Lukashenka’s Second Chance

The Ukrainian crisis is still unfurling like some hideous blood-soaked flag, but as Poroshenko switches from chocolates to international diplomacy and the Union of New Russia lays claim to half of Ukraine’s territory, discussion rages about the lessons for other Eastern European nations.  Mikheil Saakashvili’s efforts to remain relevant after losing the Georgian presidency by haranguing Western leaders smack a bit too much of ‘I told you so’ to be appealing.  Viktor Orbán, who rose to prominence standing in front of Soviet tanks and telling them to get out of Hungary in 1989, has in the past few months changed … Continue reading Lukashenka’s Second Chance

Lit-Bel 3: In Soviet Belarus… everything was pretty much the same

[I know I’ve been dreadful about posting about Belarus, and unfortunately even this isn’t going to be a conclusive report of our travels there.  It’s more a collection of Belarus-related thoughts that have seized me, as a sort of atmospheric prelude to the detailed stuff that I might, one day, get around to posting.] The whole point of travelling overland is to witness the joy of seeing landscapes, both geographical and cultural, blend into one another gradually, of crossing a political border and having a brief, anarchic moment of delight at the thought that a nation is a fiction! We’ve … Continue reading Lit-Bel 3: In Soviet Belarus… everything was pretty much the same