Photos Capture the Life and Feel of Europe’s Last Dictatorship

Children wearing firemen uniforms as they compete in a war-patriotic game called Bastiony hrabrosti (Bravery bastion). The game takes place 60 km (37 miles) east of Minsk at an army base. The game was very popular during USSR times. © Andrei Liankevich / Anzenberger

Maslenitsa celebration

Young girls wear traditional Belarus dresses and twine wreaths as they celebrate the pagan holiday Kupalle ( the summer solstice). The festivities are similar to Mardi Gras and reflect pre-Christian Slavic traditions and practices. © Andrei Liankevich / Anzenberger


Veterans of the World War II listen to the night concert dedicated to the anniversary of the beginning of the Great Patriotic War (this is what World War II was named in USSR) in Brest fortress, the place where World War II began with the Nazi Germany invasion. © Andrei Liankevich / Anzenberger


Family portrait

Belarus is Europe’s last dictatorship, a place that seems trapped back in USSR times. Hardly any news comes out of the country and there is limited freedom of speech. This is why Belarusian photographer Andrei Liankevich‘s photo series about his country is quite unique. His Belarus portfolio offers a personal view of the local feel and some of the definitory events and habits in the country.

A white boxer dog  before participating in dog show performance. © Andrei Liankevich / Anzenberger

A woman carries the USSR flag during the Kastrychnickaja square rally, marking the 1917 Bolshevik Revolution anniversary on the 7th of November. This day is a state holiday in Belarus. © Andrei Liankevich / Anzenberger


Night view of the Vesnjanka district in Minsk capital city. © Andrei Liankevich / Anzenberger

War-patriotic game

Fragment of the workers monument on the Fashion Center building. The monument was installed during USSR times. © Andrei Liankevich / Anzenberger

A Belarusian Ministry of Internal Affairs soldier in a female dress jumps the skipping rope during the Maslenitsa celebration in Minsk. Maslenitsa is a pagan holiday marking the end of winter. It is celebrated during the last week before the Great Lent, that is, the seventh week before Easter. Maslenitsa corresponds to the Western Christian Carnival. © Andrei Liankevich / Anzenberger


Aleksand Milinkevich meeting ,Minsk, Belarus, 2 March, 2006

Mikola Sasim opposition activist posses with the national emblem of the Republic of Belarus in the background. © Andrei Liankevich / Anzenberger

Minsk night view


An Aleksand Milinkevich meeting. © Andrei Liankevich / Anzenberger

Dog show

Liankevich has published a book of this series called Focus on Belarus.

A TV speech of Aleksandr Lukashenko, the former president of republic of Belarus. © Andrei Liankevich / Anzenberger

The chief of the finished goods department shows skis at a skis factory in the city of Raubichi. © Andrei Liankevich / Anzenberger