Independence Palace, Minsk

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Independence Palace
Палац Незалежнасцi
Дворец независимости в Минске.jpg
Independence Palace
General information
AddressPraspiekt Pieramožcaŭ, Minsk, Belarus
Coordinates53°55′36″N 27°31′32″E / 53.92667°N 27.52556°E / 53.92667; 27.52556Coordinates: 53°55′36″N 27°31′32″E / 53.92667°N 27.52556°E / 53.92667; 27.52556
Construction startedJune 2011
Completed24 October 2013
Technical details
Floor area50,000 sq m
Design and construction
ArchitectUladzimir Archanhielski

Independence Palace (Belarusian: Палац Незалежнасцi, romanizedPalac Niezaliežnasci) is a palace in Minsk. The palace is located on Pieramožcaŭ Avenue, near the "BelExpo" exhibition centre and the State Flag Square, not far from Victory Park.

The purpose of the Palace of Independence is to host important and landmark events, meetings of foreign delegations, honouring of big families, and the admittance of children to pioneer organisations.[1]

On 7 May 2013 Alexander Lukashenko said:

The idea of this complex is to present the last biggest point of our independence visually. If you wish, this is a visual demonstration that Belarus is a country that has everything: the land, the coat-of-arms, and this Independence Palace.[2]

Structure and layout[edit]

The total area of the Palace of Independence is around 50,000 square metres (540,000 sq ft) and has several hundred rooms within. [3] The Palace of Independence is oriented.

History[edit]

The first official events in the palace were the meeting of the Supreme Eurasian Economic Council at the level of heads of state, and the meeting of the Council of CIS heads of state.[3]

On 25 February 2014, Alexander Lukashenko awarded three-time champion of the 2014 Winter Olympics Darya Domracheva the Hero of Belarus medal.[3]

The meeting on the Ukrainian crisis between the presidents of Russia, Ukraine, Belarus, Kazakhstan and representatives of the European Union was held at the Palace of Independence in Minsk on 26 August 2014.[4]

On 23 August 2020 the palace was surrounded by anti-government protesters as part of the 2020 Belarusian protests and footage emerged of Alexander Lukashenko at the palace. In the first two videos, he is seen walking near a helicopter, wearing a bullet proof vest and holding an automatic rifle [5] and then walking around the palace grounds. In the latter footage, Lukashenko was heard to say "Leave me alone," and "There is no one left there, right?". His 15 year old son, Nikolai Lukashenko, was seen with him dressed in military uniform and holding a gun.[6][7] In a third video, he is seen surveying protestors from a helicopter and is heard saying "How the rats ran away" in an apparent reference to the protesters. In a fourth video, Lukashenko was seen removing the former flag of Belarus from a flower bed, waving at security personnel whilst telling them they are "handsome" and in reference to protesters, saying "we will deal with them".[8]

On 30 August a protest rally again marched towards the Independence Palace where security forces had set up a roadblock.[9][10][11] At 16:30, there were reports of tanks moving through the streets of Minsk.[12][13][14] Shortly before 17:00 three members of the presidium of the Coordination Council and several Belarusian Olympic athletes had reached the police line in front of the Independence Palace.[15] Security forces warned the crowd to disperse or be subject to the use of force.[16] Rather than disperse, the demonstrators began to place gifts, such as cardboard cutouts of cockroaches, police vans, helicopters and slippers for Lukashenko in front of the police line.[17] When questioned about the whereabouts of Lukashenko, his publicity team released an undated photograph of him walking around the grounds of Independence Palace holding a gun.[18]

References[edit]

Notes

  1. ^ "Belarus in pictures | Belarus in photo | Belarus in images | Palace of Independence | Belarus in pictures | Belarus in photo | Belarus in images". www.belarus.by. Retrieved Aug 23, 2020.
  2. ^ "Lukashenka: They are building Independence palace, not a new residence". euroradio.fm. Retrieved Aug 23, 2020.
  3. ^ a b c "Independence Palace in Minsk: New symbol of Belarusian sovereignty". Столичное телевидение - СТВ. Retrieved Aug 23, 2020.
  4. ^ Video: Customs Union-Ukraine-EU summit held in Minsk
  5. ^ "МАЯ КРАІНА БЕЛАРУСЬ". Telegram. Retrieved Aug 23, 2020.
  6. ^ "NEXTA Live". Telegram. Retrieved Aug 23, 2020.
  7. ^ "Белсат". Telegram. Retrieved Aug 23, 2020.
  8. ^ "NEXTA Live". Telegram. Retrieved Aug 23, 2020.
  9. ^ https://t.me/belsat/16167
  10. ^ https://t.me/nexta_live/9962
  11. ^ https://t.me/radiosvaboda/9492
  12. ^ https://t.me/belsat/16170
  13. ^ https://t.me/motolkohelp/12190
  14. ^ https://news.tut.by/society/698619.html
  15. ^ https://t.me/nexta_live/9995
  16. ^ https://t.me/belsat/16183
  17. ^ https://t.me/belsat/16205
  18. ^ https://people.onliner.by/2020/08/30/poyavilos-novoe-foto-lukashenko-s-oruzhiem-segodnya-on-tozhe-naxodilsya-vo-dvorce-nezavisimosti