Besides the monuments, the Communist Square, the Independence Square, the Freedom Square and so on, and Lee Harvey Oswald's former residence, the most obvious thing to see in Minsk (on a visit in August 2011) was the preparations for the 2014 ice hockey world championships.
There was a new stadium. A whole vast athlete's complex was sprouting on the edge of town.
Today the headlines read Former Leader Supports Moving Hockey Championships From Belarus. Sure, the former leader, Stanislav Shushkevich, has an agenda, having been barred from leaving the country last week.
But I can't say I blame him. Citizens of Belarus are veteran victims of fraudulent elections. It's kind of a thuggish, gangsta land, and you wouldn't mind seeing the leadership embarrassed.
Here's a photo of a tabletop in a common room in the nicest hotel in the capital, far as I know, the Crowne Plaza. Click it to be able to read it. Pretty much tells you all you need to know.
Feel bad for the good people of Belarus. It's run by thugs.
More Belarus photos here.