Formerly part of the Soviet Union, out of all the ex-Soviet countries Belarus is the one that retained the USSR's character most. I flew in from Kiev to Minsk. I had travel insurance which the deeply officious immigration officers insisted on seeing. They said my insurance wasn't "worldwide", even though the word "worldwide" was clearly written in big bold letters. They wanted me to buy their local insurance. I tried to argue, then they simply said "come on, it's only 5 euros".



The capital Minsk was almost completely destroyed in World War II. It was rebuilt by the Communists after the war. As such, swathes of Soviet style buildings and monuments make up a large portion of the city. Culturaly Belarus is extremely similar to Russia. English is very rarely spoken, with Russian being predominant.



Brest is a city in southwest Belarus near the Polish border. The Brest Hero Fortress is a celebrated site of Soviet resistance during WWII. Photos courtesy of Vasha, a good friend.