17 May 2013
In less than two weeks, the Secretary of the Security Council Leanid Maltsau has to submit his proposal on the optimisation of the law enforcement agencies ("siloviki"). This follows the Presidential Decree No. 168 aimed at reforming the public...
23 April 2013
On 19 April Alexander Lukashenka delivered his annual address to the nation and parliament. For more than three hours he has been speaking about priorities on his current political and economic agenda and answered MPs’ questions.
Economic modernization, privatisation and relations with the EU and Russia featured at the top of his agenda. All the topics went under an unusual...
16 April 2013
On 12 April Alexander Lukashenka made his final decision on the public administration reform that he declared last year. He signed Decree No. 168 that aims to optimise the state apparatus and reduce the number of civil servants.
The reform did not any further than sacking 25% of government officials. The reductions should allow the government to raise the salaries for the...
02 April 2013
The Belarusian media more and more look like barricade journalism. The state media fiercely fight their non-state colleagues and vice versa. Endless clichés, mutual accusations and the language of hatred often leave little space for decent journalism.
The lack of professional ethics on the two sides of the barricades makes the situation more complicated. Outright propaganda...
21 March 2013
Belarus is awaiting reforms to the public administration system, ordered by Alexander Lukashenka last year. It looks like the president’s main motive is to save money. Considerations of efficiency come second. However, the existing system of public administration cannot boast of particularly outstanding achievements.
Several indicators point to the necessity of a serious overhaul...
28 February 2013
The Belarusian military forces rarely fall into the spotlight of public discussions. Like in other post-Soviet countries, this institution mainly lives behind closed doors. Army generals normally try to escape contact with the media and their critics in the non-governmental sector. As a result, the lack of official information results in numerous myths and popular rumours about the state of...
25 January 2013
The Belarusian president has always used press conferences in order to keep in touch with his electorate and demonstrate that he is in good political shape and keeps everything under control. Depending on what happens in the country at the time of a press conference he also comments on issues that worry the population most.
Interestingly, during the latest press conference he rather...
12 January 2013
About a thousand Belarusains received an unusual anonymous SMS text on 4 January.
According to the message the National Bank of Belarus had secretly decided to devalue the national currency by more than 60%. It was predicted that the new exchange rates were to appear immediately after the Orthodox Christmas celebrations – on 8 January.
Belarusian KGB immediately started to...
04 January 2013
Observers of Belarusian politics have lately noticed increased activism of a political party that is traditionally labelled as pro-governmental. The leader of the Liberal Democratic Party Siarhey Haidukevich and his son and also deputy Aleh Haidukevich have recently featured a lot in the media. For many this again raised the question about the role and status of pro-governmental parties in the...
31 December 2012
The outgoing year of 2012 has left a contradictory record in the modern history of Belarus.
It has seen numerous events that came as a real shock for Belarusians and foreign observers - primarily in the economy and politics. At the same time, 2012 gave the nation several moments of pride and satisfaction. However, with the exception of sport victories abroad, positive events of the year...
12 December 2012
The Belarusian government is becoming increasingly dysfunctional. It finds it more and more difficult to perform its daily tasks without resorting to administrative force.
This is the major implication of the unprecedented decree that Alexander Lukashenka signed on 7 December.
The world media have already interpreted the decree as legally introducing serfdom in Belarus. It ties...
04 December 2012
According to The Economist, Belarus occupies the fourth highest place in the world for divorce, behind South Korea, Russia and Aruba.
The Belarusian Statistics Agency has recently published fresh data on marriages and divorces in Belarus. It also suggests the growing unpopularity of traditional family lifestyles among Belarusians.
At the same time, marriages...