0.2%), the prices of actual transactions has gained 1.3% due to inertia. In the future , against the background of rapid growth in supply, increased competition for customers and a clear reduction of the people we hardly can expect a convergence of the two curves.

   On the primary market, developers have continued to raise prices in October (+1.5%) despite a clear signal of reversal on the secondary market. It is important to say that at the moment number of apartmemts in new buildings share which are completed, but not sold out, is a third more than the year before.

   It should be noted that the growth recorded by real deals is mainly due to the already mentioned activity in the city center (number of luxury apartments sold in October is more than in September) as well as in the segment of 2- room apartments. Average price sold od 2-room flats in October was higher than September's values ​​about 4.0% , despite the fact that for the remaining segments price growth has not exceeded 1 percent.

   The main feature of the dynamics of proposals for different segments on the secondary market is the growth of property prices in the old houses. The maximum growth rates was recorded for buidings of Stalin era (+2.4 %), as well as apartments in panel Khrushchev and Brezhnev era houses  (+1.6 %). In this modern cast-frame and brick home has decreased in value by 0.3 %, the same thing happened to the more affordable apartments in a modern prefabricated homes (-0.9 %).

   The color scheme of the price card has undergone a significant change over the last month. Most buyers in the center continues to hold there a positive price dynamics, while in many sleeping neighborhoods prices began to fall. Among them is the former city-wide leaders in the growth  in the summer months: Kamennaya Gorka, Shabany and Malinovka.

   Three quarters of 2013 Minsk was the only "bright spot " on the map of Eastern Europe. None of the nearby capital city prices were not rising at the same pace. In autumn the situation began to change gradually: in the Belarusian capital prices have stopped and even started to decline, while almost all the neighbors experience, albeit a slow but growing rise in prices. However, the price of an apartment in Minsk still continues to be close to the maximum historical figure.

Artyom Sakharevich

27 Aug 2013

Potash wars

Uralkali CEO under arrest

Vladislav Baumgartner, CEO of Uralkali in prison
A top manager of Uralkali has been arrested in Minsk under allegation of insider trading and damaging national interests of the Republic of Belarus. He may face up to 10 years in prison but he is just a little figure in chess game between Russia and Belarus. The stakes are high – it is control of world potash market.

15 Aug 2013

Prices go crazy

Minsk apartments for rent

The rental market has undergone significant changes over the past six months. Thousands of ordinary people faced with the challenge of finding housing. Meager selection and exorbitant prices for apartments of bad quality - so experts describe the situation. July has always been a kind of calm before the storm, before arrival of non-resident students. Not now.

The number of rental apartments for offer has consistently decreased since March. In past years in the middle of summer market was full of apartments freed by students, which immediately increased the total supply by 10-15%. In July 2013, the increase was only 3.0%. Inside the structure, at the same time there have been significant changes. The segment of the most popular one-room apartments continued to narrow, but supply of the 2 - and 3 - bedroom apartments has increased by 12.4% and 5.9%  respectively. For the first time in a long time, the offers of 1-bedroom apartments lost the lead to 2-bedroom ones.

12 Jul 2013

Tapas bar at Internatsionalnaya

For those who are a big fan of Spanish cousine it is worthwhile to visit Tapas bar at Internatsionalnaya which offers wide range of dishes

There are different ways to start a story about Spanish cuisine, but without a mention of "tapas" this story will never be complete. Tapas bar for the Spanich is not the only place where you can eat and drink, it is primarily a place where three basic rules of Spanish hospitality are connected: good food, good drink and good talk. Tapas is not just a snack for an aperitif, it is an important part of the food culture of Spain. The word "tapas" is derived from the Spanish verb tapar, "to cover".

Silver Fish won gold at Universiade

Alexandra Gerasimenya

Alexandra Gerasimenya photosession

Belarusian swimmer Alexandra Gerasimenya nicknamed "Silver Fish" for her 2 silver Olympic medals in London has won a gold medal in Kazan and did a photo session for a sport newspaper "Pressball"

In Kazan the XXVII World Student tournament goes on. In the final swim on the 50 meter butterfly distance the Belarusian Alexandra Gerasimenya was unattainable for rivals, setting a new record for the Universiade and Belarus - 25.84. Silver will go to Canadian Catherine Savard with 26.05  and bronze to Italian Elena Jam - 26.28.

But on the eve of the competition Alexandra did one thing that a lot of her fans had asked her to do for a while and starred in the photo shoot for the newspaper "Pressball" and the Belarusian Federation of Swimming. Some of these brilliant pictures of our national pride is below

4 Jul 2013

Fury is not over

Miss Minsk 2013 photo scandal

The picante story of Miss Minsk 2013’s frivolous pictures has been frozen by silence both from organisers of the show and the winner Yana Kanstavenka herself. The only statement received from her was her status in the social network VKontakte.  If briefly,  she recognises that the photos taken in the night club Dozari are of her but denies any wrongdoing. Moreover, she proudly confesses that her lifestyle is what the other girls are dreaming on.

30 Jun 2013

Miss Minsk 2013's indiscreet pictures revealed

Miss Minsk's nude pictures scandal

Social networks users within only one day after Yana Kantsavenka, a stunning 21-old student of High School of Tourism, won a Miss Minsk 2013 beauty contest  in Palace of Sport discovered various pictures of her doing thing that a lot of people would consider inappropriate for Miss Minsk. Moreover, other winners also appears to be involved in the scandal as some of them being a go-go dancer and a stripper. But official reaction from the organisers has yet to come.

25 Jun 2013

Best places to get wet

Swimming pools in Minsk

It is not always possible to get into any of Minsk swimming pools without doing some formalities first. Some of them require medical check to be allowed in, some are only for members. But if you want to do swimming just now there are some options available.  Quite a few swimming pools in Minsk are open for everyone and do not ask papers.

There are certain issues, of course. These swimming pools are pretty busy all the time so you should be prepared to swim along with many other people. Sometimes sessions in the pools are not available, and experience shows that the best time for swimming is lunch time.

20 Jun 2013

True story of Kennedy's assassin

Lee Harvey Oswald in Minsk

Lee Harvey OswaldLee Harvey Oswald once said about Minsk: "There was no place to spend money, no nightclubs and bowling, no entertainment". Interesting facts about the official Kennedy's assassin life in the Belarusian capital. How Lee Harvey Oswald lived, where he worked and with whom he communicated while he lived in Minsk -- that's the story below as told by one Belarusian blogger

In October 1959, Lee Harvey Oswald, the only officially charged with the assassination of American President John F. Kennedy, went to the Soviet Union. The trip was well planned. Stating that his mother needed care, he left the army on September 11, 1959 and received a salary of $ 1500.

17 Jun 2013

Festival at Nyasvizh

Belarus cultural events

Festival of opera and ballet "Evenings of the Bolshoi Theatre at the  Radziwill castle" will be held in Nyasvizh from 21 to 23 June. Almost immidiatelyy after nn June 28 the other art-fest "Ursula Radziwill' Theater" will take place.

In the middle of the XVIII century, the Princess Urszula Radziwill founded a professional theater in her residence Nyasvizh, in which the audience watched opera and ballet performances. After almost three centuries the castle of Nyasvizh was chosen for a unique theater project.

13 Jun 2013

Prices are still on a rise

Residential property in Minsk - May 2013

For recent years May on Minsk real estate market was the average standard month. Most buyers are not in a hurry and at the same time activity does not fall sharply, as it happens in the summer months. The current May was no exception to this rule. Nevertheless, there were a few quite interesting events. Facts and figures of the last month of spring in review of

The increased demand for apartments in Minsk, which we are seeing the beginning of the year, continued in May. Although the total number of transactions compared to April decreased by almost 20%, the current mark is still a very high figure. Number of apartments bought in Minsk this year is more than ever before.

29 May 2013

Indian delegation in Minsk

Belarus - India

Only signing an Agreement on free trade between India and the Customs Union will open the way to the Indian market for Belarusian products

Despite the high level of political relations between Belarus and India, trade between our countries is weak. According to the Foreign Ministry of Belarus, the volume of bilateral trade between the two countries in 2012 amounted to 494.6 million USD. The Indian market imported  over 90 items of Belarusian goods worth 262.2 million USD

18 Apr 2013

S & P upgrades Belarus to "positive"

Belarus economy

Standard & Poor's rating agency has revised its outlook on Belarusian economics from "stable" to "positive", noting the continued stabilization of the economy. Ratings is affirmed to 'B / B'.
S & P experts point out that the government has tightened fiscal and monetary policies, which helped to stabilize the economy. "In our view, a further reduction in inflation and easing pressure on the exchange rate are the main signs of improvement in the economic situation in the country", - the company reports.

17 Apr 2013

Minsk needs money to support its paternalistic policy

Belarus economy

In 2012, the Belarusian economic model has reached peak of its current capability. Now the only way to keep the economic growth without structural reforms and avoid collapse in  the end of the year, such as currency crises as in 2009 or 2011, is attracting new borrowings  from abroad. This has already been said openly by senior Belarusian officials. But lately, in Minsk did not succeed in the relationship with the creditors, not only in the West but also in the structures of the EuroAsian Economic Community  (EAEC). What is the essence of the dispute and whether the parties will be able to agree?

16 Apr 2013

A Spanish low-coster will fly to Minsk

Vueling Airbus A320
Vueling Airbus A320 will fly to Minsk from Barselona
Vueling, a Spanish low cost airline is going to start flying to Minsk from Barselona during the summer season. It is the very first time when a company which is positioning itself as a low cost airline begins flights to Minsk 2 Airport.

Service operates on Sundays and will last till 15th of September 2013. Presumably, the aircraft will be Airbus A320.

The flight codes are:
VY7692 BCN0055 – 0525MSQ 320 7
VY7693 MSQ0610 – 0850BCN 320 7

Fashion industry is having a party

Belarus Fashion Week Fall-Winter 2013/2014 will take place on April 23-28

Like in the last season, Belarus Fashion Week will be running on two sites:  the main runway will be at BelExpo  exhibition center at Pobediteley, 14  and the additional program OFF SCHEDULE, designed to show works of  young designers and the presentation of new brands which will be at Museum of the History of Minsk (Mikhail Savitsky Art Museum).

21 Mar 2013

Between two armadas

The geopolitical location of Belarus makes it a field of confrontation of strategic interests of NATO and Russia

As the number of publications in the media, the Ministry of Defence of Lithuania urged Belarus and Russia for greater transparency in the implementation of planned for September of this year, the next large-scale Russian-Belarusian military exercises "West-2013".

Lithuanian party has been advised of their conduct, through the OSCE, but in addition to details, they expressed  hope that the NATO observers should be invited to. Such a proposal was reportedly made at the  meeting of Defence Minister Juozas Olyakasa with the ambassador of Belarus in Lithuania.

4 Mar 2013

Foreigners in Belarus: a Chinese lecturer

Expats in Belarus

A Chinese lecturer talking about Belarusians which are kind and well-behaved, but drinls heavily 

Chinese woman Na Siao, the teacher at Republican Confucius Institute of BSU, shared her impressions of Minsk and its citizens.

1 Mar 2013

Battle for Ukraine

European integration

Chances of integration of Belarus into the European Union depends not only on restoring democracy but, rather, on desire of the EU member states to accept new candidates from the East. And now the main test for them is Ukraine. If the EU accepts Ukraine, Belarus’ perspectives to join this club will look more realistic. 

Being heavily involved in Russian media sphere few Belarusians paid attention to Ukraine-EU summit which took place on 25th of February in Brussels, Belgium.  To summarize the results it is important to say that both sides supports the idea of Ukraine in the EU and played down the Timoshenko case which was a real issue just a couple of month before. The next step will be a free-trade agreement to be signed in Vilnuis this autumn.

25 Feb 2013

Better longer, but quietly

Belarus economy in 2012

Belarus Ministry of Economy presents economic results of 2012 and make some predictions for 2013

Risk-free source of development for Belarus in the "era of modernization" are foreign and domestic private investment, according to the Ministry of Economy. This idea is contained in the report of the Minister of Economy Nikolai Snopkov at the meeting of February 13, which was devoted to the results of 2012.

Foreigners in Belarus: A Lithuanian student

Expats in Belarus

A Lithuanian student talking about studying at University and Belarusian "Trasianka"

Katya Bolohovetskaya, a student of MSLU, born in Lithuania, Klaipėda. In 2008 year she entered the University in Minsk.

18 Feb 2013

Foreigners in Belarus: an Indian yoga teacher

Expats in Belarus

 An Indian yoga teacher talking about the Belarusian moonshine, sports and the President  of Belarus

Indian music, the smell of spices and aromas met the correspondent of TUT.BY at a shop of the Ayurveda goods. The new hero of the project "Minsk through the eyes of a foreigner" Bikash Nakhar turned out to be frank, benevolent and smiling, with the internal harmony.

Bikash Nakhar, the teacher of yoga and the seller of the Indian goods, arrived from the Indian city of Calcutta to Minsk 26 years ago.

8 Feb 2013

A Belarus model in Malaysia

Belarus models abroad

Former gymnast from Belarus enjoying every minute in Malaysia

Belarusian model and dancer Alesia Bylina enjoys Malaysia’s laidback culture and warm weather so much that she has been here for the past seven years.

“Malaysia has taught me to take things positively and be more easy-going,” she said.

30 Jan 2013

Foreigners in Belarus: A German banker

Foreigners in Belarus

A German economist talking about snipers eating sunflower seeds and about potato pancakes with an apple sauce

Most of Belarusians see Minsk as a reserved and conservative, clean, with broad streets and prospects, city. What image is formed by a person who has visited the capital of Belarus for the first time? The new project created by TUT.BY will familiarize its users with the foreigners who are living, studying, working in Minsk or have ever toured the nearest outskirts.

11 Jan 2013

Visitors prefer apartments

Accomodation for tourists

3* and 4* hotels do not get about 25% of their revenue, losing competition to "rent for a day" apartments, analitycal egancy EnterInvest concludes  in their Minsk hotel real estate market study.

3* and 4* hotels lose annually about $ 27 million of revenue due to severe competition with rental apartments: their cost is lower and the quality is on the same level as in Minsk hotels. According to experts the volume of hotel services market in the category of 3-4 stars is estimated at 97 million dollars. But main problem for hoteals are "luxury" apartments, which can compete with  5* hotels on the market.

Hotel and Apartment for rent Market in Minsk

9 Jan 2013

Nobody is trusted

Belarus politics

Anxious mood prevailing in the world outlook for 2013 and only in Belarus, there was little doubt in maintaining status quo.

While the Western media is trying to imagine what we are up to in  2013, only lazy did not mentioned similarity to 1913 - the last year of peace before the First World

But in fact, no other details are the same, except for the general anxiety: then, hardly anyone could have predicted the coming decade, through the Great Depression in the United States, and the world war and revolution were not yet known to historians. But now all the fears of the past easy to insert into the current agenda and to predict at least the next wave of the economic crisis.

Only on our marshes all is stable. Joked as recently as the end of the world in Belarus will not start, it will end in Belarus.

8 Jan 2013

Hoping for the better, expecting the worst

Belarus property market

Expectations of a new crisis make Belarusians to invest in property

The property market is an indicator of the economy in any country in the past year was unusually generous for Belarus for positive trends. This primarily concerns the growth of demand in the residential sector, which resulted in increase in the number of transactions. Paradox: the poorer Belarusians became, the more real estate they buy! But if you remember that a similar burst of activity was observed in 2008, it becomes apparent the real reason behind that: the intensive investment in the real estate by people was because of the threat of another financial turmoil.