Broke in Berlin
Uladzimer Katkouski, June 18th 1976 – May 26th 2007. RIP.
A sad, sad day.
Yes, shit, isn’t it? His parents and wife, who was injured in the same accident, must have been prepared for the worst, of course, but it can’t make it any less shit.
I don’t think there’s any other Belarusian blog as good as his. His was in two languages and was brilliantly informative.
A great loss – and a rarity in that the blog actually had a purpose on an international scale. It certainly puts my mindless ramblings and pseudo-intellectualism into perspective. Even if you and I were the only two to ever read it (which I’m sure we weren’t), it would have served its purpose – Belarus is frequently forgotten in the UK – as is much of eastern Europe, and these occassional nudges from bloggers are becoming ever more necessary. The BBC glossed over the troops advancing on Kyiv this weekend, and, unless there is a civil war or change of government, the media here seems entirely uninterested.
Yes, I suppose – the BBC bucks this trend a bit, but then ratings count too – news is still about making money. People in the UK (and everywhere else, no doubt) would rather read about a missing child than something happening in some obscure country. But the good thing about Uladzimir’s sites – he worked for Radio Svaboda and had a site about the Belarusian language too – is that he was filling in a real gap not covered by Belarusian media. Plus his blog wasn’t just a boring one about politics. There was the regular human stuff of bloggery too.
I think I may have his dates of birth and death wrong. In any case, he died aged 30.
I am completely in shock as I have just read about it accidently. I used to know Vova quite well a while back when we were studying together and were alumni of the same US exchange programme. It is so sad..
Can you please tell me what happened? something about the accident?
Hello Maria. Yes, terrible news. To be honest, I don’t know a great amount of detail. Just that he never came out of the coma he’d been in since his accident last summer. He was buried on Saturday June 2nd in Minsk. His blog has still been being updated since his death with details of his funeral and pieces on the Svaboda website in his honour. His site is here.
I knew nothing about this blogger so I followed the links you kindly provided above. Very interesting subjects in his blog and the comments seem to highlight the need for some rapid translation tools. Perhaps these exist on the internet already? I certainly hadn’t thought of sinister goings-on occuring in Norway, for some reason.
BTW, I’ve republished the latest post over at mine, so you can see the photos. Doh.
Oh, Arabella, he was such a talented and clever young thing. He created Google’s Belarusian-language interface. He started Belarusian wikipedia. He was the webmaster for Radio Svaboda – the Belarusian version of Radio Free Europe – and one of their links explains that his work (and others’, of course) during last year’s charade elections in Belarus helped the site attract more hits than any other Belarusian-language page ever. And he was very active. And married. And an all-round good egg. And it’s just shit that he died aged 30. Poor him. And his poor family.
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