IT WAS A YEAR full of shocks, steps to the new and pain from long-lasting problems; a year of search and a year that posed more questions that it gave answers.
Here’s a selection of the year’s most riveting photographs from Belarus.
Members of the elections commision during the parliamentary election 2016, Minsk, 11 September 2016. Belarusians went to the polls to choose candidates for 110 seats in the Parliament. Following the resulf of the voting, two opposition candidates have won seats in parliamentary elections in Belarus, their first representation in the chamber for 12 years. The final statement by OSCE said the election was efficiently organized, but the elections system stil has a number of long-standing systemic shortcomings to be fixed.
Policemen are seen standing near a shopping mall in Minsk where a 17 years old student killed one woman and injured other two with a chaisaw in Minsk on Saturday, 8 October 2016. Terrorist attacks and indiscriminate killings are relatively rare in Belarus, although a bombing on the Minsk Metro in April 2011 claimed 15 lives.
Girls are dancing during the celebration of Gukanne Vyasny, an ancient authentic celebration of Belarusian people who used this ritual to draw warm days nearer by calling out for birds — spring’s main carriers — as soon as winter started to go away. Yanka Kupala museum, 20 March 2016.
Damaged trees are cleaned away after a hurricane that struck part of Minsk region on 13 July 2016. It took several months to deal with the consequences of the storm, some of the villages near the national airport having been damaged almost 100%.
Participants of the first official Vyshyvanka Day are taking pictures in the capital of Belarus on 2 July 2016.
On Sunday, 4 September, the Belarusian capital welcomed Half Marathon for the third time. This year the number of participants grew by 4,000 people to reach over 20,000 runners.
86-year-old Elena Muzichenko is standing in her house in the village Bartolomeevka in Vetka district, Gomel region, located 170 km from the Chernobyl nuclear power plant. In 1992, when five hundred households of the village were re-settled from the area, the electricity was cut off here. However, some residents have decided to return to their homes, despite the high radiation level and the absence of electricity. Village Bartolomeevka, 29 March, 2016.
A Belavia’s aircraft in new livery is preparing to fly to Belarus from the Boeing factory near Seattle area, USA, 10 August 2016.
A participant of the Brazilian carnival is dancing in Kastryčnickaja street in the center of Minsk on 17 September 2016. The carnival was held as pasrt of the Belarusian-Brazilian street art festival Vulica Brasil.
Journalists and fans welcome Belarusian athletes who have returned from the Olympics in Rio, Minsk, 19 August, 2016.
A soldier of the guard of honor at the first rehearsal for the Victory Day parade in Minsk, 29 April 2016.
The band Apple Tea performs during Jazz evenings near the Town Hall in Minsk, 11 June 2016.
A farewell with the Last People’s Poet of Belarus, author of over 80 books, professor Nil Hilevich at St. Peter and Paul Cathedral in Minsk, 1 April, 2016.
People dressed as the French army soldier are taking part in the re-enactment of Berezina River battle between Napoleon’s retreating army and the Imperial Russian army, 27 November 2016.
A couple is watching the Independence Day firewors in Minsk on 3 July, 2016.