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Kosciuszko statue becomes focus for protests over thin-skinned autocrat in country beset by pandemic, violent police repression of democracy

Boston-area Belarusians at Kościuszko statue in Public Garden

Diana Kontsevaia chronicled members of the local Belarusian community and supporters rallying at the Kosciuszko statue in the Public Garden this evening against the dismantling of democracy there.

Although Tadeusz Kosciuszko may be best known in the US as a freedom-loving Polish colonel who helped us win independence, but he's also claimed by Belarusians, in part because his birthplace was in what's now Belarus (which back then was part of the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth).

Earlier in the day, Damaskin photographed flowers and a flag left at the statue:

Belarus protest at Kosciuszko statue
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Comments

Given that Lukashenko was elected in 1994 and had been keeping himself in office since then through perpetually extending his term limits and very sketchy elections, "dismantling of democracy" is a phrase that both seems inaccurate and doesn't address why this so significant. Belarusians have lived under the same increasingly autocratic president since the fall of communism. It's ones turn of phrase in an otherwise very good article exemplary of the kind of interesting, relevant local news UHub provides, but I hope you will reconsider.

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There was a democratic flowering this year - the wives of opponents he'd imprisoned or forced into exile rose up and took him on in the election. That's what I was referring to in using "dismantling."

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Let alone where or what's going on there at the moment.

But you can rest assured that Trümp and Barr are watching and taking careful notes.

So none of us can say "we never saw it coming" if one day very soon Joe Biden is forced to seek asylum in Canada.

America is almost over.

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If memory serves, it is one of three parts of the ancient Russian heartland: Great Russia, Little Russia (or Ukraine as it is now called), and White Russia. The Tsars used the title "Autocrat of All the Russias", signifying their sovereignty over all three.

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Hopefully they maintain stability. This biggest fear is repeating what happened in Ukraine. Although, I cant imagine our current administration would be as weak as the last and allow Putin to annex land. AGAIN!

Maybe someone will finally ask Biden a tough question.

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First of all, the US will never jump into a war with Russia unless we are directly attacked. Yes it sucks that Russia annexed Crimea. However, there were also nuances to that situation. I visited St Petersburg a few years back and had dinner with a Russian family who were originally from Ukraine. We asked them how they felt about the situation in Ukraine. They, with complete sincerity, parroted back Putin's lies about how the Ukrainians were poisoning their people and they needed to be stopped.

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We would go to war for someone else. However, we can sell or provide at no cost the necessary tools for a country to defend itself.

What was provided to Ukraine was shameful.

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Crimea became part of Russia in 1783, and remained so until 1954, when Khrushchev assigned it to Ukraine. When I visited Crimea in 1975, everybody spoke Russian not Ukrainian; only the five-minutes of news in Ukrainian on TV at the top of the hour gave me any hint that I wasn't in Russia. Of course, both countries were part of the Soviet Union back then.

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it was that way in Kiev during soviet union times as well. Ukraine has been greatly re-ukrainified since 1991.

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Guy fought for constitutional republic wherever he could - and resisted US slavery and oppression of first peoples, too.

I had my young civil engineer look him up, and he found and read a recent biography The Peasant Prince: Thaddeus Kosciuszko and the Age of Revolution.

Although Midnight Oil comes through with the song. The tallest point in Australia bears his name, even though he never set foot on the continent. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LQVdBAU_p2w

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Common Belorussians were essentially slaved within the Polish-Lithuanian commonwealth.

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I'm interested in knowing about this if you have some historic source.

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Lately I've decided that, as human beings are all flawed in some way and everyone has done something that is mean, reprehensible, immoral and/or offensive, no one is deserving of a statue and they ALL should be taken down. Now I may have to add an asterisk* to provide that this guy (and maybe a few other people) get a plaque or perhaps a bust. But otherwise, NOBODY gets a statue.

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well, you know what i’m gonna say

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What he fought for was a strong Polish monarchy; traditionally, the Polish king was elected by the nobility and could do virtually nothing without the unanimous consent of the Sejm (parliament). Kosciuszko championed a consitution giving the king much greater powers and making the Polish throne hereditary.

Poland's neighbors, particularly Catherine the Great of Russia, wanted a weak Poland they could dominate. She invaded Poland to suppress the new constitution, defeated Kosciuszko's army, and extinguished Poland as an independent state; its territory was partitioned among Russia, Prussia, and Austria. Napoleon briefly revived Poland as the Duchy of Warsaw, but after his defeat it was again partitioned, with the Tsar of Russia taking most of its territory along with the title King of Poland. If I remember right, the old Polish capital, Krakow, survived as an independent city-state until 1846, when it was annexed by Austria. Finis Poloniae, until 1918 when it re-emerged as the Second Polish Republic.

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are symbols for US. some of US are brain-maggoted so we want our deplorables to be on display as a celebration of our hate. Take those down. Leave the other symbols and make new ones.

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Anyone know FOR SURE how to pronounce Mr. Kosciuszko's last name?

In Boston they always refer to "Ko shoes Ko" Circle. My father repeatedly mentioned going over the "Kah ski ahh sko" bridges near Albany. Midnight Oil says "Coz E ahh sko".
Who's right?

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From the mouth of Maciej Golubiewski, former Consul-General of Poland: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=999GE6oW7Xk&feature=youtu.be&t=12m25s

We're the closest, but we should say "shoosh" instead of "shoes".

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But as a wee New Yorker, I learned it as sort of like the Midnight Oil version: "KOS-kee-os-ko."

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...unless I am mistaken.

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It's actually Kosh CHUSH ko. Darn that Polish orthography.

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Kościuszko:

Ś is a soft “sh”
Ciu sounds like “chew”, the c being made sound ‘soft’ by the “i” after it.

Polish orthography is phonetic, there’s never a question about pronunciation. The concept of spelling words or even names is foreign to Polish speakers.

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Flying the Green Machine, reporting on Boston traffic. Joe would have called it KOS KEE YOOS KO. I say that only people from Southie and Dorchester should be commenting in this thread. I still call it Columbia Circle, next to Columbia Station and Columbia Point, adjacent to Columbus Paak, where you used to be able to paak ya caa and play ball, before the yuppies came and ruined everything.

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