Start of a revolution in Belarus?

The streets of Minsk are full of protesters, a particularly rare event in Belarus, which is considered the worst dictatorship in Eastern Europe. The demonstrators aren't asking for freedom of the press or fair elections, but just to be able to get on with their simple trade. Our Observer Ales, who collaborates with the site , which is banned in Belarus, sent us photos from the event. The photos are not likely to be found in a local paper, since the entire media is controlled by the state.


Belarus is one of the few remaining countries in the world where markets are entirely owned by the state. Inhabitants are, however, allowed to carry out small trade and sell their products in the street or on the markets, which is a good way of making a bit of money on the side for local people. But a new law recently introduced by the government will prohibit stall owners from employing anybody who is not a close-relative. The so-called Decree 760 therefore makes it impossible to run anything more than a one-man stand. On Monday, Belarusian market-traders stood up to the government and gathered in the streets to protest. They were quickly dispersed by the police. With another protest planned for Feb. 18, is there a revolution brewing in Belarus?



Photos published on Nasha Niva Online, 21 January 2008

Quickly dispersed by the police

Video published on Nasha Niva Online, 21 January 2008

The streets of Minsk full of protesters

Video published on Nasha Niva Online, 21 January 2008