NEWS ARCHIVE: OCTOBER 2009

October 26, 2009 Website "BelTA" Belarusian national parks to advertise recreation opportunities at Tourbusiness 2009

The Belarusian national parks Narochansky, Braslav Lakes, Belovezhskaya Pushcha, Pripyatsky as well as the Berezino biosphere reserve, the national Alpine skiing center Silichi will represent their recreation opportunities at the expo Tourbusiness 2009, BelTA learned from representatives of the Belarus President Property Management Directorate..

The 16th international expo Tourbusiness 2009 will open Belarus’ winter tourism season at the national expo center BelExpo (27 Yanka Kupala Street) of the Belarus President Property Management Directorate on 28-31 October..

The event is supposed to gather representatives of the largest travel agencies of Belarus and other countries. According to provisional data, over 100 exhibitors from 12 countries are supposed to partake in the event..

The booth of the Belarus President Property Management Directorate will be located on the first floor, advertising recreation opportunities, fishing and hunting tours in the most picturesque parts of the country..

Belarus’ largest travel agency Belintourist will inform about its business areas and present new tourism products. For instance, the expo will highlight recreation opportunities of the Dudinka City located in a picturesque forest 80 km from Minsk. Apart from that, Belarusian hotel business will be widely represented during the expo..

The international expo Tourbusiness 2009 is organized by the national expo center BelExpo, the Belarus President Property Management Directorate and the Sports and Tourism Ministry.
October 27, 2009 Website "Belarusian Regional News" An exhibition swvoted to the 600th anniversary of Belovezhskaya Pushcha (Photo)

In the Art Museum of the city of Brest a few tens of pictures by Slawomir and Miraslaw Rybakow from Polish Semyatychav, and some Belarusian authors, particularly from Brest, are exhibited.

This year 600 is since Belovezhskaya Pushcha was given the reserved status. Some pictures, for example, by the artist Sergei Kazak from Brest, illustrate a certain features of this status. Due to this, locals were limited in using "gifts of nature" while governors always used Belovezhskaya Pushcha for hunting amusements. Sine times of the Middle Ages princes and kings hunted there in the winter, then Russian tsars, then in the New Age there were soviet leaders, for example, Nikita Khrushchev and Leonid Brezhnev.

The ordinary citizen even today can get a big fine for a bag of honey fungus mushroomed close by the zoo enclosures with bison. At the same time hunting turned to a new form – foreigners are allowed to shoot selected or exceeded in number bison, deer and wild boar if to pay currency.

No one of the painters proposed to exhibit a picture with the farther Bulak-Balakhovich who is closely connected with Pushcha. General Balakhovich during the war actions of the 1920-s declared himself a commander of the army of the Belarusian state. From the beginning he led a half-partisan movement against Bolsheviks in Belovezhskaya Pushcha and its surroundings, and then, after the war, he places a part of his army in a timber cutting jobs.

The exhibition in Brest was organized thanks to the initiative by the farther abs son of Rybakov. Slawomir Rybak give two his pictures as a gift to the Art Museum.

The exhibition will be open on Octobere 28.

Slawamir Rybak. In the Pushcha's surroundings

Slawamir Rybak. A palace of a Grodno governor

Miroslaw Rybak. A Pushcha's village

Sergei Kazak. Hunting of the Prince Witowt and the King Yagailo

Nikolai Maewsky. Belovezhskaya Pushcha

Ivan Rudchik. Belovezhskaya Pushcha

Petr Vasilevskiy
October 21, 2009 Website "Belteleradiocompany" Video: Young oaks planted to mark the border of Belarus, Lithuania and Poland

The oaks were brought from Belovezhskaya Pushcha Forest and are going to symbolize good neighborhood and partnership between 3 countries. The intergovernmental agreement on the junction point of the borders was adopted in Vilnius in September. The frontier authorities of Belarus and the European Union are going to enhance the agreement during their meeting at border check point Nervelishkes.

(Saulus Stripeika, frontier guard commander of the Lithuanian Ministry of Interior)
(Igor Rachkovsky, Chair of the State Frontier Committee of Belarus)

(The video-reportage can be watched by downloading the file from here, in Russian)
October 17, 2009 Website "BelTA" An exhibition of children's pictures "I Devote to You, Belovezhskaya Pushcha" will be held in Minsk

One will get possible to plunge into the primordial nature of Belovezhskaya Pushcha and to pass in its reserved places in the National Center of Children and Youth's Art Creativity in Minsk. The National exhibition of children's creativity "I Devote to You, Belovezhskaya Pushcha" dated for the 600th anniversary of the establishing of the reserved status will be opened on October 20, BelTA correspondent learned from organizers of the exhibition.

A National contest of children's pictures preceded the exhibition. About 600 works from 120 educational establishments representing all regions of the country have been submitted for the judges. The exposition includes 250 best picturesque and graphic works, and 115 arts and craft works on the theme "Bison is a Pride of Belovezhskaya Pushcha".

According to organizers of the contest, the purpose of this action is to support the activity of studios and circles of graphic, arts and crafts' creativity which are promoting the creative and cultural development of children and youth on the basis of national traditions. Carrying out of similar creative competitions also aims for the development of young talents, feelings of patriotism by children and the careful attitude to the environment, and raising the interest of pupils to the Belarusian history and sights.

The Ministry of Education of Belarus, the National Center of Children and Youth's Art Creativity with the assistance of the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment Protection have acted as organizers of the exhibition and the contest.
October 17, 2009 Website "Naviny.by" An exhibition devoted to Belovezhskaya Pushcha open in Brest

On October 7, an exhibition "Belovezhskaya Pushcha Without Borders" has been opened in the Brest Art Museum. The exposition is devoted to the 600th anniversary of the establishing of the reserve status in Belovezhskaya Pushcha, Valentina Semenyuk, researcher of the museum, said in the opening day, according to BelaPAN.

35 paintings are shown at the exhibition. They are oil paintings of seven Brest artists from the funds of the museum - by Nikolai Maevskiy, Vasily Sobolevskiy, Nikolai Ovchinnikov, Ivan Rudchik, Sergei Kozak, Feodor Doroshevich, Michael Tolmachev, and the picture of the Polish artist Slawomir Rybak. All of them are devoted to the nature of Belovezhskaya Pushcha in various seasons. Rybak presented its beauty from the Polish area and the Brest artists from the Belarusian one.

As it was said in the opening day, the idea to realize the project was born in the spring of this year when Rybak has come to Brest in the Art Museum and has shown photos of his works.

"This exhibition has shown that Belovezhskaya Pushcha is a perennial source of inspiration both for the Polish and Belarus artists. After I familiarized with the works of the Brest colleagues, I now dream to participate in an open-air painting in the Belarusian Bialowieza land", Slawomir Rybak said in the interview to BelaPAN. He mentioned that this is the 44th exhibition in his creative biography and the first in Belarus.

Rybak presented two pictures to the museum at the exposition's opening ceremony. One was painted by him while the second by his son.

The exhibition "Belovezhskaya Pushcha Without Borders" will open till October, 28.
October 07, 2009 Website"The Second National TV Channel (ONT)" Video: Development of a belt around Belovezhskaya Pushcha to begin from a transport infrastructure

An agro-house at a small farmstead is situated on the edge of Belovezhskaya Pushcha. A forest, river and other charms of the untouched nature are nearby. This house can accommodate about five married couples. The competition in the next villages is not big so the owner sometimes should even refuse the wishing to have a rest on the clean air.

Clients are increased in number during three years since Alexander Ivanovich works. As to the area of Belovezhskaya Pushcha, there are hotels in the administrative center at the entrance to the Reserve. In other vicinities the situation is waiting for the best. Small hotels for 30 - 50 beds pay off faster. A Brest tour agency plans to realize a similar project at the White Lake. The conditions are now under close investigations by German investors who at the same time look at business prospects in Belovezhskaya Pushcha too.

A lot of means have been invested to the 600th anniversary of establishing of the reserve status that to transform the Reserve. For example, about 22 billion Roubles (~ $ 7 million) have been allocated for accomplishment of the Kamenyuki village. The President personally estimated the result. He ordered to make all the perimeter of Belovezhskaya Pushcha in the future like today in the center is. Within the Reserve only walks on foot and on bicycles will be allowed, so the appropriate infrastructure should be created.

The belt around Pushcha will begin from the frontier crossing "Peschatka" and will pass around the Reserve. The private capital already starts its movement there. A recreation department extends and a private filling station works close to the border. Businessmen hope that the flow of cars and the activities will increase in the future. These sites will become a tourist paradise in a few years. Parking, camp-sites, accommodations, other infrastructure and the most important – good-quality roads will appear there. Expectations aim not only on tourists but also on foreign investors.

(The video-reportage can be watched by downloading the file from here, in Russian)
October 05, 2009 Website "Mobile Telesystems " MTS to provide a grandiose celebration of the 600th anniversary of Belovezhskaya Pushcha with communications

On October 3, 2009, Belovezhskaya Pushcha celebrated the 600th anniversary. In opinion of scientists, 1409 is the date to count the beginning of the establishing of the reserve status.

The MTS operator provided this grandiose action with communications. The scale of the event and the high status of visitors intended corresponding requirements to the quality of communications.

The company "Mobile Telesystems" applied for the first time a non-standard technical decision consisting in the use of repeaters without the radio-relay equipment that allowed providing the qualitative communication in such area difficult for distribution of radio-waves as Belovezhskaya Pushcha is.
October 05, 2009 Website "BelTA" Belarus is Europe’s first in number of natural reserves, Alexander Lukashenko says

Belarus should preserve the grandeur of the Belovezhskaya Pushcha, its primeval charm, President of Belarus Alexander Lukashenko said during the holiday marking the 600th anniversary of the Belovezhskaya Pushcha national park on 3 October, BelTA learnt from the presidential press service.

The Belarusian leader took part in the celebrations of the jubilee.

The President was briefed on the progress of the implementation of his instructions on the environment-related activity in the Belovezhskaya Pushcha national park, its economic and social development, creation of conditions attractive for tourists.

A set of measures has been recently taken to develop the national park. Its territory has been expanded and considerable investments have been injected in the development of the tourist infrastructure. There has been opened the Belarusian Father Frost’s residence and built an administrative and ecological center with a museum of nature, upgraded hotels and constructed new ones. Yet a lot is to be done in the natural park in the future. Nature protection, tourism and ecological education should be the major goals here, the President said.

The head of state attended an opening ceremony of an administrative and ecological center with a museum of nature.

"The 600th anniversary of Belovezhskaya Pushcha is a remarkable date both for Belarus and Europe. The park is an unsurpassed natural specimen, our national pride. The state does in utmost to keep it at the same high level," the President wrote in the Book of Honorary Guests of the administrative and ecological center.

Alexander Lukashenko has ordered to give the land around Belovezhskaya Pushcha to investors. "No one will build anything inside the park. But it is possible and, moreover, lucrative to construct the necessary infrastructure around Belovezhskaya Pushcha," the head of state stressed.

The President believes Belovezhskaya Pushcha to be the real unique territory. "We should do everything possible to conserve this primeval forest. This place is the real uniqueness," he said.

According to the president, it is imperative for Belarus to preserve the park’s grandeur, its primeval charm. In no circumstances the activity should harm this natural reserve.

Belovezhskaya Pushcha is one of Belarus’ national symbols, the country’s visiting card, its greatest property and pride. "Belovezhskaya Pushcha is Europe’s last greatest forest, a unique natural example which is called by many as one of the wonders of the world. The forest has preserved its primitive grandeur, the greatest variety of flora and fauna," the President noted.

The Belarusian leader underscored that all natural reserves of Belarus serve the people. "One should not forget that natural parks and reserves are developed today not for hunting or other entertainment of high-ranked officials. All large and important natural objects are under permanent governmental protection," the President said.

Belarus takes pride not in the Belovezhskaya Pushcha natural park alone. All regions of the country have unique natural objects: the Narochansky and Pripyatsky natural parks, Braslav Lakes, the Berezinskiy biosphere reserve, the Naloboksky and Srednya Pripyat reserves, others. All in all, there are nearly 1,500 protected territories covering almost 2 million hectares. It is over 8% of the country’s total area. "Belarus is Europe’s first in the number of natural reserves and parks," the President stressed.

According to him, the state will continue supporting and developing the country’s natural objects. Alexander Lukashenko stated that 5% of the fund of nature protection would be put in the conservation of the Belarusian reserves and construction of necessary infrastructure.

The President is confident that the celebration of the 600th anniversary of Belovezhskaya Pushcha at the international level will promote the popularity of this primeval forest and the whole range of the Belarusian reserves, help unite the efforts for preserving and increasing the number of the country’s environmental assets.
October 04, 2009 Website "Priorbank"
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NBB launches commemorative coin "Belovezhskaya Pushcha"

The National Bank of Belarus (NBB) on Thursday puts into circulation new silver and copper-nickel commemorative coins "Belovezhskaya Pushcha. 600th Anniversary of the Reserve", the central bank said in a statement.

The bank had 8,000 silver "proof" "Belovezhskaya Pushcha. 600th Anniversary of the Reserve" coins with the nominal value of 20 Belarusian rubles (Br) minted for it in Kazakhstan.

A 20-ruble silver coin is 38.61 millimeters in diameter and contains 33.63 grams of 925 silver.

A copper-nickel coin is 32 millimeters in diameter with the nominal value of 1 Belarusian ruble. The NBB had 5,000 "proof-like" coins of the kind minted for it.

The head of all coins pictures a raised impression of Belarus’ State Emblem, an image of the cut tree trunk and its roots in the form of human bodies. lines. In the lower part is the standard of alloy (for silver coins) and mint year, and inscriptions 20 RUBLES (in Russian) for silver coins and 1 RUBLE (in Russian) for copper-nickel coins.

The tail of the coin pictures an embossed image of trees with entangled branches. In the center, there is an image of a bird, and encircling the bird are an aurochs, elk, boar, and deer, and the inscription BELOVEZHSKAYA PUSHCHA. 600TH ANNIVERSARY OF THE RESERVE (in Russian).

The coins are a legal tender of Belarus for all debts, public and private without restriction.
October 04, 2009 BP-21 Website News Service Photo-report: Opening of St. George’s Church in Kamenyuki, October 1, 2009

(You can read about the history of the church here here and about the first service there, here).

The festive opening of St. George’s Church in the village of Kamenyuki, Kamenets District, Brest Oblast was held on October 1, 2009.
The construction of the church began in 1998. In was initially financed from the funds of German sponsors and later, by the parishioners and the management of the Belovezhskaya Pushcha National Park. A long eleven years had passed by the time the church was finally opened.
The thirty-seven-meter wooden Orthodox Christian church stands on a hill in the middle of the village near the road that leads to the main entrance to the park. The church’s wooden iconostasis was made by local carvers.

Service began at 8:30 PM with the participation of Ioann, the bishop of Brest and Kobrin. The dean of St. George’s Church is Archpriest Ioann.

The shots below show preparations for the festivities completed. Locals and pilgrims are gathering to attend the service. The road was paved with flowers to welcome Bishop Ioann.

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(See more pictures (178 in all) and read more at the separate page here)
October 04, 2009 Website "Belteleradiocompany" Video: The President stated during the festive performance: "Pushcha should be even better than it is and we should do our best to achieve this purpose"

The Belovezhskaya Pushcha National Park turns 600. The last great wood of Europe is called one of the world miracles. And as the President said, Belarus should keep primeval charm of the Belovezhskaya Pushcha.

Evgeny Pustovoi, the correspondent tells: Celebrations take place on the Tsar's Field in the pushcha. The titled persons liked to have a rest on this field. That's why it is called Tsar's field. Now it is opened for all comers.

(Uran Avirmet, the guest from Mongolia (sings a song "The Belovezhskaya Pushcha")

People talk about The Belovezhskaya Pushcha all over the world and Herodotus "the father of history" wrote about it in the fifth century B.C. This relic wood, a generous gift of the Earth, was spread across all Europe, but is preserved only here in Belarus.

(Alexander Lukashenko, the President of the Republic of Belarus: "No one is allowed to hunt here, I never came here with a gun and I won't allow anyone to poach here".)

There is not only nature protection activity in the territory in 153 thousand hectares but also agricultural and tourist. However, the tourist branch brings only the fifth part from aggregate profits of National Park yet. But real positive shifts are seen. New tourist routes are being developed. In the future the Pushcha should become tourist mecca not only in Europe but also in the whole world.

(Alexander Lukashenko, the President of the Republic of Belarus: "There will be a circle race around the Pushcha where everyone may come to roll, to bike; everyone will go for health into the Pushcha".)

(The video-reportage can be watched by downloading the file from here, in Russian)
October 03, 2009 Website "Belarusian News" Lukashenko says about a big contribution of Belarus to maintain the ecological safety of Europe

The President of Belarus Alexander Lukashenko has declared the significant contribution of the country to maintain the ecological safety of Europe and have noted that foreign partners not always estimate it at the true worth.

"Unfortunately, not all our foreign partners understand and estimate at the true worth the contribution of modern Belarus to maintain the ecological safety of the mankind, and that intense work and huge expenses on maintenance of the order in the protected natural territories," the head of the Belarusian state has said during his speech on Saturday at the holiday devoted to the 600th anniversary tof he establishing of the reserve status in Belovezhskaya Pushcha.

According to the President, "one should not forget that natural parks, biosphere reserves and reserves are developed today not for hunting or other entertainment of high-ranked officials as it happened during the different historical periods". "For all years of my presidency I never permitted myself to enter the Belovezhskaya Pushcha's forest with a gun. And I demand the same from all officials," Lukashenko have declared. "I emphasize once again that the protected areas in Belarus serve and should serve people, their present and future", the President has said.

The head of state has noted that all in all, Belarus has nearly 1,500 protected territories covering almost 2 million hectares that makes more than 8 % of territory of the country". "Perhaps, there is no such the country in Europe where the share of natural reserved areas would be so significant. Belarus confidently takes the keeps leadership in this regard," Lukashenko has declared.

He has admitted that the economy has to pay a rather pretty cost for elimination of such big territories from the active economic circulation and for their maintenance under protected status". "But we follow this way because we don't live for one day and we care of originality and natural riches of the native land. We take into account interests not only people and the future generation of Belarus but also all European region," the President of Belarus has noted.

In this connection Lukashenko stated that today he made a decision that "5% of the fund of nature protection would be put in the development of necessary infrastructure for protected areas".

Lukashenko has told, that "Belovezhskaya Pushcha covered with legends is a last Great forest in Europe and a surprising nature monument which many call one of the world wonders". "But if one can only admire any wonder of the world, so here in Belovezhskaya Pushcha this wonder of the world can be used for the welfare of the people and their health," Lukashenko has said.

According to him, "there were rather many forests once in Europe, such as Belovezhskaya Pushcha, appearing without help of humans. But they have been cut down and gradually disappeared from the Earth surface and from historical maps. In contrast, we have preserved Belovezhskaya Pushcha, in many respects due to the fact that rather early, already in the beginning of the XV century, it got a status of state possession and a basis of nature protection began to be formed," Lukashenko has noted.

The Belarusian President has reminded that during the centuries-old history Lithuanian princes, Polish kings and then Russian tsars owned Belovezhskaya Pushcha. The tsars even took it in 1888 as a private property.

The President of Belarus has especially underlined that for today Pushcha has all highest nature protection titles. In particular, Lukashenko has specified that Belovezhskaya Pushcha was the first on the territory of the former USSR to be included into a List of World Natural Heritage Sites of Mankind by a UNESCO's decision.

Interfax.by
October 03, 2009 Website "The official internet-portal of the President of the Republic of Belarus" Photo: Celebrations to Mark the 600th Anniversary of the Reserve Status of Belovezhskaya Pushcha

Alexander Lukashenko tours a nature museum

Alexander Lukashenko signs guest book at the nature museum

Alexander Lukashenko delivers his remarks on the 600th anniversary of the reserve status of Belovezhskaya Pushcha

Alexander Lukashenko delivers his remarks on the 600th anniversary of the reserve status of Belovezhskaya Pushcha

Alexander Lukashenko

Alexander Lukashenko attends the concert marking the 600th anniversary of the reserve status of Belovezhskaya Pushcha

Alexander Lukashenko cancels a block of postage stamps dedicated to the celebration of the 600th anniversary of the establishing of the reserve status in Belovezhskaya Pushcha

October 03, 2009 Website "The Capital TV (CTV)" The President of Belarus: Belovezhskaya Pushcha is our relic

Celebrations on the occasion of the 600th anniversary of Belovezhskaya Pushcha were held on the Tsar Glade.

A whole city of national crafts was developed on it. Thousands of people who came here could not only take pleasure but also join skilled Belarusian craftsmen. The holiday has turned out really international. Thousands of visitors from various countries of the world have arrived in Belovezhskaya Pushcha.
Variety actors from all corners of the planet have also arrived in the most ancient European forest and have brought congratulations.
Among them there were the founders of an original song-hymn of Belovezhskaya Pushcha - Alexandra Pahmutova and Nikolai Dobronravov.

"Belovezhskaya Pushcha is for us the continuation of our love to Belarus, the endless love, for ever," Alexandra Pahmutova has emphasized.
Of course, today Belovezhskaya Pushcha is one of the basic Belarusian brands. In the 90th the National Park "Belovezhskaya Pushcha" has been extended over two times more. It has been restored by a presidential decree in its historical borders. This doubling was done not only due to joining of protected areas but also of agricultural ones.

By the way, it is paradoxical but meanwhile the National Park gets 80 % of its income from agricultural and other kinds of activities, not from tourism. However, the state recently allocates significant means for the tourist sphere. So the level of services gradually comes here nearer to the world standards.

"Yet a lot is to be done for development of the National Park in the near future. Nature protection, environmental researches, tourism and ecological education should be the major goals here. When doing it, we have to mean that the main thing for us is to preserve the grandeur of Belovezhskaya Pushcha and its primeval charm," Alexander Lukashenko has said.
"All economic activities should be done for the welfare of Belovezhskaya Pushcha, not to the prejudice. We have to do everything that to get Belovezhskaya Pushcha further in compliance with those high titles given and that every meeting with it would please and fill souls with good and love to the country and to its nice nature which particle is carefully protected in this ancient and unique forest. It is our relic. Each Belarusian as many as once in his life should visit Belovezhskaya Pushcha," the President has emphasized.

As regards to the position of protected areas, the territory of Belarus confidently takes the leadership in Europe. All in all, there are nearly 1,500 protected territories covering almost 2 million hectares. That is somewhere 1/10 part of the country. With their protection we take into account not only our interests but also the ones of the whole European region. It is therefore not casual that the biggest protected natural areas are under control of the Administration of Affairs of the President.

"If it is differently, the grounds could be simply plundered and destroyed as it occurred in many regions of the former Soviet Union after its collapse. We had to demolish whole villages," Alexander Lukashenko has noted. "Someone from as far as more than Moscow came and on the sly built villages and palaces in Belovezhskaya Pushcha. All of them have been immediately removed and demolished. No one will build anything inside Belovezhskaya Pushcha. But around the perimeter we will restore about 250 kilometers of a ring-belt road and outside of Pushcha we will give grounds in preferential terms for creation of the infrastructure.
By the way, the President has today announced a decision on which 5 % of the fund of nature protection will be put in the development of the Belarusian reserves and creation of workplaces in the sphere of the Belarusian tourism.

"This land is really unique and one should get the health here. One should come here to inhale a draught of this air. But it is necessary to pay for all, to pay a little, but that it would be sufficed on the maintenance of the infrastructure which we will create in Belovezhskaya Pushcha," Alexander Lukashenko has said. "Belovezhskaya Pushcha should be not simply a relic in words but we must make it better than it is now".

After the presidential speech all congratulations from lips of actors sounded from the main stage of the Tsar Glade. Creative collectives of the most different descriptions have prepared their performances for the notable anniversary of the most ancient European forest.
The concert was finished with the symbolical performance of a song of all times and nations - "Belovezhskaya Pushcha", under accompaniment of its authors.
A ceremony of special memorable cancel of a block of postage stamps by the jubilee was one more symbolical detail of the celebration of the 600th anniversary of the Reserve "Belovezhskaya Pushcha". Alexander Lukashenko has personally put a seal and a presidential signature on so-called envelopes of the first day.

(The video-reportage can be watched by downloading the file from here, in Russian)
October 03, 2009 Website "The Capital TV (CTV)" Belovezhskaya Pushcha celebrates the 600th anniversary

This occasioned for celebrations in the national reserve. The President has also taken part in them.

Alexander Lukashenko has reminded that Belarus should preserve the grandeur of Belovezhskaya Pushcha while hotels and restaurants are necessary nearby the National Park that tourists would go there.

140,000 people have visited Belovezhskaya Pushcha for 8 months of this year along. But that's only the beginning, local specialists say. Now, after reconstruction of the infrastructure, it is expected that the flow of tourists will be growing. A big restaurant ("the namesake" of Belovezhskaya Pushcha as to be called) has replaced a former Museum of Nature and a former administrative building has been reconstructed into a hotel. It is, by the way, already the fourth hotel in the National Park, moreover, with a bar and a swim pool.

All, especially employees, were waiting for Alexander Lukashenko in the National Park. In fact they can compare with that in the past. They remember from the early ninetieth of the last century that one began to build cottages in the relic forest, others just to buy up valuable plots and the third to take out a timber. It was doing so until the National Park was handed over governing to the Property Management Department of the President. Belovezhskaya Pushcha has had a hard time in that period actually to rescue it then from the destruction.

A lot has been made in the National Park for the last years. But nobody still cancelled the strategy for rescue. Alexander Lukashenko has noted at once that Belovezhskaya Pushcha is not a place for technical progress. No any automobile rallies. Bicycles, electro mobiles and foots are the best means of transportation within the nature protection zone. At the same time the President has charged that it is necessary to create an original "gold ring" of Belovezhskaya Pushcha but out of the borders of the protected area. Roads, camping-sites and other infrastructure will be good there.

Points are necessary to define sites for settlements in the Grodno and Brest regions and to sell lands to investors or to rent them. Let them build hotels, camping-sites, pleasure resorts and develop villages. The infrastructure should be created there, Alexander Lukashenko has said.

The President took today an interest in other infrastructure too, not those serving tourists but the main inhabitants of the forest - animals.

There was the special talk about the employees of the National Park. In fact the nearby village of Kamenyuki which serves the legal address of the National Park has also seriously been changed for the last year. 22 billion Roubles (over $ 7 million) have been spent for creation of the conditions for villagers who are mostly the employees of the National Park. And a photo-album has even been made from photos of the village.

Conditions are the most important for tourists. More sites for meal service and more work for spiritual food are necessity. So, today a new Museum of Nature was open in the National Park.

The size is 1.500 square meters instead of 750 in the old museum. The museum has grown not only in the size but also in the context. Two halls are ready only for today. But they are also amazing with the modernity. In fact it is actually an imitation of the primeval forest. It is true because everything is as real as the President even has begun to doubt – are stuffed animals not the living ones?

In general the theme of conservation of animals in Belovezhskaya Pushcha will always be topical. The President has also focused on it. Because this territory has been used as a favourite place for hunting of tsars and princes for a long time, many species of animals have simply vanished from it. For example, aurochs is one of them. But Alexander Lukashenko was promised that all possible populations like, for example, bears will be restored or like elks will be increased in number.

The theme concerning the history was the basic at the survey of the new museum by the President. All have recollected how forester Shpakovich has killed the last bison in Belovezhskaya Pushcha in 1919. In fact today their population in our territory of the strictly reserved zone totals already 364 animals. The laborious work is felt in all. In fact Belovezhskaya Pushcha was actually gathered from peaces during the last decade, including the core area which Catherine the Great once generously gave out. Finally, now we have come back to the territorial beginnings.

Alexander Lukashenko walked in the museum for a long time. The President has examined an exhibition of photos on the ground floor. They show the most beautiful views of Belovezhskaya Pushcha. Alexander Lukashenko was pleasant as much as he even charged several photographers in trying to repeat the work of colleagues.

Leaving the museum, the President has presented a gift for it, it means a new exhibit. That's a special coin devoted to the 600th anniversary of the establishing of the reserve status in Belovezhskaya Pushcha. As it was found out, the head of the National Bank presented it to the President but he decided to over-present it to the museum as a token of remembrance. Alexander Lukashenko has also left a record in the honour guests' book of the museum in memory of this day. The President has once again reminded in it that even UNESCO has included the today's anniversary into a list of official memorable dates of the present.
(The video-reportage can be watched by downloading the file from here, in Russian)
October 03, 2009 Website "Belteleradiocompany" Video: Alexander Lukashenko has taken part in solemn celebrations of an anniversary of Belovezhskaya Pushcha

Then the President has visited the Tsar Glade of Belovezhskaya Pushcha. Alexander Lukashenko has pointed to that Pushcha by right belongs to those objects which value is difficult for overestimating. We have to do everything that to get Belovezhskaya Pushcha further in compliance with its high titles.

Olga Long tells (video).
(Franz Ung, the visitor, Germany)
(Anna Bandazhevska, the visitor, Poland)
(Edminas Bagdonas, the Plenipotentiary Ambassador of the Lithuanian Republic in Belarus)
(Alexander Lukashenko, the President of Belarus)
(Remigius Vilkaitis, Minister of Culture of the Lithuanian Republic)

(The video-reportage can be watched by downloading the file from here, in Russian)
October 03, 2009 Website "The Second National TV Channel (ONT)" Video: Belovezhskaya Pushcha celebrates a good round figure

Now it is one of the most picturesque natural corners of Europe which besides is popular for tourists. Belovezhskaya Pushcha annually serves about 300 thousand visitors. The President has taken part in celebrations on the occasion of the anniversary. However, in the beginning Alexander Lukashenko has visited a new infrastructure built on the territory of the National Park.

The unique natural reserve covers over 150 thousand hectares. By the way, the shortest Belarusian winter is in this area. Although the middle age of trees in the Reserve is about 100 years, there are long-livers which today also celebrate the 600th anniversary. The local fauna consists of over 10 thousand species. There is no doubt that bison is a tsar of animals there. A population of these animals, after their annihilation in the nature, has been restored in Belovezhskaya Pushcha. And today they are more than 300 in number, the biggest herd not only in Europe but also in the world. However, that to see all variety of the nature of Belovezhskaya Pushcha, it is not necessary to investigate it up and down. All information can be found out in an ecological center as a new modern building have been constructed by the anniversary, and today the head of state has opened it.

It is necessary to note that the modern condition of Belovezhskaya Pushcha is in many respects a personal merit of the President. Thanks to his assignment, non-authorized cuttings down of the forest and building of elite private residences in the unique territories have been stopped. After the acquaintance with a museum exposition, Alexander Lukashenko has undersigned for the honour guests' book. The head of the National Park Peter Prokopovich has presented to the President the first coin specially made to celebration of the 600th anniversary of Belovezhskaya Pushcha.

In the long term a social and ecological belt will be created around Pushcha. This is also the initiative of the president. Hotels, restaurants and camping infrastructure will make a paradise for tourists if in one word. All of these will appear already in the near future. Lukashenko has charged more actively to involve the investors there. Projects will be paid back quickly as only last year almost 300 thousand tourists visited Belovezhskaya Pushcha. However, the infrastructure is under continual development here.

All roads in Belovezhskaya Pushcha somehow or other led to the village of Kamenyuki. The population of the settlement is less than 1.5 thousand. Almost all local residents work in the strictly protected zone and in general they are the main keepers here. People are also under care by the anniversary. A gas line will be made soon here. New roads and houses have been already built, and certainly hotels which are today in deficit. The Tsar Glade is the central arena for the celebration. A true "City of Masters" was developed in front of a stage. One could not only buy souvenirs there but also become the master of national crafts. Foreigners were the most of all interested persons to try it.

The celebration of the jubilee of Pushcha, one of the titled reserves of Europe, will be finished with a gala concert. Not less titled stars of the Belarusian and foreign variety performers will act for the visitors. And a finale fireworks, perhaps, unexampled for all six-century history of Belovezhskaya Pushcha, will culminate the holiday.

(The video-reportage can be watched by downloading the file from here, in Russian)
October 03, 2009 Website "Belteleradiocompany" Video: Belarus should should preserve the grandeur of Belovezhskaya Pushcha and its primeval charm

President of Belarus Alexander Lukashenko said during the holiday marking the 600th anniversary of the reserve.

In these minutes the head of state visits the natural reserve in the framework of his business trip in the Brest region. Visitors from Russia, Ukraine, Latvia, Lithuania and Poland have arrived to congratulate the reserved land on the significant date.

Our correspondent Evgeniy Pustovoy is now in Belovezhskaya Pushcha (by phone).

(The video-reportage can be watched by downloading the file from here, in Russian)
October 03, 2009 Website "Belteleradiocompany" Video: Belovezhskaya Pushcha celebrates its jubilee

Today the biggest Biosphere Reserve in Europe terns 600. During its history Belovezhskaya Pushcha was in possession of Poland, Lithuania, Russia and Germany. At the same time, the basic contribution to preservation of unique natural riches of Belovezhskaya Pushcha was made during the independence of Belarus. Visitors from Russia, Ukraine, Latvia, Lithuania and Poland - all in all about 5,000 persons - will arrive to congratulate the reserved land on the significant date. Alexandra Pakhmutova and Nikolai Dobronravov - the authors of a recognized song-hymn about Belovezhskaya Pushcha – will be among the guests.

(The video-reportage can be watched by downloading the file from here, in Russian)
October 03, 2009 Wensite "BelTA" Belarus should preserve the primeval charm of Belovezhskaya Pushcha, Alexander Lukashenko says

Belarus should preserve the grandeur of the Belovezhskaya Pushcha, its primeval charm. President of Belarus Alexander Lukashenko said it during the holiday marking the 600th anniversary of the establishing of the reserve status in Belovezhskaya Pushcha, BelTA correspondent reports.

The head of state also paid attention that all economic activities should be done for the welfare of Belovezhskaya Pushcha, not to the prejudice.

"We have to do everything that to get Belovezhskaya Pushcha further in compliance with those high titles it has," Alexander Lukashenko noted. "This is our sanctuary".

The president emphasized that the protected areas in Belarus served and should serve people, their present and future. "One should not forget that national parks, biosphere reserves and reserves are developed not for hunting or other entertainment of high-ranked officials as it happened during the different historical periods," the Belarusian leader said. "For all years of my presidency I never permitted myself to enter the forest with a gun. And I demand the same from you." All large and important natural objects are under governmental protection.

Belovezhskaya Pushcha is one of the national symbols of Belarus, its visit card and a greatest legacy and pride of people. "Belovezhskaya Pushcha covered with legends is a last great forest of Europe and a surprising nature monument which many call one of the world wonders. And it is true! It is more than the wonder of the world. The primeval majestic world which is the most unique of its biological diversity and the amount of rare species of flora and fauna has been kept here up to now," the President noted. In his opinion, the uniqueness of this area can alsobe used for the health of the people.

Tatiana Polezhai
October 03, 2009 Website "BelTA" 5% of the fund of nature protection will be put in the conservation of the Belarusian reserves and construction of necessary infrastructure

5% of the fund of nature protection will be put in the conservation of the Belarusian reserves and construction of necessary infrastructure. These means will start to be invested since January 1, 2010. It was declared by the President of Belarus Alexander Lukashenko today during the holiday devoted to the 600th anniversary of the establishing of the strict reserve status in Belovezhskaya Pushcha, BelTA correspondent reports.

"I hope, you as zealous owners will use them for good," the head of state sayd.

Belarus takes pride not in Belovezhskaya Pushcha alone. All regions of the country have unique natural objects: the Narochansky, Pripyatsky and Braslav Lakes natural parks, the Berezinskiy Biosphere Reserve, the Naloboksky and Srednya Pripyat reserves, and others. All in all, there are nearly 1,500 protected territories covering almost 2 million hectares

The head of the state is confident that the celebration of the 600th anniversary of the establishment of reservation in Belovezhskaya Pushcha at the international level will promote the popularity of this primeval forest and the whole range of the Belarusian protected areas, help unite the efforts for preserving and increasing the number of the country’s environmental riches.

As to Belovezhskaya Pushcha, it, in Alexander Lukashenko's opinion, by right belongs to those objects which value is difficult for overestimating. "It is truly a treasure not only for the native but also for the world nature," he said. It is therefore no wonder that for today Belovezhskaya Pushcha has all highest nature protection titles. In 1992 UNESCO put it into a List of World Cultural and Natural Heritage Sites. In 1993 Belovezhskaya Pushcha got a biosphere reserve's status, and at the end of 1997 the Council of Europe awarded it with a European Diploma as an etalon of nature protection establishment.

The popularity of Belovezhskaya Pushcha is constantly growing and its role in development and realization of the world strategy of wildlife management is raised. In this regard the State Program of development of especially protected natural territories for 2008 to 2014 accepted in Belarus has great value. Recently a number of measures on development of the National Park "Belovezhskaya Pushcha" have been accepted. Its territory has been expanded and considerable investments have been injected in the development of the tourist infrastructure. There has been opened the Belarusian Father Frost’s residence and built an administrative and ecological center with a museum of nature, upgraded hotels and constructed a new one. Yet a lot is to be done in the natural park in the near future. Nature protection, environmental researches, tourism and ecological education should be the major goals here, the President said.

Tatiana Polezhai
October 03, 2009 Website "BelTA" Lukashenko considers that the contribution of Belarus to maintain ecological safety is underestimated

The head of state Alexander Lukashenko considers that the contribution of modern Belarus to maintain the ecological safety of the mankind is underestimated. He has expressed such the opinion today during the holiday devoted to the 600th anniversary of the establishing of the strict reserve status in Belovezhskaya Pushcha, BelTA correspondent reports.

"Unfortunately, not all our foreign partners understand and estimate at the true worth the contribution of modern Belarus to maintain the ecological safety of the mankind, and that intense work and huge expenses on maintenance of the order in the protected natural territories," the President sayd.

All in all, there are nearly 1,500 protected territories in Belarus covering almost 2 million hectares. It is over 8% of the country’s total area. "Perhaps, there is no such state in Europe where the position of natural protected areas would be so significant. Belarus is Europe’s first in this regard," the head of state noted.

He said that the economy has to pay a rather pretty cost for elimination of such big territories from the active economic circulation and for their maintenance under protected status. "But we follow this way because we don't live for one day and we care of originality and natural riches of the native land, we take into account interests not only people and the future generation of Belarus but also all European region," the President emphasized. "In fact Belarusian wild forests and woodlands, lakes and rivers influence in the most salutary way on the climate of the planet and by right are considered the lungs of Europe," Alexander Lukashenko added.

Tatiana Polezhai
October 03, 2009 Wensite "BelTA" President Lukashenko will take part in the celebration of the 600th anniversary of Belovezhskaya Pushcha

The President of Belarus Alexander Lukashenko will today take part in celebrations devoted to the 600th anniversary since establishment of the strict reservation status in Belovezhskaya Pushcha, BelTA learned about it from the press-service of the head of state.

It is planned that Alexander Lukashenko will examine the administrative and ecological center with the Museum of Nature, will visit the concert devoted to the anniversary and will familiarize with the exhibition of national crafts on the Tsar Glade in Belovezhskaya Pushcha.

Settlement and development of the territory of the future National Park began after it became clear from the Poozerie Glaciation. During ancient times all space from the Baltic Sea to the Bug River was the tundra and tundra-steppe. In the spring this space turned to a huge water reservoir. The high area of the watershed of Neman, Bug and Pripyat rivers was not flooded only. In the course of time, a big land of the primeval forest was generated there. Animals from all surrounding migrated to these flood-free sites to wait through the adverse period there. Later hunting of Lithuanian grand dukes, Polish kings and Russian emperors were organized on continuing basis there.

In 1992 UNESCO inscribed Belovezhskaya Pushcha on a List of World Cultural and Natural Heritage Sites. In 1993 it got a biosphere reserve's status. Today Belovezhskaya Pushcha is a unique nature and landscape woodland with over 2,000 species of plants, 54 species of mammals, 253 species of birds, 7 species of reptiles and 11 species amphibious living there. Many of them are listed in a Red Data Book of Belarus.

Tatiana Polezhai
October 02, 2009 "Respublika" (The Republic) newspaper, No 185 600 years are not the age

The Brest land will welcome over 2,000 people this Saturday. Exactly so many visitors from Poland, Russia, Ukraine, Lithuania, Latvia, Germany, Great Britain and other countries will visit the Belarusian treasure - Belovezhskaya Pushcha, which celebrates the 600th anniversary in these days.

An extensive program expects for participants of the festival, among those are high visitors from ministries and departments of various countries, and Alexandra Pakhmutova and Nikolai Dobronravov - the authors of a song-hymn about Belovezhskaya Pushcha. The program includes a celebratory trade fair, concerts and excursions across the National Park. "We will show Belovezhskaya Pushcha to our visitors in all its magnificence", the deputy director of the National Park "Belovezhskaya Pushcha" Vasiliy Arnolbik has told. "We, of course, will show changes which recently took place here and had the cost of over 100 billions Roubles (~ over $ 30 millions)".

An administrative and ecological building with a Museum of Nature which, Vasiliy Arnolbik asserts, has no analogues by our neighbours is among novelties. The advantage is not only in a very complete selection of information about the history and biodiversity of Belovezhskaya Pushcha but also in the use of the most advanced technologies.

The changes in Belovezhskaya Pushcha also touched the local infrastructure. Vasiliy Arnolbik has told that a new restaurant for 200 sits will be open by the anniversary. Works on restoration of a hotel for 120 beds in the village of Kamenyuki also approach the end. "We are doing all that any tourist with any demands could find the rest here", Vasiliy Arnolbik says. "Someone wants to live in comfortable apartments - welcome; someone wants to be closer to the nature that to wake up being among birds' pipes – there is such the opportunity too. We also offer the variety in prices for tourists. For example, prices in the Kamenyuki village will be much lower that to make the rest accessible to children and youth".

Valeriy Kharchenko
October 01, 2009 Website "Tourism and Rest" 280 thousand tourists visited the National Park "Belovezhskaya Pushcha" last year

On the threshold of the jubilee a hotel for 40 people has been opened on the Park's territory and a restaurant complex located in the Reserve has completely been reconstructed. "Today the infrastructure of Belovezhskaya Pushcha allow simultaneously to accommodate about 250 people and to make them a full set of services", Alexander Romanovsky, Deputy Head of the Belarusian Administration of Affairs of the President, said.

Big works on accomplishment in the National park have also touched the adjacent territories. In particular, the view of the village of Kamenyuki has completely been changed and motor roads have been put in order.

In Alexander Romanovsky's opinion, the result of works done has to increase a flow of tourists and those "wishing to touch natural and historical riches of the Reserve".

A hotel in the village of Kamenyuki designed for the young public should attract more tourists. The Park's management plan to construct an ethnographic village. "We already have a hut of the XVI century heated by a chimneyless stove", Nikolai Bambiza, general director of the Nature Protection Establishment "National Park "Belovezhskaya Pushcha"", informed about the idea. "We hope once to recreate former court yard within the territory of the today's park".

Besides, according to Nikolai Bambiza, the Polish Ministry of Protection of Environment will assist the Belarusian party in all kinds for the purpose to increase the flow of foreign tourists who can use a simplified border crossing.

Tatiana Chudak
October 01, 2009 Website "Virtual Brest" On October 3, the celebration of the 600th anniversary of the establishing of the reserve status in Belovezhskaya Pushcha will be held. The holiday's program

"The Guest Glade" (828 compartment of Belovezhskaya Pushcha) will be the place of the celebratory festival devoted to the 600th anniversary of the establishing of the reserve status in Belovezhskaya Pushcha. Ones who wish to take part in the holiday will be delivered to the place by buses of the National park which will be departed from 8.00 p.m. from the bus station of the Kamenyuki village and from the Park's central entrance.

The holiday's program:

10.00 - 18.00 – A trade fair of art products, an exhibition of national crafts and a performance of creative collectives

12.00 – A solemn opening of the celebratory festival

14.00 - Acquaintance with Belovezhskaya Pushcha for the visitors and participants of the solemn festival

14.00 - 16.00 – A friendship concert "We celebrate together" with participation of the G.Tsitovich's National Academic Chorus, the Dance State Ensemble of Belarus and collectives from Poland, Russia and Lithuania

18.00 – A gala concert devoted to the 600th anniversary of the establishing of the reserve status in Belovezhskaya Pushcha

21.00 – A celebratory fireworks.

The organizers of the holiday invite all who are wishing to visit Belovezhskaya Pushcha and to take part in the anniversary celebrations.

T.Gagakova, head of the Department on Relationships with Mass-media of the Central Ideological Management at the Brest Regional Executive Committee
October 01, 2009 Website "Photobelta.by" Photo-news: The Reserve Belovezhskaya Pushcha to celebrate 600

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Tourists at a tsar-oak in the National Park "Belovezhskaya Pushcha"

Photo by BelTA
October 01, 2009 Website "Photobelta.by" Photo-news: The Reserve Belovezhskaya Pushcha to celebrate 600

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Photo by BelTA
October 01, 2009 Website "The Second National TV Channel (ONT)" Video: Belovezhskaya Pushcha to prepare for the 600th anniversary of the establishing of the reserve status - a new temple to consecrate

A new temple has been consecrated in the administrative center of the Belarusian part of Belovezhskaya Pushcha, in the village of Kamenyuki.

The Saint-George temple was under construction in the village of Kamenyuki during more than 10 years. Before to be complete, believers had to go by a bus to attend divine service in the next churches for tens of kilometers. Today the new church has opened its door for parishioners for the first time.

The church is situated close to the border of Belovezhskaya Pushcha. The management of the National Park contributed a great share to financing the building of the temple. All from outside and inside follows a style of Belovezhskaya Pushcha. Beam has been used for the church's construction and all elements of the inside from a floor up to a ceiling are wooden. A woodcutter from the town of Kamenets has made an iconoscope, while a local she-craftsman has painted icons.

Archpriest John, senior priest of the Saint-George temple of the village of Kamenyuki: "As to parishioners, I can say as the following - the temple is also designed for visiting by tourists. That's for the schedule to be open every day and the tourists, before they are visiting the Reserve, could go here and then go in Belovezhskaya Pushcha".

The Saint-George temple has got a local sight as early as before opening. It is situated close to a road to the main gate of the National Park and pays attention to itself for everyone going by. Besides, churches in the form of an equal cross have not been built in Belarus before. Now amateurs of nature and visitors of Father Frost will have an opportunity to pray in the ecologically clean church.

The new temple is small as regards to the area it covers but is impressive with the size - 37 meters high from the ground up to the cross and 6.5 tons for the dome by weight. The church is visible from different directions in the village and will be a perfect ornament not only for Kamenyuki but also for Belovezhskaya Pushcha. Except for May 6 - a Victorious George Day, the day of the 1st October will also be a temple's holiday in the life of the church as the day of consecration of the temple.

(See the video-reportage by downloading the file from here, in Russian)
October 01, 2009 BP-21 Website News Service Photo-report: The First-ever Evening Service in St. George’s Church in Kamenyuki

(You can read about the history of the church here)

The first-ever evening service in the newly-built Saint George's Church in the village of Kamenyuki was scheduled for 5 PM on September 30, 2009. Local inhabitants started assembling near the church at the announced time…

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(September 30, 2009)
… However, the carpenters had not finished their work by the time the service was to begin, so the parishioners had to wait for some time and help with cleaning up of the church.

The shots below show carpenters and parishioners at work (1 and 2) and the dean of the church, archpriest Ioann issuing his final directions (3).

(See more pictures (36 in all) and read more at the separate page here)