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"Quiet, clean, beautiful and great!" What do foreigners think about Minsk?

Day in Minsk in Milan is a kind of European presentation of the European capital. Today, nobody would argue that Minsk is not only not inferior to many European cities, but sometimes looks more advantageous.

And this goes not only to Minsk during celebrations, like the one during this weekend when Minsk is celebrating its 948th birthday. It was 948 years ago when Minsk was first mentioned in "Tale of Bygone Years".

Birthday is a special day. For people and the city.  On 12 September Minsk, with its ageless soul, accepted congratulations. The day was marked by a variety of events ranging from open-air concerts and sports tournaments to fairs and a firework show. On September 13 the celebrations continued, with Minsk Half Marathon being one of the most spectacular events in Minsk's recent history.

Each capital city has its own face. As for Minsk, its feature is in the fact that it has many faces. For someone Minsk is Independence Avenue. The monumental grandeur and warm feeling of nostalgia. Someone, on the contrary, chooses modern. Futuristic sports venues, business centers and five-star hotels. Someone is attracted by places brimming with history. But the main thing is that Minsk does attract people. The city is different but so special!

Alexander Gordon, Russian director, actor and TV presenter:
I went from the Minsk airport to the capital and I slowed down. I wanted to find at least a cigarette butt near the trash bin. But I didn't find it. Minsk is one of the biggest and cleanest cities in the world. It is free and spacious.

The Belarusian capital boasts special magnetism: this is a fact proven by millions of people who, having been here, dream to come back again.

His birthplace is across the seas but John Rosman found real home in the heart of Europe.

John Rosman, cycling activist:
The fact that Minsk is so clean and decent city is gorgeous in itself! Everyone understands this.

John Rosman was born in New York and graduated from Yale University. It would seem that the American dream is not far off. But in the early '90s, John leaves the United States, lives in Russia and then comes to Belarus.

John has been living in Minsk for 7 years. Here he is well-known as a cycling activist. 

John Rosman:
Conditions for cyclists in Minsk are much better because you can go everywhere not preventing cars from moving smoothly. In New York, there is much less space.

Daniel Krutzinna, managing partner of a consulting firm:
I still remember, in 1995 near the German educational center, there was a large field. Today there is Moscow quarter there, large new housing estates and trading infrastructure. The city has grown significantly.

Eight years ago, Minsk became a second home for the German Daniel.    Daniel does not hide that Minsk attracts him not only by business opportunities.

Daniel Krutzinna, managing partner of a consulting firm:
Compared to many Western cities Minsk is more comfortable for life. This is due to the absence of traffic jams and infrastructure and safety. You feel a certain strength in society. And the state is interested in supporting public infrastructure. This tradition, in my opinion, should be preserved.

Juan Zhang, a student of the Belarusian State Medical University:
After time spent here I feel as if I were in Europe, because these streets are so similar to those in Germany and France.

It was love at first sight. Juan came to Minsk to study towards a doctor's degree. Now the girl is about to complete her medical studies. For her, Minsk is a city of discoveries. Here she learned to skate, began wrestling and loved Belarusian potato pancakes.

Juan Zhang, a student of the Belarusian State Medical University:
I consider myself a resident of Minsk, I feel it from inside.

Each of these people discovered its own Minsk. We asked them all to describe it in just a few words.

John Rosman:
Open space, huge potential and a good place to live.

Daniel Krutzinna:
Soviet past that is integrated well with the current time.

Juan Zhang, a student of the Belarusian State Medical University:
Quiet, clean, beautiful and great!

Minsk center