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Worthy of remembrance

Top achievements of Belarus in 2012
Space is ours!
Belarus has finally become a space power. On July 22nd, at 9:41am Minsk time, Baikonur cosmodrome in Kazakhstan saw the launch of a Belarusian satellite. This allows coverage of the territory of Belarus from space, freeing us from reliance on the purchase of such data from other states. Meanwhile, Oleg Novitsky, of Cherven in the Minsk Region, has joined the crew at the International Space Station, making him the third Belarusian in space.

Statute of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania returned
The Third Statute of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania, dating from 1588, has been bought from a private collector in Moscow, allowing it to take its place at Mogilev’s History Museum. It is the first copy of the Statute to be held in Belarus and required a sum of $45,000 for its purchase — collected through donations and sponsorship. The Statute was a great achievement of European law in its day.

Slutsk’s Local History Museum is raising money to buy some original Slutsk belts from a Belarusian collector while a belt has been donated to Nesvizh Castle (woven in Slutsk style by a workshop near Warsaw).

Go, BATE! Go, Vika!
Since winning the Australian Open Tennis Championship, Victoria Azarenka has taken number one seed ranking. This year, she also reached the semi-finals of Wimbledon and the final of the USA Open, as well as claiming singles bronze at the Olympic Games in London and mixed doubles gold with Maxim Mirny. 

Football club BATE, having previously reached the Champions League finals, for the first time claimed two victories at the group stage, beating French Lille and Munich Bavaria (both 3:1). BATE took third place and reached the 1/16 of the Europa League: the best achievement of the Belarusian football club to date.

By train with the wind
Three new Minsk metro stations opened in south-west Minsk this autumn, with another station to launch next year. Further plans include a Moscow metro line crossing the entire city — from one side of the ring road to the other.

New urban and regional rail lines have opened, offering business class seats, while modern Swiss Stadler trains have been introduced by Belarusian Railways, to improve speed and comfort. By 2016, a factory is to open in the Dzerzhinsk District, making passenger urban electric transport.

Our people — in Cannes
Sergei Loznitsa, of Baranovichi, attended the Cannes Film Festival to present In the Fog — based on Vasil Bykov’s story. It is the second film Mr. Loznitsa has taken to Cannes and won the International Federation of Film Critics FIPRESCI prize. Shot in Latvia, the film shows a Belarusian village during occupation in 1942. Mr. Bykov’s permission was sought to use his story, involving some time for consultations. In the Fog also received a number of major prizes at film forums — such as the Grand Prix: ‘The Gold of Listapad’ in Minsk, where it was acclaimed for its innovative approach.
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