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Łukasz Grajewski

Belarus: Metro Speaks Belarusian Again

Minsk Metro withdraws the recently made changes. Due to the opposition from passengers, the announcements are no longer in Russian.

Uruchcha - the north-east terminus of the Movskoskaya Line, author: Redline, source:

In the second half of November, the sound announcement encouraging Minsk metro passengers to be polite to others was made in Russian. The metro service claimed that the changes were introduced because of tourists who cannot comprehend information in Belarusian. “We received a lot of complaints – young people do not react to messages encouraging to be polite,” explained Andrei Mikhailouski, director of Moscow Elektradielo, the company responsible for the technical support of the metro.

The introduced Russian variant met with strong opposition from Belarusian Netizens. Large numbers of letters were sent, all including a demand of restoring Belarusian version. On December 5, Andrei Mikhaulouski in another statement admitted that the management of the metro “received some opinions on this matter,” so it was decided that Belarusian version should be restored. The announcements of public transports are one of few signs of Belarusian language still existing in public space. There are two official languages in Belarus: Belarusian and Russian. The majority of society uses Russian for everyday communication.

Source: Nasha Niva

Translated by Marta Lityńska

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Łukasz Grajewski

Socjolog, absolwent Studium Europy Wschodniej UW. Pracował w administracji publicznej, aktywny w trzecim sektorze (Fundacja Wspólna Europa, Polska Fundacja im. Roberta Schumana, Inicjatywa Wolna Białoruś). Autor licznych publikacji o Europie Wschodniej w polskich mediach.

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