- Siarhei Bohdan is an alumnus of the Belarus State University and European Humanities University in Lithuania. He is a regular contributor to Nasha Niva, a Belarusian independent weekly. As a fellow of Europäische Journalisten-Fellowships he is now doing a research project at Berlin's Humboldt University. Siarhei comes from Maladechna, Belarus.
Last week, Russian defence minister Sergei Shoigu discussed with Alexander Lukashenka establishment of a Russian air force base in Belarus.
A few days later, Lukashenka dismissed the claims that Russia will have a military base in Belarus. The news came as media of neighbouring countries continue to discuss the significance of...
Last Friday, Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu visited Belarus. According to Belarusian officials and media the minister came just to sign visa abolition and readmission agreements. The Turkish Foreign Ministry added that ministers had, "exchanged views on regional issues mainly Syria, Iraq, and Afghanistan.” This addition appears to be especially intriguing since never...
In early March, the U.N. Security Council's independent panel of experts raised the issue of Belarusian and Russian arms sold to Sudan.
According to the experts, Sudan had used these weapons in the Darfur region, violating a Security Council resolution and written pledges to Belarus and Russia to not do so. Most non-state Belarusian experts expressed doubts...
Last month Belarusian leader Alexander Lukashenka appointed Viktar Sheiman as head of the President's Property Administration, the biggest state-owned business empire and the financial backbone of Lukashenka's regime. Barely any other officials of the Belarusian regime are demonised by its opponents as much as General Viktar Sheiman.
Most media and oppositional politicians...
Last week Alexander Lukashenka declared his interest in good relations with Western countries.
His statement came against the backdrop of active contacts between Belarusian officials and their European counterparts in the past two months. Involved in these meetings were a director of a department of the EU External Action Service, a delegation of the...
Today the Belarus Investment Forum opens in Minsk. In recent years, Belarus has significantly improved its ranking in the Doing Business Report of the World Bank Group. This year it climbed two places, and on two parameters even made it into top 10.
Yet state plans to attract foreign investments fail year after year. Perhaps some in the ruling elite understand that the stronger the...
This week Lukashenka lost one of his most important allies. Georgian leader Mikheil Saakashvili lost parliamentary elections and is going to switch to opposition. Belarusian ruler expressed his admiration for Saakashvili which was willing to give up the power.
Saakashvili has been an important channel for Belarusian government to...
In early September, the first ever signs in English appeared in the Minsk metro. In June, first bilingual street signs appeared in the centre of the capital.
These are important developments. Belarusian officials have talked about attracting foreign investors and tourists for many years. But until recently virtually all Belarus street signs were only in Cyrillic script....
The presidential administration is the centre of the Belarusian regime. It controls all state bodies including the government and parliament. The head of the presidential administration is the right hand of the president.
On 27 August, Alexandr Lukashenka appointed Andrei Kabyakou (age 52) to that very office.
Moscow-born Russian Kabyakou has been one of the...
Yesterday Belarus officially declared that it would not extradite the former head of Kyrgyzstan's security service Janysh Bakiev.
That was the State Prosecution Office's response to an extradition request from Bishkek. Kyrgyzstan accuses Janysh Bakiev of committing a number of violent crimes. Minsk calls Kyrgyzstan's request politically motivated.
On 17 August,...
It may sound surprising but the Iranian political system is more democratic and pluralistic than its Belarusian counterpart.
To build a democratic state Belarus needs a complete overhaul, while Iran needs just light repairs. Anti-Western rhetoric united these regimes but when it comes to political systems there are more differences than similarities.
In about a month, Belarusians will vote in parliamentary elections.
Although parliamentary elections have become a mere formality since the late 1990s, each time they arise the Belarusian opposition actively discusses whether it makes sense to participate in them. The Belarusian opposition has tried both options. The outcome was the same: massive falsification and no...
- 1 of 6