Bosnia, or Everybody Hates Dayton

Sarajevo is the capital of a country which has no government.  It isn’t in a state of anarchy or chaos.  It simply feels like the government got up one day and left, and life carried on as normal, with everyone hoping that the government would come back at some point before too much could fall apart.  That day was back in 1995, and the people of Bosnia and Herzegovina are still waiting. We only hear of Bosnia today in connection with the capture or sentence of a former war criminal is a distressing indication of how completely the West has … Continue reading Bosnia, or Everybody Hates Dayton

Lit-Bel 5: By Decree of the Supreme Soviet of the USSR…

The day after our whirlwind tour of Minsk, my two travelling companions and I somewhat inveigled ourselves into a berth on a train bound for Brest (train station, left).  It was one of these luxurious Soviet affairs with large bunk beds and an attendant who brought tea and was otherwise lusciously uncooperative.  That four-hour journey cost the princely sum of £2.27. A word about the tickets: An odd feature of ticketing in Belarus is that it seems to be impossible to get hold of a return.  Instead, you have to buy another ticket when you arrive.  Of course, there are … Continue reading Lit-Bel 5: By Decree of the Supreme Soviet of the USSR…