BLACK FRIDAY SALE: Save up to 60% on memberships for a limited time! Upgrade now

Totalitarian Minsk

Published October 25th, 2012

The idea to visit Minsk came across our heads last year. Dima complained that he really needs other lads to roof properly. "Guys in Minsk are scared of KGB" -- we thought then and made the decision to go Minsk one day. Well, you know, forbidden fruit is so-o-o sweet! Another reason to visit Minsk was that even if we would have breached any rule, we still could hope to be deported as foreigners.

So, we have got the obsession called "Go Minsk!". The chance to get to Minsk suddenly appeared when Vit and Vadim started to plan trip to Ukraine. Then our great obsession for the city gave us a call. Thus, Dima and me suggested to Vit and Vadim to go to Ukraine via Minsk. The lads too liked the idea to play Tom and Jerry with local KGB. Not to forget that we already texted another Vadim with pretty Olya who were on a long hitch-hiking tour started in Novosibirsk (one cold city in the middle of the Russian map).

The most striking feature that stuck in our memories was its cleanness (the town is ideal for plunkers). And Minsk was cheap. In fact, extremely cheap, especially local groceries. For example, coke goes for $0.45 (USD) for a 0.5L bottle, while in Moscow it is as much as $1.30. Moreover, each of us spent $35 in total on meals, tools and commuting about the town during the week in Minsk.

Neither we met any classical "gopnik" (local aggressive twats), who populate vast territories of Russia and Ukraine nor we have heard local Belorussian speech. Another noticable difference was that there was no man from post-Soviet Middle East. All this just for instance of how we remembered the Belorussian capital.

On the other hand, police seems to be very active in Minsk. Lots and lots of undercover policemen, especially on Wednesdays. This scares local folks, who rarely go in city centre midweek. Even though only few central streets are patrolled, it feels like the order is in the entire city. And cars. Very few cars iron the streets, not to say there is no Russian Ladas.

We haven't had any roofing mates in Minsk, so we were very fortunate to have Dima, who was familiar with the town and knew few places to sneak in.


The "Under the Spire" House

The "Under the Spire" House next to the Ministry of Defence of Belarus.

Our second momentous occasion happened on this break-in. Climbing this building was only possible by the fire stairs, because all the exits from the attic were well boarded. So, on the descend somewhere in the middle of it we hear "You! All three! Come here! Quickly!". We turn around and see a soldier ten meters from the stairs. These very short moments I spent imagining the scene of the capture: while the guard is approaching, the other two guys jump off and disappear. I am the last to get down, so the soldier will have enough time to catch me warm. To our great surprise the military man was just standing there and waiting us to come closer. When touched the ground we gave each other a very short look and evaporated in the air. We ran backyards for about three blocks thinking of the intercept operation tailored for us by the counters. Well, fear has big eyes.


The National Academic Bolshoi Opera and Ballet Theatre

The National Academic Bolshoi Opera and Ballet Theatre in Minsk


Isle of Tears.


Independence Square

Underneath it there is huge mall. However big it was, it failed to provide us with a simple screwdriver.

On this roof we experienced one of the two momentous Minsk moments. We thought that President Lukashenko was in the building on the left (on the photo). This fact made us just a little anxious when dared to think of doing the roof of the building. The moment happened when we were already descending for the roof. We suddenly hear keys twanging just around the corner and the next moment our team teleport ourselves on the roof blocking the exit we just have squeezed through. Then we climb to the very top of the roof hiding all the breaking-in tools. Having camped out we wait and push some jokes about upcoming daily routine of Belorussian prisoners. Ten minutes later we decided to break the mist before the counterpart haven't called for the leg-up. Very fortunately for us, the check showed no threat for us and another few moments later we calmly mixed with the Uni freshers.

  • July 26th, 2011
  • Canon EOS 7D
  • 10mm / f/11 / 1/200 sec

The National Academic Bolshoi Opera and Ballet Theatre.

  • July 27th, 2011
  • Canon EOS 7D
  • 30mm / f/3.5 / 1/400 sec

City Gates

One of the towers of "City Gates". I would say it is the most appealing building in Minsk.

  • July 27th, 2011
  • Canon EOS 7D
  • 47mm / f/9 / 1/400 sec

Victory Square (Ploschad Pobedy).

The most expensive shot in my life.

  • July 29th, 2011
  • Canon EOS 7D
  • 10mm / f/10 / 8 sec

Bell on the Clock Tower opposite KGB HQs.

It is presumably unused since clock hands were disconnected from the machine that drove them.

  • July 27th, 2011
  • Canon EOS 7D
  • 10mm / f/10 / 1/30 sec

Dinamo Stadium

  • July 30th, 2011
  • Canon EOS 7D
  • 8mm / f/9 / 1/50 sec

Victory Square

Another view from the same point.

  • July 29th, 2011
  • Canon EOS 7D
  • 30mm / f/9 / 1/80 sec

Hello, KGB.


  • July 29th, 2011
  • Canon EOS 7D
  • 30mm / f/1.4 / 1/40 sec

Login or sign up to comment.

Asia Asperti  over 4 years ago


Necmi Tüfekçi  about 5 years ago

Good work!! congt.