2023 Author: Malcolm Clapton | [email protected]. Last modified: 2023-05-22 06:26
I live in Minsk and consider myself 3% Belarusian. I have already lived in Belarus for about as long as my whole life. When I was just planning to move to Minsk, I critically lacked information about it. At best, these were articles about 5-7 pluses, written extremely superficially. Therefore, I decided to write a guide for those who are just considering a possible move to Minsk.
1. Strong IT sphere
According to statistics from the dev.by resource, there are 939 IT companies and almost 40,000 IT specialists in Minsk. This means that with an average industry turnover of 10% per year, 4,000 vacancies appear in the IT sector, one of which you can apply for. The largest are EPAM and Wargaming, which employ several thousand employees. It was the Minsk teams that created such masterpieces as World of Tanks, Viber.
Nowadays, many Minsk IT companies have become international and the sun never sets over their offices.
I work for SOOO Game Stream, Wargaming development center in Minsk. I will not describe all the advantages, since the article is not about that, I will say one thing: this is a mega-cool team of globally with passion enthusiasts.
Vacancies can be viewed on the above website or at.
2. HTP - preferential taxation
A (HTP) zone has been created in Minsk, which allows IT companies to conduct business on preferential terms.
This includes a reduced income tax (9% instead of 12%) and preferential corporate taxation. So, for example, an ordinary company pays about 35% of the tax on the employee's salary, and an IT company pays the same amount, but not from the full salary, but from the minimum in the republic, which is approximately from 1 to 5%.
And if, for example, in Ukraine you are registered as an individual entrepreneur when applying for an IT company, then in Belarus you will be hired with a full-fledged work book.
3. Everyone speaks Russian
Moving a Ukrainian or Russian to Minsk will be extremely simple, since everyone here speaks Russian. Russian, along with Belarusian, is the state language. In addition, Ukrainians will receive a pleasant benefit in the form of almost one hundred percent understanding of pure Belarusian speech, since words that are unlike Russian are 80% similar to Ukrainian.
4. Simple registration
It is very easy to legally stay in the country here. To do this, it is enough to have two things: an employment contract and an apartment rental agreement registered with the housing department.
The algorithm is something like this:
- You receive a job offer from a company.
- You send copies of your documents, the company starts processing an application for your employment permit. They say that in 95% of cases, companies receive such permits the first time, in other cases - from the second. It takes two weeks.
- You come to Minsk. As a rule, companies provide housing for the first time, so you can safely look for housing for rent. There are a lot of sites, there are real estate agencies. I searched through Molnar and Square Meter. I looked at apartments on and.
- You find an apartment, sign a lease with the owner, register it at the housing office. From now on, you can be hired.
- At work, a package of documents is prepared for you, which you carry to the migration service. One to two weeks of waiting, and you get a temporary registration. Surprisingly, there are almost no queues. It took me 60 minutes for two visits (to bring the documents and pick up the registration).
- Now you can stay in the country for a year legally. From now on, Ukrainians do not need to fill out a migration card at customs.
5. Simple registration of a SIM card, bank card, currency account
All an ordinary person needs is a SIM card and a bank card. It is extremely easy to arrange them. A SIM card can be obtained even without registration, it will be called a “guest card”. In general, it is quite acceptable. I took MTS, someone takes Life. Immediately I received a full-fledged 3G Internet - $ 3 for 1 GB for a month.
A bank card is also easy to issue. All you need is a passport and a code (it doesn't matter - foreign or regular). You can immediately open an account in foreign currency and then transfer part of your salary into dollars in Internet banking.
My bank is Belinvestbank. State-owned, one of the largest, with very convenient Internet banking:
- Easy payment of utilities (you only need to enter the name of the utility company and your bill - the system will automatically load your details and issue the invoice amount).
- It is convenient to order an additional card - directly in Internet banking, then you just need to pick it up at the bank (10 minutes).
- In the banks themselves, an electronic queue is convenient.
- Payment by card via the Internet is protected by entering an additional password (when paying on any website, you are directed to the website of your bank to enter the password, and only then the payment is made).
- By the way, the interest rate on the balance on the card is 24% per annum (if the balance is from $ 350). You can apply for a deposit card with a rate of over 40% per annum. Everything, of course, is in rubles.
- Easily transfer money to and from your dollar card.
6. Good medicine
I haven’t come across government agencies yet, but there are commercial clinics here. I have been to the Lode clinic several times. The staff is friendly, the offices are modern, the equipment is also. Doctors are ordinary, however, as in Kiev. Doctors who come from ordinary hospitals work in "Medikom", "Boris", "Dobrobut". I think it's the same here.
By the way, in pharmacies here the assortment is 2-3 times less than in Ukrainian ones. This is a plus, since there are few expensive drugs, the price of which is determined by the advertising budget.
Here I met for the first time with the remedy for the common cold "Snoop". Not advertising is really a godsend. One injection, and there will be no runny nose all day. It costs 3 dollars, enough for a long time (and in Ukraine I bought an expensive Sinupret in tablets, since the sprays dried my nose and caused irritation).
They say that antibiotics cannot be bought here without a prescription. It is not true. I bought Augmentin on the recommendation of a doctor, my prescription was not even asked, although it was with me. Maybe the druggist was a telepath.:) There are pharmacies here as usual, working only until the evening, and on duty, working around the clock.
The easiest way to search for medicines is on the website, which shows both the availability of medicines in different pharmacies and the prices of medicines.
7. Convenient movement around the city (public transport, taxi)
You can get around the city by public transport or taxi (until you bring your car).
Public transport is just great:
- Unified payment card for metro, tram, trolleybus, city bus fare. There are readers everywhere, so paying by card is easy. But for those who love tickets, there are electronic punching machines. The fare costs an average of 30 cents.
- All public transport is extremely clean, both inside and out.
- Modern trolleybuses, buses, subway cars, trams.
- On average, three to seven routes pass through the stop. I often see three trolleybuses coming to the bus stop in a row. The interval of movement is small.
I planned all my routes in the program. Moreover, in it you can see where you are going and how soon you will go out.
- 7788, it is taxi "Almaz" - cheap and cheerful. A lot of cars work on them, so ordering is usually not a problem. What bribed me - you can set up a USSD request through the site for pre-specified addresses and then call a taxi by clicking on the contact in the address book. Recently we started to install Wi-Fi.
- 135, it is taxi "Capital" - the middle price segment, the cars are better.
- Taxi "Friday" - premium. Only VW Passat B6 and B7 are in the park. Their rules: the driver in classic trousers and a shirt, neatly cut, not talkative. There is Wi-Fi and payment through the terminal.
By the way, taxis are not accepted here without obtaining special license plates and registration in a taxi.
Never take a taxi that stands at a train station, shop or anywhere else, otherwise you will be guaranteed a one and a half-double rate.
8. Quality products and a large selection of imports
My first acquaintance happened with the Rublevsky store. There are many of them around the city, every house has. The assortment was poor, the store itself was dark, and I was a little upset. But then I discovered "Hippo", "Prostor", "Korona" for myself and realized that this is a food paradise.
What are the advantages of Minsk:
- Very strict GOSTs and standards. Bad products are simply not allowed on the shelves here.
- You can not follow the timing of the sale of products, here they are afraid of the inspection authorities and monitor it.
- Very tasty and at the same time cheap marshmallows and marmalade.
- A lot of good imports at a reasonable price.
- I have not seen rotten vegetables or fruits. In one store I even saw a large trash can with a lid and the words "If you don't like the fruit, put it here."
- Many different sauces. There is an authentic Italian-made carbonara sauce that makes a dish worthy of a Michelin restaurant from pasta.
- Good selection of imported beers.
- Delicious and always fresh products "Santa Bremor" (local company). I even bought Olivier for fun, but then I was surprised by the freshness and taste of the salad. The quality of the crab sticks is excellent! Much better than Vici.
- Good fresh meat and good mince.
- Large selection of imported cheeses at reasonable prices.
- There are local mascarpone and ricotta at ridiculous prices ($ 2 a can) that taste like imported ones. Lots of Djugas cheese from neighboring Lithuania is an affordable alternative to Parmesan.
- Tasty and affordable dairy products from Savushkin. Became a fan of her. I recommend yoghurts. Even Ehrmann is bypassed.
9. Road to Vilnius - 2:30 (Europe, IKEA, restaurants, shopping center)
A trip to Vilnius was a real find for me. The train takes only 2 hours 30 minutes and is very comfortable, the journey costs 15 euros.
Vilnius immediately opens access to the best European goodies:
- IKEA store;
- a huge number of restaurants and cafes;
- the beautiful center with 18th – 19th century buildings and narrow streets;
- shops with cheap amber;
- shopping center "Akropolis", it is simply huge and has absorbed all the brand stores.
I can write a lot more about Vilnius, but this article is about Minsk.
10. Excellent roads
For a long time I have not seen a road with 11 traffic lanes (five in one direction and six in the other) - long live Partizansky Avenue.
During the war,> 50% of Minsk was destroyed, therefore, unlike cities, the development of which took place even with carts and pedestrians, it was immediately built for cars. Therefore, there are very wide roads, there is a ring road. You can get from one part of Minsk to another in just 30 minutes. The roads are in good condition.
I have not yet come across abandoned pit sites. I met pits, but small, and they were quickly patched up.
Here you can not be afraid to buy Smart or sports cars.
11. The proximity of Vilnius airport with low-cost airlines, railway junction - Warsaw, Prague
Continuing the topic abroad, I will say that different low-cost airlines fly from Vilnius: Ryanair, Wizz Air and others. In addition, trains run from here to Prague, Warsaw, Riga.
12. European values
In terms of their culture and values, Minskers are very close to Europeans. It's hard to describe in words, but you can feel it. These values are manifested in the observance of cleanliness, in following the rules and laws, in the driving style, in the way you are treated in restaurants, shops and other establishments.
13. People - kind, balanced, hospitable
The greatest value of Minsk is its people. The Belarusians themselves speak of themselves as “pamyarkoўnya” - balanced. And this is really true.
This manifests itself in kindness, lack of radical views (both in politics and in religion or culture). It seems to me that Belarusians simply lack the gene for envy, aggression, and condemnation. But this does not prevent them from being quite bright people.
14. Safety in the city and on the roads
The speed limit here is 60 + 9 km / h, which is enough for safe driving. I have seen very few road accidents. If in Kiev it was the norm to see one accident a day, here it is one accident in two weeks.
In the city itself, you also feel safe: the streets are well lit, there are practically no homeless people, drug addicts, alcoholics, or gangsters.
There are no loud screams at night of the roaming company.
15. Cleanliness in the city
What you will never see in Minsk for sure is garbage dumps somewhere near the crossing, or in a snowdrift, or near a broken trash can. It is cleaned regularly. Even the train station seems to be sterile. I usually don't like train stations, but here the train station is as clean and modern as an average airport.
I have never had to wash my shoes in Minsk. This only happens in Europe. Cars are washed very rarely here, as there is no dirt and sand on the road. I was very surprised when, after the end of winter, all the roads were clean.
16. Predictability and stability
When you live in Minsk, there is a slight feeling of stability and predictability. It seems that tomorrow and the day after tomorrow there will be no force majeure.
Probably, a woman feels something similar behind the back of a strong man. Either the cleanliness and order in the city create such a feeling, or the absence of a large amount of negative news.
17. Easy to bring a car
Bringing a car to a Russian is as easy as going to another city. The only caveat is the green card, which is inexpensive. A little more difficult for a Ukrainian: he will need to issue insurance ("green") and a declaration at the customs.
In this case, the car may not even belong to the driver. Although in Belarus there is no such thing as a power of attorney for a car, a Ukrainian may be asked for it at customs, so it is better to issue it with the note “the right to export a car abroad”.
A Ukrainian has the right to travel to Belarus for up to three months, and then must either leave and enter again, or renew the registration for up to one year with the customs authority in Minsk (on the basis of an employment contract).
These terms cannot be violated, otherwise the car may be confiscated.
18. Excellent restaurants
Lovers of delicious food will definitely not be disappointed here. I've been to such establishments: Spoon, Chekhov, Bistro De Luxe, Tapas Bar, Insomnia, Gallery Ў, Robinson country club - everywhere there is excellent European cuisine and delicious wine. Plus, for the sweet tooth, there's Cinnabon here with my favorite cinnamon rolls. Of course, there is McDonalds, which, however, surprised me with the complete lack of Wi-Fi.
19. Modern shopping centers
The first store I went to was GUM. It shocked me and gave me a panic attack. I thought that the whole Minsk is like that. Who misses the scoop - welcome to GUM on Independence Avenue. But then I got to know Korona, Zamok and Galileo - excellent shopping centers with brand stores.
Upset "Arena City": in a good area, beautiful on the outside, but completely useless shops inside.
20. Cycle paths and running parks
What is really a lot in Minsk and what it subjectively bypasses even Vilnius are bike paths. There are just a lot of them on the sidewalks. In addition, they are in parks, where you can run. And there are a lot of parks in Minsk, and they are all well-groomed.
21. Infrastructure for children
Playgrounds, an abundance of kindergartens, a European (truly) zoo, water parks, a dolphinarium, children's play centers in shopping centers - there is everything your child needs. In addition, there are many private developmental activities in each area.
22. It is easy to accumulate money, pay off abroad
In order to postpone part of the salary, you absolutely do not need to go to the bank and open clumsy deposits, which then cannot be withdrawn ahead of schedule. The rates on plastic cards are quite acceptable here: from 24 to 40% per annum for Belarusian rubles and up to 5% per annum for dollar cards. At the same time, money can be easily withdrawn from an ATM, pay in the terminal.
The cards can be used abroad with the same ease as in Minsk. There are also no problems during payment in online stores.
23. You can withdraw dollars from an ATM
I often noticed at ATMs the point of choosing the currency that you want to withdraw. Once I tried to withdraw $ 100 - it worked! This is not the case in Ukraine or Russia. The city itself is full of ATMs and it is not a problem to withdraw money.
24. No traffic jams
There are absolutely no traffic jams in Minsk. Here you don't need to go to work in 1-2 hours or hire a driver (as people in Moscow do to work in a car on their way to work). In the morning, in the evening, at lunchtime - you can always drive from one part of the city to another in 30 minutes.
As a result, you save fuel, time and nerves.
As an additional pleasant result - there is no such rudeness on the roads as in Kiev or Moscow. Nobody is in a hurry, so there is no need to cut, squeeze in at intersections, go around on the side of the road, and so on.
25. Huge selection of kindergartens and schools
I recently conducted a small experiment: I walked around my area within a radius of 800 meters - I counted five schools and five kindergartens. Each school has its own stadium with excellent coverage. The kindergartens have playgrounds everywhere, quite modern. Neat buildings, pavilions and fences.
26. You don't feel like a foreigner
Nobody here treats you like a foreigner. In taxis, shops, at work - wherever you are, you are an ordinary person. I watched people: Minskers react very calmly even to representatives of Asian and African peoples.
Here in 80% of cases in a restaurant I hear English, and no one turns to them to carefully study foreigners.
27. Cheap medicines
More and more often I notice requests to bring medicines from Belarus. I compared prices for some of them, and very often medicines in Belarus cost 1, 5–2 times cheaper than in Ukraine. I didn’t study why, but it’s a fact.
28. Pure nature
The nature here is simply magical. The first thing that surprised me when entering Belarus by car was a very neat forest. All trees are even, there is no debris between them. It is obvious that the forests and plantings are looked after here. I have not seen this everywhere even in Poland, only in Germany. Well, now in Minsk.
29. No need for air conditioners
When I was looking for an apartment for rent, I noticed the lack of air conditioning in the photo. And then they explained to me: it is not so hot here in summer that air conditioning is needed. This makes all the buildings appear neater.
This summer it was hot for 2-3 weeks, but, in comparison with the same Kiev, the heat is very easily tolerated.
30. Nostalgic soul balm
Although Minsk is for the most part very European, those nostalgic for the USSR will still be able to find something to their liking here:
- Architecture. The beautiful architecture of the times of the USSR really remained here, mainly in the center of Minsk.
- GOSTs. All products have different certificates (EAC, STB), which really confirm the quality.
- Purity. It seems to me that it was for its cleanliness and neatness that they loved the USSR, since immediately after its collapse, the streets turned out to be unkempt, the roads were broken, garbage was everywhere.
- There is no fight against Soviet symbols. Stars, obelisks, memorials, street names - many are authentic since the times of the USSR.
- Shops and catering establishments are still preserved here, where one can recall the USSR (simple interior, old showcases and refrigerators, sellers' clothes).
Summing up, I will say: Minsk is really cool!
By the way, after reading, do not forget to update your resume (thankfully, 33 tips are already ready for you), your LinkedIn profile and prepare yourself for the interview (remember 50 life hacks).