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The Benevolent KGB In Belarus

There's been a lot of talk recently about Belarus opening up to the West. Even the KGB seems to be behaving themselves. Here's an anecdote from the director of our Belarus Service:

"When I visited my mother in the city of Brest this weekend, I saw on the wall a color photo of our studio and myself. My mother refuses to have a satellite TV or a DVD player -- but she had been informed in detail about the programs.

It turned out that the photo was courtesy of the local KGB. When our TV program was first aired, they called her to find out when I might come to Brest. They played the program to her over the phone, and when they found out she had not seen it, offered to bring a videotape or DVD.

When she explained that she had no equipment, they called several times later chatting about what was said on air, what people looked like, etc, and later printed a photo and gave it to her."

Warms the heart.

-- Luke Allnutt

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Written by RFE/RL editors and correspondents, Transmission serves up news, comment, and the odd silly dictator story. While our primary concern is with foreign policy, Transmission is also a place for the ideas -- some serious, some irreverent -- that bubble up from our bureaus. The name recognizes RFE/RL's role as a surrogate broadcaster to places without free media. You can write us at

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