NEWS ARCHIVE: February 2005

February 25, 2005 BelaPAN Information Agency Hotels of Belovezhskaya Pushcha got three-stars

On February, 24 three hotels of the National Park "Belovezhskaya Pushcha", two of which are located in the administrative center and one - in the "Viskuly" residence, got three-stars.

Chairman of the State Committee on Standardization, Metrology and Certification Valery Koreshkov handed a certificate to confirm this status on Thursday, the administration of the main reserve of the country informed BelaPAN. Now the level of the tourism service is not less of hotels of West-European countries. Hotels got restaurants, saunas and tennis courts of the European style after the renovation conducted in the last year.

The serving staff improved its profession as the knowledge of one of foreign languages is an obligatory feature. It was noted for the certificate's investiture that hotels in Belovezhskaya Pushcha became the first among national parks in the country and the Brest region that received such the status. In all there are nine hotels with the similar rank category in Belarus now.

147 thousand tourists visited the National Park "Belovezhskaya Pushcha" in 2004, while 63 thousand visitors were in 2003. The majority of tourists came to Pushcha and the residence of the Belarusian Grandfather Frost (Santa Clause) for one-day excursion.
February 24, 2005 The website "TUT.BY" The structure of the Presidential Administration's Property Management Department is to be optimized in the near six months

The Property Management Department (PMD) of the President should get the complete organizational structure to become the harmonous and optimum regulated system in the near six months. This task was put by Alexander Lukashenko, leader of the state, during the introduction of the new head-manager of the President's Property Management Department Alexander Kulichkov on February, 23, the press-service of the Belarusian leader informed BelTA.

The PMD is a complicated versatile body nowadays. The maintenance of the president's activity is only a small part of its duty. In 90-s', the PMD has taken some unprofitable enterprises, which were unable independently to survive in the present economic situation, under control. In particular, these were enterprises dealing with art crafts and preservation of historical craft traditions of the Belarusians.

Later the PMD has taken the most important legacy of our country under protection - national parks and lakes. The President has noted that it has been the duly and right decision. Thanks to intervention of the state, there has been managed to introduce a proper order there.

BelTA Information Agency
February 22, 2005 The website "Charter'97" Lukashenko appoints Trade Minister Kulichkov as presidential property manager

Aleksandr Lukashenko on February 21 appointed Aleksandr Kulichkov as presidential property manager (head of the Presidential Affairs Management Department), relieving him of the post of trade minister, the Belarusian leader`s press office reported.

Mr. Kulichkov was born in the village of Berezuiki near Mstislavl, Mogilyov region, on October 9, 1945. He graduated from the Belarusian Technological Institute in 1967, the Industrial Manufacturing and Construction Faculty of the Belarusian State National Economy Institute in 1978, and the Social Sciences Academy under the Central Committee of the USSR Communist Party in 1988.

Mr. Kulichkov`s career has included service as general director of the Bobruiskdrev wood-working enterprise in Bobruisk, Mogilyov region, between 1981 and 1985; as deputy chairman and first deputy chairman of the Mogilyov Regional Executive Committee from 1985 through 1990; and as chairman of the Committee from 1994 through 1999.

He was a member of the Supreme Soviet (national legislature) between 1990 and 1995, where he headed the standing Committee on Industrial Development, Power Generation, Transportation, Communications and Information Technology. In the period between 1996 and 2000, he was a member of the National Assembly's upper chamber, the Council of the Republic, heading the Committee on Regional Policy.

In September 2000, Mr. Kulichkov was appointed as presidential aide for economic matters. He served in the post of trade minister since September 2001.

photo by ByMedia.net
February 21, 2005 The website "Charter'97" The head of the presidential administration's Property Management Department leaved his post

Alexander Lukashenko relieved Gennady Lavrenkov of the pos of the head of the Property Management Department of the President and appointed him as the President's Assistant, the main inspector on the Mogilyov region.

The first head Ivan Titenkov was in the rank of presidential property manager long of all. His dismissal "at own will" was unexpectedness for many people as he was one of the most staunch supporters of Lukashenko.

Vladimir Goncharenko who held a ministerial post earlier was the second head of the department, but he led not for long.

He was a member of the Supreme Soviet (national legislature) between 1990 and 1995, where he headed the standing Committee on Industrial Development, Power Generation, Transportation, Communications and Information Technology. In the period between 1996 and 2000, he was a member of the National Assembly's upper chamber, the Council of the Republic, heading the Committee on Regional Policy.

The third appointed head of the president's property department was Galina Zhuravkovu who, as it is known, ended her political career in the dock.

The fourth property's manager appointed by Lukashenko was Gennady Lavrenkov who headed inspection of the Ministry of Taxes and Duties in the Mogilyov region earlier. Lukashenko ordered him to burn out all dirty from this state body structure from top to bottom in the most rigid "red-hot iron" form.

The country's head was personally aware of Mr Lavrenkov when he worked in the Shklov district. The President declared that the "person of the president" as never before is appointed this post. But, as it is seen, Gennady Lavrenkov held the post less than one year.

The famous economist Jaroslav Romanchuk reminds that the President's Property Management Department is first of all the commercial structure that "demands insolent work, without any principles". Therefore Mr Lavrenkov, most likely, was not a person who was able to manage in this way and he was transferred to the post that actually means nothing of serious.

photo by ByMedia.net
February 21, 2005 The website "TUT.BY" The Belarusian Grandfather Frost receives letters even from Lapland

The letter from far Lapland, addressed to the main Belarusian Grandfather Frost, has been delivered recently to Belovezhskaya Pushcha, the owner of the estate personally said to the correspondent of BelTA. A Finnish boy asked to write him the answer and to send any memorable souvenir that was done with pleasure by the Grandfather Frost.

In all about 60 thousand letters from children were already delivered for year and two months since the Belarusian Grandfather Frost's residence opened a door. Many children sent their drawings and hand-made articles which are stored at the residence. Certainly, Belarusian children are the most senders of letters. However the collection of the Grandfather Frost has many letters from Russia, Moldova, Lithuania, Ukraine, France, Germany, Israel, Switzerland and other countries as well. All these letters are under attention of the Grandfather Frost and his assistants led by the Grandd aughter (Snow Maiden) to send reply.

BelTA Information Agency
February 19, 2005 "Narodnaya Volya" (The People's Will) Newspaper, No 33 Light decision

Vitalik "Actor" and his team from the music group "Without ticket" bring jock tricks to all their concerts. The future presentation of the album "The drawn" "will also have a "chip". Vitalik "Actor" asks everyone who will participate in his concert to take... small lamps to "light up" the Small hall of the National Palace!

By the way, recently Vitalik "Actor" received the answer from the Belarusian Grandfather Frost who has been gifting the album "The drawn" for New Year celebration. In his letter, the Grandfather Frost wishes to Vitalik the "good study and behavior, the love and respect for native land" and asks him "to record and send a list with the composed fairy tale, poem, composition or drawing". The near future will confirm whether this message from the Belarusian Grandfather Frost's residence will stimulate the composing new songs by the group "Without ticket".

Pavel SVERDLOV
February 18, 2005 "Byelorusskaya Delovaya Gazeta" (The Byelorussian business newspaper) Newspaper The whole issue of the newspaper "Russian America"' for Brest city

The editor of the newspaper "Russian America" Arcady Mar declared for journalists during his stay in Brest on February, 16 - 17 that he is going to devote the separate issue for this city.

Arcady Mar noted that foreigners, especially emigrants from the former USSR, often associate Belarus with the memorial complex "Brest fortress-hero" and the National Park "Belovezhskaya Pushcha". He was carried away by good maintenance of the memorial and by careful concern of Belarusians to a feat of people within the war and to a memory of dead defenders of Fatherland.

In Belovezhskaya Pushcha, the American visitor was very surprised the Grandfather Frost's residence. "I did not think that such the fine fairy tale believed even by adults can be created", he said. Arcady Mar also noted that the Park has good conditions to provide the ecotourism. "Many my American friends prefer to have ecological rest. I will advise him without fail to visit Belovezhskaya Pushcha", the editor of the newspaper "Russian America" emphasized.

BelTA Information Agency
February 15, 2005 Website News Service Church in Belovezhskaya Pushcha with a cupola already

click to enlarge
click to enlarge
On Friday of February 11, 2005, the major cupola was set up at the top of the Holy-George church constructing in the village of Kamenyuki, administrative centre of the National Park "Belovezhskaya Pushcha". The cupola weighing over six tones was lifted by a large crane, beforehand delivered to Belovezhskaya Pushcha.

The first attempt to lift the major cupola has been planned on February 5 but was unsuccessful because of unexpected malfunctions in an electric equipment of the crane, although this event has been combined with a solemn ceremony. The Belarusian TV was specially inviting for this purpose. Therefore the gathered villagers and local heads went away and postponed this ceremony. The next attempt to set up the cupola to its permanent place was successful, but there were no TV and official solemn ceremony.

The church's construction started in Belovezhskaya Pushcha in 1998 and turned to be lasted over many years. At the beginning the sponsors from Germany financed the building and there were plans to end it within a year. That was the promise for villagers given by the former head of the President's Property Management Department Ivan Titenkov and general director of the National Park Vasiliy Zhukov as the church was laid in building. But then the German party ceased to finance the construction for the unknown reasons while own means did not suffice. Therefore the church was under construction for long eight years. The pictures show the present church's view with the cupola set up at the top.
February 10, 2005 "Minskiy kurier" (The Minsk Courier) Newspaper, No 544 Church for Belovezhskaya Pushcha

The erection of the major cupola of Holy-George church building since 1998 in the village of Kamenyuki of the Kamenetz district is completed.

The wooden church has a stone seating. Its height including the cupola and cross will be 37 meters and the church will belong to the highest wooden orthodox temples of the country. The church parish comprises 1,200 people. Soldiers from near-by frontier guards and numerous tourists coming to the National Park "Belovezhskaya Pushcha" can also visit the church. The full ending the church's building is planed in autumn of 2005. The picture shows the major cupola.

BelTA Information Agency
February 09, 2005 "Narodnaya Volya" (The People's Will) Newspaper, No 25 The verdict is to four years in prison

 Galina Zhuravkova - click to enlarge
Yesterday a Belarusian Supreme Court pronounced verdict to the ex-chief of the Presidential Administration's Property Management Department Ms Galina Zhuravkova, queen of "petroleum, tobacco and sugar". She did not attend the court hearing.

The proceeding on Ms Zhuravkova and her accessories to a crime from the state enterprise "White Rus" started in October of the last year. One of the sounded criminal cases of the last years had big repercussions as a person close to the president turned out to be in the dock. The verdict announcement was postponed for about 20 days: in opinion of the experts, ambiguity and the "political factor" of the criminal case required additional advices.

Thus, the business of Galina Zhuravkova, "one of the most influential Belarusian women", put a full stop. Ms Zhuravkova was found guilty of embezzlement and misappropriation of over 3 million dollars through abuse of office. The ex-chief of the President's Property Management Department had to pay off half of this sum to leave the KGB isolator (special prison for detainees).

Galina Zhuravkova did not plead guilty during judicial sessions, moreover she rejected all depositions which she made soon after detention. Presenting the final speech in the court, Ms Zhuravkova emphasized her guilty only towards the President Lukashenko as she made staff misses. She said that her mistake was to employee people lacking in conscientiousness. Her barrister Oleg Dubovets is also convinced of the poor proof of Ms Zhuravkova's guilt. He repeatedly noted that his client should be acquitted by court. Nonetheless a state prosecutor required to four years in prison for Galina Zhuravkova and to five years for her accessories to a crime. The judge Irina Stupen announced a verdict: to four years in prison, forfeiture of her property and the barring from office leading posts for five years following her release.

Let's remind the husband and son of Ms Zhuravkova (Vladimir Zhuravkov and Vitaly Pahomov) are also convicted to three years in prison. The inquest did not find direct connections between criminal cases of the family's members. The husband of the ex-chief of the presidential property has been accused non-payment of the taxes while her son - illegal business activity, non-payment of the taxes and property losses.

Olga KLASKOVSKAYA

(All Belarusian national parks and the Berezinski Biosphere Reserve are under subordination of the Presidential Administration`s Property Management Department, so Ms Zhuravkova managed theses specially protected natural areas over three years before prison. In 2001 Ms Zhuravkova personally appointed Nickolai Bambiza the director of the National Park "Belovezhskaya Pushcha" who continue to manage this famous National Park up to now, note by the Initiative Group "BP - 21c")
February 08, 2005 The Website "Charter'97" Former presidential property manager gets four years in prison

A Belarusian Supreme Court panel on February 8 sentenced Galina Zhuravkova, former head of the Presidential Administration`s property management department, to four years in prison. The panel ordered the forfeiture of her property and barred the former property manager from office for five years following her release. Ms. Zhuravkova was found guilty of large-scale embezzlement through abuse of office under Part 4 of the Criminal Code's Article 210.

She did not attend the hearing because of an illness. Ms. Zhuravkova was not held in custody during the investigation as she had pledged not to leave the country and appear on summons.

Prosecutor Nikolai Korzun told reporters after the trial that he was satisfied with the verdict. Ms. Zhuravkova has repaid the allegedly misappropriated amount, $3,381 million, to Belaya Rus, a company run by the Presidential Administration`s property management department.

(All Belarusian national parks and the Berezinski Biosphere Reserve are under subordination of the Presidential Administration`s property management department, so Ms Zhuravkova managed theses specially protected natural areas over three years before prison. In 2001 Ms Zhuravkova personally appointed Nickolai Bambiza the director of the National Park "Belovezhskaya Pushcha" who continue to manage this famous National Park up to now, note by the Initiative Group "BP - 21c")
February 08, 2005 "Gomelskaya Pravda" (The Gomel Truth) newspaper The eagle from Gomel flies to Belovezhskaya Pushcha

A beautiful metal eagle to set up at a gate of Belovezhskaya Pushcha was made in the enterprise "Centrolit" from Gomel. The eagle will be delivered to the customer in some days. This is not the only make for Belovezhskaya Pushcha. Since the current year a metal-cast art production of the sum of over 20 millions Roubles was already delivered there, while the enterprise gets new orders.

S. DOROZHNY
February 04, 2005 "Minskiy kurier" (The Minsk Courier) Newspaper, No 245 Two-head eagles in Belovezhskaya Pushcha

Very soon the tourists will get the opportunity, by visiting Belovezhskaya Pushcha, to go in a carriage on the famous imperial road which is under intention to be restored.

To match the imperial style, the road of the width of three meters that leads to the castle located in the Polish side of Pushcha will be decorated with twenty old Russian two-head eagle arms which were available in the imperial times. The enterprise "Centrolit" from Gomel, disposing of all necessary equipment and technology of the art moulding, took the order to make the very accurate copies of imperial arms of the half-metre dimension. All twenty arms are almost ready to be delivered soon in Belovezhskaya Pushcha. In the picture - a sample of the two-head eagle arms made in "Centrolit" for Belovezhskaya Pushcha.