From the KGB building further down the Niezaliežnasci Avenue is Kastryčnickaja Square (Metro station Kastryčnickaja/Kupalaŭskaja). A 10m-high Stalin monument dominated the square in 1952-1961. Currently, the square accommodates the pompous Palace of the Republic, nicknamed by locals as sarcophagus.
Kastryčnickaja Square is a traditional venue for peaceful protests against the falsification of presidential election results. Belarus holds presidential elections every five years (next in 2015), but every time domestic and international observers point numerous violations and do not recognize the polls as free and fair. In the evening of Election Day, thousands of people from Minsk and other areas of Belarus gather for post-election protests.
After the presidential election on March 19, 2006, protesters, mostly students, organized a tent camp on Kastryčnickaja Square, which they dubbed as ‘Kalinoŭski Square’ or simply ‘Square’. Several days later, the tent camp was brutally dispersed by the police.
Main photo by Yauhen Miranenka