Sunday, January 22, 2006

Kira Zalan, Mike Schwirtz, Larry Schenker and John Malcovich

Hi Again.

For today I would just like to talk about a couple of new bloggers who are out on the scene that have at least some connection to Belarus. I found out about these folks because they wrote to me and said hello. Pretty easy way to go about it really. And so for today I thought I would pass on the news to my readers so that they if they want, can check out a few more voices who are out there with at least occasional thoughts for Belarus.

The first entry today is Ms. Kira Zalan: Kira Zalan is a freelance journalist who lives in Washington, DC ad as a matter of fact, is Belarusian. She has great interest in what is known as liberal politics. By this I mean that she has a propensity for human rights issues and is absolutely aghast at both Russian and Belarusian policies, and especially as they recently were exhibited in that Russia Ukraine Gas scandal.

However, interestingly enough she is an absolute flag waver of the ol’ red, white and blue. Interesting combination. At any rate, she has a blog which can be found at:

The second entry is Mike Schwirtz, a young man who is from Washington DC and is interning for RFE/RL while on his way to an advanced degree. He wrote a thesis on youth movements in the former soviet union and lived in Petersburg for a couple of years as well, and wrote to me about what my thoughts non Belarus might be. He is also into Human rights on a global level, is absolutely oppositionist as far as his Belarusian politics are concerned, and his blog can be found at:

My third new contact has a fabulous site dedicated to Jewish people who have ancestors here in white Russia and specifically in the Brest region. Larry Schenker has got a really interesting website dedicated to former Belarusians who had fled in the pogroms or were fortunate to escape the Nazis in the 1930’s. Did you know that the percent of people who live in Belarus who are ethnically Belarusian is one about 25%? It is true. Thank the war for wiping out 30% and Stalin for replacing that population with the finest of finest from Russia, Ukraine and all points east. If you have got family ties to these regions, please have a look here and contact Larry.

His URL is

And my final mention of the day today is my good friend who also is from the Washington DC area, John Malcovich. Boy oh Boy was I really remiss with this guy. He finally finished that world tour of his about six weeks ago and I hadn’t even noticed. So great belated congrats on not only the culmination of the tour, but on a fantastically well done blog. Malcovich and I interrelated one day when the Belarusian visa bureaucracy grounded him here in our beautiful country for a day. If you ask me he should be grateful because if he hadn’t stopped, he would have only visited 39 countries; 40 is ever more beautiful if you ask me.

Johns URL is
That’s all for today. Lots more to talk about here though. I’ll be back in a day or two.

More soon…