Minsk resident — it sounds proudly

An outstanding truck designer Mikhail Vysotsky and a reputable architect in his sphere Yuri Grigorjev were awarded the Title of the honorary citizens of the Belarusian capital. They made a weighty contribution into the development of both Minsk and Belarusian-Russian relations
Mikhail Vysotsky (on the right) and Yuri Grigorjev made a weighty contribution to the development of Belarusian-Russian relations.An outstanding truck designer Mikhail Vysotsky and a reputable architect in his sphere Yuri Grigorjev were awarded the Title of the honorary citizens of the Belarusian capital. They made a weighty contribution into the development of both Minsk and Belarusian-Russian relations.

The Hero of Belarus, the academician Mikhail Vysotsky, has been inextricably intertwined with the Minsk Automobile Plant for 60 years already.

“Destiny brought me to MAZ right after the war. I came to build it on a youth pass when I was a teenager”, Mikhail Vysotsky recollects his first acquaintance with the Belarusian capital. “The city was terribly destroyed. Our first trucks drove along its streets in November, 1947. Afterwards, these vehicles were actively used in the process of Minsk renewal. We, the workers of the automobile plant, developed creatively together with the city.

At 33 Mikhail Vysotsky, having passed all the previous stages of the career development, was appointed chief designer of Minsk Automobile Plant. He performed these responsible functions for 35 years. Heavy-duty machines of six generations designed under his command — this is more than a hundred of basic models of heavy trucks — perform colossal transport works even today. This is the property belonging not only to Minsk and Belarus but also to the Union State. He was the first in serial production to realize a progressive construction, when a driver`s cabin is situated above the engine. He was the first man who created line-haul trains for international carriage and launched their production on the main assembly line.

Mikhail Vysotsky has got his own pained aphorism: to outrun without overtaking. This is his experience. Belarusian and Russian automobile industry lagged behind the western rivals for decades. While we repeated their production samples, they invented something more perfect. However, in 1988 MAZ surprised the automobile world. The line-haul train MAZ-2000 “Perestroyka”, constructed by the team of Mikhail Vysotsky according to an unprecedented modular scheme, hit the headlines of the international motor show in Paris and was awarded the Grand-Prix. Innovative ideas of its construction pushed forward the world automobile manufacturing and are still topical.

Their potential turned out to be so great because Mikhail Vysotsky was one of the first to unite production, science and education — he took charge of the cargo automobile manufacturing department of the State Technical University. He was elected Vice-President of the National Academy of Sciences. Today he is the chief designer of automotive vehicles in Belarus and the head of the Joint Institute of Mechanical Engineering. He coordinates the activity of tens of the scientific establishments, design-engineering departments, automotive and tractor enterprises. The Belarusian Government accepted several development programs at instigation of the famous scientist and designer. Mikhail Vysotsky assists actively to their execution.

“It is difficult to overestimate the importance of the state support of the leading enterprises granted in the form of beneficial credits, target financing from the state budget”, the famous designer and scientist explains, “on the level of the Union State — I mean the development program of diesel automobile manufacturing, uniting almost twenty enterprises of Belarus and Russia. In many ways, owing to the joint efforts of scientists and manufacturers of both the states, we managed to master serial production of engines and vehicles of the ecological standard Euro-2 and then Euro-3. Now the works are being actively carried out for the purpose of reaching the level of Euro-4 and Euro-5”. Belarusian industrial enterprises and scientific organizations have worked out more than 100 basic models of automobiles and buses, tractors and combines, mine trucks, road-building machines and diesel engines for 10 years. State funds, used for this purpose, paid off many times. Mechanical-engineering production, made with the assistance of the state capital, is one of the main Belarusian export items.

The first Deputy Chief Architect of Moscow, a people`s architect of Russia and honored architect of Belarus, the academician of architecture Yuri Grigorjev was awarded the sonorous title of the honorary Minsk resident not only for the past services. Though, he has performed great services for 30 years of work in the sphere of town planning in Belarus, 13 years of which passed in office of the Chief Architect of the Belarusian capital.

“Minsk has been my life, my creation and my work over the best years’ period”, Yuri Pantelejmonovich says. “When I come to the Belarusian capital, I am always glad to see the succession of its development. I have always seen my main task in building this city for people — convenient, spacious, large-scale and at the same time functional, without exclamatory superfluity. Today Minsk is a real European capital with excellent redevelopment, clear, elegant, light. Many countries can envy it.

Working in Moscow, Yuri Grigorjev makes a lot to beautify the city of his youth. In particular, he is an art director of several large-scale architectural and building projects, which are planned to be implemented in Minsk at instigation of the Moscow mayor Yuri Luzhkov at the expense of Russian investments. For example, the construction of a residential area with a symbolic name Moskovskiy, designed for 50–60 thousand people, will soon begin at the west entry to the biggest Belarusian city. Four 25-storey “skyscrapers” of monolithic constructions in combination with smaller houses will become its architectural focus. This will be a comfortable living environment with necessary enterprises and institutions of household and social services, meeting rather high Moscow standards: there will be spacious entrance halls, comfortable lifts for the lodgers with limited physical capacity and big rooms. Even bigger residential area with houses of enhanced comfort will be built not far away, in a picturesque place lyrically called Lebiazhiy. Of course, we can’t but mention the object, which construction is being actively promoted in one of the most prestigious places of Minsk on the bank of the Svisloch river — the cultural and business center “The House of Moscow”. There will be everything necessary for the development of Belarusian-Russian relations in different spheres: a concert-hall and a business-center, a hotel and a cosy restaurant, and offices.

“Influence of the traditional Moscow architecture shall be looked through in the style of all those new constructions”, Yuri Grigorjev says. “In particular, “The House of Moscow” in Minsk will be a sign of the Russian capital and even in the picture it is associated with a famous monument of architecture, where the town-hall of the Russian capital is now situated — the House of Moscow Council on Tversakaya Street. The main thing for us is to get the scale of Minsk development, harmonious and human. I think that it will happen because it is impossible to tear one capital off the other. Famous Moscow and Leningrad architects — Parusnikov, Barsch and Langbard restored Minsk together with Belarusian specialists after the Second World War. Many Belarusian architects work in the Russian capital today.

The Nobel Prize laureate, the Russian physicist Zhores Alferov, the metropolitan of Minsk and Slutsk Filaret, the Patriarchal Exarch of Belarus, the multiple Olympic champion Elena Belova and other famous people, who also made a weighty contribution to the development of Belarusian-Russian relations, were earlier awarded the Title of the honorary Minsk residents.

Vladimir Bibikov
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