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September 3, 2002

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The Germans and Soviets used Minsk as a boxing ring for their armies, completely destroying the city by the end of World War II. When the dust settled, Soviet architects had a blank slate to build over, literally, because Belarus is flat and featureless plains. Everything in Minsk has been rebuilt since 1944. Soviet architects designed buildings like a fast food chain prepares food.
A Soviet monument anchors one end of Minsk's main street. On the left is the building where Lee Harvey Oswald lived during his stay in the Soviet Union.
In front of the Ballet theatre, Jill verifies that a pirouette in hiking boots doesn't work.
This is the postcard picture of old town Minsk, fabricated by the government. WWII desroyed Minsk, and the Soviets rebuilt the city in monolithic concrete, except for this street of houses. It contrasts 17th century style with the uniform, communist constuctionism found in the rest of Minsk.
One of the few places where cell phones aren't ubiquitous; people stand in line to use the public telephone.