4 votes
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Why did so many people in Zinky Boys give the temperature as 70 degrees Celsius?

YouTube has a short video of a man going through the park with his thermometer, moving from the shadows into the light. What he wants us to understand is that real temperature (“in the shade”) is not ...
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4 votes
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What was the original rhyming scheme of "Do not shun me..."?

Yes, it's the same ABAB pattern. Original on wikisource: Не цурайся мяне, панічок, Што далонь пакрываюць мазолі; Мазоль — працавітых значок, Не заразе цябе ён ніколі.
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4 votes
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What is Krosyn?

It turns out that I should have read the introduction more carefully. Krosyn was, in fact, a small village in Belarus. From the anthology's introduction: In 1828, when a liberalminded Catholic priest ...
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You can enter prison for reading in Belarus, why?

This probably belong in politics.se rather than here, but here's what I was able to determine. The original coverage is in Belarusian here which Google translate renders as: A pensioner with books by ...
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4 votes

What does it mean that "your door is stroked with chalk / then at dark a chariot arrives" in Belarus?

In the Russian literary tradition the chalk cross on the door is strongly associated with the story of St. Bartholomew's night massacre of Huguenots. Their doors were allegedly marked with chalk ...
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4 votes

Was Vietnam referring to the Vietnam War in Zinky Boys?

Not necessarily the war. The USSR was involved in many conflicts (see Rand's answer), and in most cases retained presence afterwards, whenever it was possible. Having permanent military bases, like in ...
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  • 371
3 votes
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What is Nioman water?

Nioman is the Belarusian name for a river that rises in central Belarus and flows north-west through Lithuania and then along the Lithuania–Kaliningrad border to the Baltic. It is also known as the ...
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3 votes
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Why is parched grain that grows anyway a metaphor for the Belarusian people?

This probably refers to the same cultural awakening that I explored in answer to your previous question. in 1882, there was a general 'awakening' of cultural pride (and possibly there was a build up ...
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3 votes
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Is Belarus actually hard to farm?

Habitats and soils of Belarus It's true that the land of Belarus is "spread widely with forests and marshes" and a lot of the soil is sandy. The book Belarus and Moldova: country studies (...
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3 votes

What were Bulgarian biscuits?

I found a a copy of the Penguin translation online so I was able to read a bit more context around the reference. (I won't link the online copy since it seems like it must be a copyright infringement.)...
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3 votes
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Why did Svetlana Alexievich write "Zinky Boys"?

The section in which Alexievich states she does not want to write another book about war are presented as diary extracts begining with: 14 June 1986 I never want to write another word about the war, ...
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3 votes
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What is the significance of the 40-year period referred to in this Francisak Bahusevic poem?

I'll caveat this answer with the obvious statement that this what I concluded from searching and reading online in response to the question and not from any deeper or preexisting knowledge of the ...
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2 votes
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What was the long list of names in the beginning of "Zinky Boys"?

At least one name on the list isn’t real. Later editions of the book are supplied with the materials of Alexievich’s court trial on the charges of slander and offending Soviet veterans. One of the ...
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2 votes

What were Bulgarian biscuits?

My guess is this kind of thing: I don't speak Pashto at all, but I found some Persian references to "Bulgarian wafers" (ویفر بلغاری) that appear to describe this kind of wafer cookie. My ...
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  • 630
2 votes
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Why does Arkadź Kulašoǔ live on Moscow Street, and where is this?

I found an article in Russian by vadim_i_z: A little-known high street in the center of Minsk. Moscow Street: transport, houses and people where the author writes about this street in Minsk. He also ...
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  • 585
2 votes
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What kind of tower was Ales Dudar referring to in "The Tower"?

What it was before we cannot know. It is said very clearly. Now it serves as a radio station. Or, rather, soon will serve: І сёння к вежы прывязалі драты ўстрывожаную даль... О, прадзеды, каб вы ...
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2 votes
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Why does Pimien Pancanka refer to a point in Georgia when talking about Iran and Belarus?

In Russian tradition the Caucasian range is a last frontier. Everything beyond it is a romantic cloud. Don't pay attention to geography. The two peaks mentioned in the poem in turn symbolize the ...
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1 vote
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What is a partisan hut?

Evidently, there was an extensive Belarusian partisan force opposing Nazi occupation (apparently involving as many as 153,700 partisans). The Wikipedia article I link to mentions that one of the major ...
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1 vote
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Was Vietnam referring to the Vietnam War in Zinky Boys?

Presumably yes. In the context of Soviet military interventions around the world, all three of Ethiopia, Angola, and Vietnam would make sense to be referenced. Ethiopia The Ogaden War was fought ...
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1 vote
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Valzhyna Mort's "it's so hard to believe"

The childhood was happy. The present is grim. About the dog. The translation says it was homeless. The original says "дваровым", living in "двор". It is something like a court, a ...
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1 vote
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Why were Afghanistan veterans treated so poorly relative to World War II veterans?

In one case it was a victory which has always been glorified up to the extent of unimaginable. In the Soviet Union it was like - you live in a country where you cannot go to the shop and buy toilet ...
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