Clean, empty, scary Minsk: Military parade rehearsal ahead of Independence Day (pics)


The Belarusian military were getting ready for the upocoming Independence Day parade in downtown Minsk overnight into Thursday, photojournalist reports.

After leaving a military town in Uruchcha, the machinery and troops from Minsk garrison were heading for the center of the capital, then they were going along Independence Avenue, Surganov, Kuybyshev, Bahdanovich streets and Masherau Avenue.

The public transport management service had reported traffic reroutings in advance and asked to take possible inconvenience into account when travelling in Minsk.

Our photo report from Minsk streets:

Meanwhile, minsk residents are collecting signatures to ban using military equipmeny in the course of the parade. As of today, nearly a thousand persons have signed the petition.

Ambiguous date

The official Independence day is celebrated on July 3, on the day of liberation of the Belarusian capital from German invaders. Such decision was taken by the republican referendum held in1996. Earlier the Independence day had been commemorated on July 27, its celebration being coincided with the day of passing the Declaration of Sovereignty of the Byelorussian Soviet Socialist Republic in 1990.

The opposition does not recognise the official Independence Day. According to them it is the March 25, 1918 that should be taken as the starting point of the Belarusian independence. On March 25, 1918 the Provisional government (Rada) proclaimed the independence of the Belarusian National Republic that came into existence at the end of the First World War, when Bolshevik forces left Minsk and the city was occupied by German troops. After the Red Army re-entered Minsk, the Communist government replaced the Rada; its members had to emigrate. Opposition activists and civil society actors celebrate the anniversary of the proclamation of the BNR annually.

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