NEWS ARCHIVE: DECEMBER 2012

December 24, 2012 Website "Capital TV (CTV)" Video: Belarusian Father Frost in Belovezhskaya Pushcha served the first passengers of a train with holiday carriages


Photo. Belarusian Father Frost in Belovezhskaya Pushcha served the first passengers of a train with holiday carriages.

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The truly "sold out" is in these festive days in Belovezhskaya Pushcha. Thousands of visitors from around the world travel to the National Park. The Belarusian Father Frost's Estate served the first tourists who get by rail. Three festive carriages in the passenger trains will run from Minsk to Brest until 12 January.

This project lasts already for four years. Tourists from Minsk to Brest are getting on the train to meet the Pushcha's magician. Passengers' request was excepted - second-class sleeping carriages were replaces into compartment cars.

Eugene Zubovich, specialist of the tourist center:
The tour is popular. Last year testified about this as we were able to bring in about two thousand people.

Tourists feel the festive atmosphere already in the train - snowflakes, miniature Christmas trees in every compartment and Christmas tinsel. Conductors also changed the traditional form to a Snow Maiden suit, as was said in the news program "24 Hours" on CTV.

Victoria Rinkevich, the conductor:
It is nice to know that you give some joy to the children. It is because they feel the pre-holiday mood. They are smiling, rejoicing and waiting for some miracles.

Small Alexandra went in the unusual car the whole night to visit the Pushcha's sorcerer. The girl is visiting the Belarusian Father Frost for the first time. She says she got into a fairy tale. The dad confirms.

Vitaliy Sheshko, tourist (Russia):
I and my daughter came from St. Petersburg to look at your Santa Claus. It's very cool here. I really liked it and my daughter too.

Santa Claus and Show Maiden just have time to greet guests and receive mails. Although the temperature is below zero, the wizards feel hot.

Father Frost:
Today we have received several hundred letters straight from the hands of children and adults. We have not been able to see them because cannot even leave the porch.

Visit of the Father Frost's estate is part of the tour in the Reserve. Guests are treated to pancakes and fragrant tea from Pushcha herbs and are getting to know the flora and fauna of the relict forest. And one can walk along the enclosures with wild animals for hours.

Tourist:
We came from Moscow to stay for a while. Visiting friends we learned about Belovezhskaya Pushcha, which is famous for its forests and the estate of Santa Claus. So we decided to come for many kilometers by train and to be here before the New Year.

Tatiana Zaitseva, a leading specialist of the tourism department of the National Park "Belovezhskaya Pushcha":
Over three thousand people attend the residence of Santa Claus these days. But the biggest influx is expected in the New Year and Christmas holidays. Up to 10 thousand people will be taken tomorrow and the day after.

Over 800,000 visitors from around the world came the residence of Belarusian Father Frost for nine years. This means that people, regardless of age or nationality, sincerely believe in fairy tales and miracles.

(Video can be watched at youtube on the page of the original, in Russian)
December 20, 2012 Website "Belarus Birds' Life" The issues of the hydrological regime of Belovezhskaya Pushcha back on the agenda

Belovezhskaya Pushcha is the only large remnant of lowland primeval forests previously growing in the whole of Europe and preserved in a relatively natural state. At different periods of its existence, the forest ecosystems have been affected by various anthropogenic factors; consistent draining its wetland and forest ecosystems is one of the most significant. The seminar on restoring the hydrologic regime of the past in Belovezhskaya Pushcha has been held in the National Park within the project "Small Streams - a Big Impact" on December 14, 2012. The results of an inventory of small and ephemeral streams of the historic part of the National Park "Belovezhskaya Pushcha", performed by the scientific department of the National Park, have been presented during the seminar.

Deputy Director General for Research Vasily Arnolbik pointed out in his speech at the seminar that the actions to restore the hydrological regime are one of the priority goals of the National Park's Management Plan.

More than 30 small streams were the objects for the inventory. Most of them are man-made and its origination goes from the period of the State Protected Hunting Game Ground which covered the area of Belovezhskaya Pushcha between early 1960 and late 1980. At this time swamps in Pushcha have actively been drained to create forage meadows and channels for land reclamation have been dug within the forest to improve the productivity of the woodlands.

The participants of the seminar noted that these activities, together with the large-scale drainage of the big wetland areas within and around Belovezhskaya Pushcha, led to a weakening of the wood stands of the National Park stands and reduced their resistance. As a result, mass drying spruce and ash forests are observed in recent years in the National Park.

During the lively discussion, the participants of the seminar discussed the arguments on the possibility concerning the restoration activities on the artificially created small and seasonal streams, and the draft working plan for the next stages to do this. Directions for cooperation on major aspects of optimization of the hydrological regime in Belovezhskaya Pushcha have been developed.

BBL's information

The Project "Small Streams - a Big Impact. The program for the maintenance of the water regime in Belovezhskaya Pushcha is implemented by NGO "Belarus Birds' Life" together with the National Park "Belovezhskaya Pushcha" and is funded by Coca-cola. The Project aims to improve the hydrological regime of some damaged ecosystems of Belovezhskaya Pushcha through the implementation of activities in small and temporary (seasonal) streams and small rivers. The gradual increase of stability and the stabilization of the natural processes within the forest ecosystems, and improving the environment are also goals of the Project.
December 19, 2012 Website "BelTA" Belarusian Railway Company opens the New Year tourist route to Belovezhskaya Pushcha

The Belarusian Railway Company opens Dec. 21 the New Year's travel route to the estate of Santa Claus in Belovezhskaya Pushcha, as BelTA learned from the press service of the Belarusian Railways.

Each wishing can go to a meeting with Santa Claus from December 21 to 29 in 2012 and for 2013 from January 1 to 6, and 11 and 12. Holiday cars will be added to the passenger trains.

Tourist follow to Brest by train, and then to Belovezhskaya Pushcha by a comfortable bus. Visitors will spend a day in the National Park. Tickets for the New Year's route are not for sale in the train ticket office. To book the trip is in the office in the tourist center "Dortur." Guided tours are offered for both individual tourists and groups.

The program of the New Year tour consists of acquaintance with the wonders of the National Park "Belovezhskaya Pushcha", visiting the residence of Santa Claus and Museum of Nature, which provides a rich exposition of flora and fauna. Visitors also can stroll along the enclosures with the wild animals - the dwellers of the nature reserve biggest in Belarus and oldest in Europe.

Tourists will see the house of Snow Maiden, a magic well, a museum of presents and a windmill. They will get a trip to a 40-meter Christmas tree, one of the highest in Europe.
December 19, 2012 Website "The National Park "Belovezhskaya Pushcha"" To protect forest beauties

As time of the New Year's holidays becomes closer, more and more cases of illegal felling of spruce and pine occur. The experience of the past shows that such violations in the National Park are infrequent, largely thanks to the good work of forest guard. Currently, special posts on the roads around Belovezhskaya Pushcha in conjunction with internal affairs agencies are set to check the documents for the right of obtaining spruce or pine trees, to avoid unauthorized felling and poaching.
December 14, 2012 Website "The National Park "Belovezhskaya Pushcha"" In the Father Frost's estate

The estate of Belarusian Father Frost in Belovezhskaya Pushcha started a new form of customer service in the New Year's Eve. After the arrival of Snow Maiden, tour guides dressed in costumes of snowflakes. Each "snowflake" now tells to visitors about a particular object of the Estate. "Stepdaughter" with a basket of "snowdrops" meets visitors next to the Twelve Months' glade, of their encounters and also can tell another tale or story. Mother Winter invites to join a cheerful dance at a festive Christmas tree. Funny "forest dwellers" - squirrel, bear and rabbit - help her sing and dance in a ring.
December 12, 12.2012 Website "Second National Channel (ONT)" Video: Protected bison become pests - wild animals chosen winter crops in collective farms. What to do?

Spree! Bison chosen farm field near Belovezhskaya Pushcha with winter crops. Villagers regularly see wild animals there, but cannot find yet justice against them.

Deputy Chairman of the collective farm "Agroniva" Vladimir Ogievich learned animal habits on duty. His fields are adjacent to the National Park. Bison got into the field to eat winter crops.

Vladimir Ogievich, Deputy Chairman of the farm "Agroniva" (Kamenets district): "Today at 9:00, we are going and looking at bison on rape. I drove it away. Now 16:00 - again all bison are in place. They are not afraid of anything. I am driving up very close, but they are not afraid."

The final amount of damage can only be evaluated in the spring. But now dug greens and traces are all over the field - bison, wild boar and even wary roa deer have seemingly chosen the collective farms' fields to stay.

Scientists call a lack of young deciduous forest floor (it is the basic food for animals) as one reason for the bison hikes outside the Forest. To keep the animals inside the Reserve, new fertilizing plots are constantly built there, and the fields within the forest with winter rape so beloved by bison are sown.

To lure bison, fodder beet is scattered in feeding sites and corn silage is delivered on the edge of the forest. But it cannot so easily break the habit adapted over the years.

Alexei Bunevich, mammalogy researcher of the scientific department of the National Park "Belovezhskaya Pushcha": "There are some herds that have the tradition to come out. They follow their migratory routes. They go to another part of the forest and meet any field - of course, they'll stop there for some time."

According to estimates of biologists, the optimum size of the bison herd is 250 to 300 animals, but now Belovezhskaya Pushcha takes home for about 470 ones. The cost of keeping such the big herd is not small. It is despite the fact that there are five hundred bison in seven nature protection sanctuaries across the country. Farmers also suffer from them.

Vasily Arnolbik, deputy director for science of the National Park "Belovezhskaya Pushcha": "This is species listed in a Red Data Book. Its sale, including replenishing zoos and creating new populations outside of our country is quite a complex issue. Ukraine, the Russian Federation and Kazakhstan are interested in it. This is a complex issue, and it must be solved at the governmental, legislative levels."

Under current rules, only bison from the reserved gene poll fund due to their age or disease can be sold. But zoos and nature protection sanctuaries do not need in such animals. That is why farmers have to guard their future crop and to expel bison from their fields several times a day.

(Video can be viewed by downloading the file from http://ont.by/webroot/delivery/files/video/news/2012/12/12_12/zubr.flv, in Russian)
December 11, 2012 "Vecherniy Brest" (The Evening Brest) newspaper Hunters at odds with security

On December 8, an accident occurred during the licensed hunting in the National Park "Belovezhskaya Pushcha". 13 people from Minsk and Minsk region arrived to hunt wild boar there. One of the hunters shot the boar during the collective hunting. But one of buckshot ricocheted off a tree and hit the other guy. The victim was shot in the leg and was hospitalized in Pruzhany district hospital. The Pruzhany district police office investigate this fact.

By Antonina Hokimova
December 10, 2012 Website "Agronews.by" Video: There will be new bison population in Belarus as reported from the Ministry of Nature Protection

For producing a healthy population of bison, Belarusian scientists will develop a plan for their resettlement.

"Labeling all captured bison, identification of their habitats and transfer of these places under protection of land users are provided," the Agency "Interfax-West" learned on Monday from the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment Protection. "To carry out genetic analyzes, samples of viscera of the animals will be given to the National Academy of Sciences of Belarus."

As the Agency reported earlier by citing the National Academy of Sciences of Belarus, "in the early 1990s, Belarusian scientists and environmentalists have sounded the alarm - bison in Belovezhskaya Pushcha got various hereditary diseases caused by family contacts during the breeding season."

According to scientists, genetic researches are the second part of a state program aimed at preserving the population of bison in the country. The first part, aimed at increasing the number of bison in Belarus, was successful. For instance, the number of Belarusian bison population increased 2.5 times in recent years and now totals more than 670 animals. Belarus takes currently the 2nd place in the world, ahead of Germany. Poland takes first regarding the number of bison.

By Olga Pavlushenko
December 08, 2012 Website "BezFormata" 1991. An agreement on dissolution of the USSR and the creation of the CIS was sighed in Belovezhskaya Pushcha

On December 8, 1991, in Viskuli near Brest (Belarus), the President of the RSFSR Boris Yeltsin, President of Ukraine Leonid Kravchuk and the Chairman of the Supreme Soviet of Belarus Stanislav Shushkevich signed the Agreement on the dissolution of the Soviet Union and establishing the Commonwealth of Independent States.

The document stated that the Soviet Union ceased to exist as a subject of international law and a geopolitical reality. However, the parties agreed on the formation of the Commonwealth of Independent States, as based on the historical community of people, links between them, the bilateral agreements, the desire for a democratic rule of law and the intention of developing their relations on the basis of mutual recognition and respect for state sovereignty.

On December 10, the Agreement was ratified by the Supreme Soviet of Belarus and Ukraine, and on December 12, by the Supreme Soviet of Russia.

On December 13, in Ashgabat (Turkmenistan), the meeting of presidents of five Central Asian countries that were part of the Soviet Union - Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan, was held.

Its outcome was a statement in which the countries agreed to enter into the organization of the CIS while ensuring the equal participation of the subjects of the former Union and the recognition of all the CIS states as founders.

Source: On-LineTula.Ru
December 08, 2012 Website "BelTeleRadioCompany" Video: Exactly 21 years ago an agreement that ended a long and loud story of the largest country in the world was signed in Belovezhskaya Pushcha

Just a couple of decades ago, it was hard to imagine that one day, Belarus, the Baltic States, Russia and Ukraine will cease to be one big economy and will be simply economic partners and even competitors. But it happened. Exactly 21 years ago, an agreement that ended a long and loud story of the largest country in the world was signed in Belovezhskaya Pushcha. Some were glad this freedom, while others began to build literally "on the ruins of the Soviet Union" a serious and authoritative international organization - the Commonwealth of Independent States. So, in fact, the day of the death of one of history became the birthday of another.

Vadim Shcheglov says: "This date is important. Exactly 21 years ago, on December 8, an agreement that ended a long and loud story of the largest country in the world was signed in Belovezhskaya Pushcha. Many people still regret that the Soviet Union, the Soviets, the unified and powerful sixth part of the global land, was divided by borders into individual countries. Some historians ask skeptical questions to the past, but are unlikely to get any answers. But the countries that did not want to lose years of experience in economic and cultural interaction created, as sometimes it is said, "on the ruins of the Soviet Union" a serious and authoritative international organization - the Commonwealth of Independent States. This union has more than two decades of successful experience. That's personnel news that one has ever seen. ...

(Video can be viewed by downloading the file from http://www.tvr.by/lib/news.video?id=79433, in Russian)

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(The news is placed in the short-cut form, the BP-21 Century editor's note)
December 07, 2012 Website "The National Park "Belovezhskaya Pushcha"" Conference on cross-border cooperation

A delegation consisting of Director General Alexandr Bury, Deputy Director General for Researches Vasiliy Arnolbik and senior fellow Dmitry Bernatskiy visited Germany. One purpose of the visit was to participate in the international conference "Trans-boundary Protected Natural Areas in Europe", which took place from 27 to 29 November in Schwedt (Brandenburg). It was attended by managers of specially protected areas, representatives of European environmental organizations and biosphere reserves. The key topic of the conference was to discuss the achievements and prospects of cross-border cooperation in the environmental field, including researches and the practical application of the results. The delegation of our National Park submitted a report on the Belarusian-Polish trans-boundary conservation area "Belovezhskaya Pushcha".

Then, in the framework of an agreement between the National Park "Belovezhskaya Pushcha", NP "Lower Oder Valley"(Germany), the Bialowieza NP and the Regional Directorate of the Environment in Szczecin (Poland), a workshop on current issues in cross-border cooperation of protected natural areas, which brought together representatives of relevant institutions was held. The meeting discussed the plans for the organization and operation of "Summer Academy" - the international practical training of students. The first international group of students from the three countries will be trained in Poland in 2013. In addition, issues of further cooperation and joint activities for the development and implementation of cross-border environmental projects have been discussed.


December 04, 2012 Website "Telegraph" It will be easier to kill bison in Belarus

Council of Ministers of Belarus, through its decree No 1073 of November 23, changed the rules of protection and management of bison. In particular, it expanded the criteria that allow shooting bison listed in a Red Data Book and put in the reserved gene pool group.

From now, bison are on the list of the reserved gene pool group as the following. First, they are those which are in winter in the farms and silage clamps and show at the same time aggression toward humans and domestic animals. Second, they are males and females showing aggression towards their relatives, except for males - the winners in tournament matches fighting for females in the rut period. Third, they are calves born between October and December.

Books for bison from the reserved gene pool group are kept by holders of the bison micro-populations according to the list defined by the Ministry of Nature Protection. Bison, before being entered in books of the reserved gene pool group, belong to the main gene pool group.

As Telegraph reported earlier, in 2011, a German tourist spent 450 thousand Euros in the Belovezhskaya Pushcha within three days. The German visited Belovezhskaya Pushcha to hunt bison. The Deputy Minister of Sports and Tourism of Belarus Cheslav Shulga told that such high costs from the tourist are connected with hunting bison.
December 04, 2012 Website "Naviny.by" Aggressive bison are allowed for shooting to solve the problem of overpopulation in micro-populations

The Ministry of Nature Protection commented on expanding the list of criteria that allow shooting bison in Belarus. As head of the Department of Biological and Landscape Diversity at the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environmental Protection Natalia Minchenko said to BelaPAN, the enactment of the Council of Ministers of 23 November (No 1073) aims at solving the problem of overpopulation of bison micro-populations.

According to Minchenko, Belarus is now ranked second in the world in the number of bison, Poland is first. Over a thousand bison live now in Belarus. Some national parks, and above all Belovezhskaya Pushcha, are initiators of the expansion of criteria which allowed shooting of these rare animals. They do it based on the existing problems - bison aggressiveness towards their beast relatives and people. So, the National Park's staff says about a "sufficiently big" overpopulation of bison, as well as about deaths of these animals.

Mrs. Minchenko noted that the decision to shoot each animal of bison is provided through the special commission, which members are from the Ministry of Natural Resources and the National Academy of Sciences.

Mrs. Minchenko said that the decree also stipulates the possibility to catch bison from the habitat, keep in enclosures and then sell or trade abroad "for the purpose of settlement." Applications for getting bison from Belarus today come from Ukraine, Moldova and Russia.

According to the expert, "the pressure to the bison micro-populations is also supposed to reduce" by their moving all over the country. A scheme of settlement of animals will be created.
December 04, 2012 Website "Telegraph" Belarusian children are increasingly asking Santa Claus iPhones and aypedy

Time is running out before the winter holidays, which are perhaps the most striking moments in the life of a child. So, looking forward to their approach, the Telegraph correspondent decided to find out what Belarusian children want from symbols of the New Year - Belarusian Father Frost and Santa's Lapland.

So, we learned from the estate of Belarusian Father Frost in Belovezhskaya Pushcha that most children ask for a variety of toys: Lego, dolls (Barbie were asked earlier, while Bratz are today), as well as skiing, skating, skateboarding and so on. In the last two years, iPhones and aypedy are more and more often in requests of Belarusian children. There are also social requests in the letters: health, wheelchairs and more.

On average, about 9 to 10 thousand different letters are delivered to the estate with a year. Santa Claus responds to the wishes of health, happiness and fulfillment of desires.

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(The news is placed in the short-cut form, the BP-21 Century editor's note)
December 03, 2012 Website "Photobelta.by" Snow Maiden came to Belovezhskaya Pushcha

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Description
Thw Snow Maiden meeting holiday was held on December 1 in the estate of Santa Claus in the National Park "Belovezhskaya Pushcha". Traditionally, Maiden with her entourage is coming back in the first weekend of December. According to legend, she goes to the North Pole after the onset of heat. But Pushcha's Santa Claus lives at the estate all year round. Since spring, after the onset of heat, he takes off his winter coat and boots, and dresses light jacket, straw hat and elegant boots. In the photo is a Maiden meeting holiday.

Photo by Ruslan Kobyak
Designed by BELTA
December 02, 2012 Website "Capital TV (CTV)" Video: Dances around a Christmas tree, playing shishkobol and receiving gifts are already in Belovezhskaya Pushcha


Photo. The residence of Santa Claus in Belovezhskaya Pushcha

News from the Brest region. Dances around a Christmas tree, playing shishkobol and receiving gifts are already in Belovezhskaya Pushcha. The New Year season started in the estate of Belarusian Father Frost. The return of Snow Maiden and Mother Winter to the residence was a harbinger of the holiday. Our TV crew also met the welcome guests.

The tradition to meet the New Year in Belovezhskaya Pushcha lasts for 9 years. This winter story always starts from the point when Snow Maiden is returning from the North Pole. Today like earlier hundreds of guests with good cheer greeted the winter procession at the gate of the residence.

As the Pushcha's magician admitted, he was looking forward to meet Granddaughter and Mother-Winter. After all, he got hot time - when frost is outside his residence, it is hot inside.

That's just the first day of winter, but the estate of the Belarusian magician is full of guests - groups, family, friends ... Anastasiya Savchenko came from Murmansk, with snow and frost already for a long time. She was often going to visit our Santa Claus.

Anastasiya Savchenko, tourist (Russia):
I had a great desire to get here. Finally we are here. There are many things to compare. I visited the Lapland Nature Reserve and Santa Claus. Of course, all is on its own. Here you get to touch the tale somehow.

There are games, dances, contests, gifts and walk along the path of the Eastern calendar. One can touch the mill of desires in this fabulous estate.

Natalia Mezentseva, tourist (Orsha):
We made many wishes, for example, to repeat this point again and again, because we are first time here. Everything is so fabulous.

But the Christmas tree beauty is the most popular and fabulous place here, as they say. This spruce tree is the highest one in Europe, more than 40 meters in height. It is about 150 years old. The old age of the green beauty is very attractive for tourists. This time 42,000 light bulbs decorate the Christmas tree. At least 20 people are necessary to dance around this tree.

Margarita Kuznetsova, tourist (Kazakhstan)
We are from Kazakhstan, from Pavlodar. It is fantastic and unforgettable here. Of course, I want to come again.

To plunge into the magical atmosphere, tourists overcome hundreds and even thousands of kilometers. During this New Year's holiday the residence of Belarusian Grandfather Frost is going to serve more than one hundred thousand visitors. Christmas Marathon of surprises and gifts is opened, as said in the News Program "24 Hours" on CTV.

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(Video can be viewed at website "youtube" https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LQihI7S4fRc&feature=player_embedded#at=823, in Russian)
December 02, 2012 Website "Second National Channel (ONT)" Video: Not in a sleigh, but in a carriage: Snow Maiden to meet with dances in Belovezhskaya Pushcha

Beginning of the calendar winter in Belovezhskaya Pushcha was marked by one more event. Snow Maiden has come to the estate of Belarusian Father Frost. The meeting of the welcomed guest was turned into a colorful festival.

There is no snow yet. Therefore, Snow Maiden together with Mother-Winter arrived in a carriage, not on a sleigh. However, it did not spoil the mood for the visitors of Belovezhskaya Pushcha. Magic characters were met traditionally with bread and salt. Together with Father Frost, guests walked all the estate, and then near the main Christmas tree, they came in a dance together with young and old participants. There were so many wishing and dances were taken in several rows.

Hundreds of tourists came to Belovezhskaya Pushcha to celebrate the return of Snow Maiden. Traditionally the hot New Year's period in the National Park starts from this event. Citizens not only from all over the country but also from other countries are coming to meet the leading symbols of winter and the New Year. There can be several thousands of visitors during the day. By the way, experts estimate this year that the trip to Belovezhskaya Pushcha for the Russians will be cheaper than visiting the Great Ustyug.

(Video can be viewed at website "youtube" http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-5pAcK5_Z1g, in Russian)
December 01, 2012 Website "21.by" Video: The 10th Winter Season to open in Belovezhskaya Pushcha

It was decided not to wait this winter in the residence of Belarusian Father Frost in Belovezhskaya Pushcha. The 10th winter season was opened strongly in accordance with the calendar - today Snow Maiden and Mother-Winter were met. Many people, both adults and children, joined to the celebration. There were many interesting things to see. The residence significantly refreshed by the new season - a throne room is open and a collection of wooden sculptures is more diverse. Visitors of the today's celebration danced around the highest in Europe live spruce tree and made wishes on Eastern calendar avenue. Of course, no one left the estate without gifts.

(Video can be viewed by downloading the file from here)
BelTeleRadioCompany, in Russian