27 April 2017
On 23 February, the administration of the Belarusian State University expelled the youth activist Yury Lukashevich. The former student claims that the reason behind his expulsion lies in his political activism and board membership in an oppositional party.
While the activity of independent youth organisations faces restrictions, the state-funded Belarusian Republican Youth Union (BRSM)...
01 April 2015
“Minsk Phenomenon” was the title of a 2013 Russian-language translation of University of Giessen historian Thomas Boehn’s book, which addressed the dominance of the city of Minsk in the development of contemporary Belarus.
In many ways the Belarusian capital is a symbol of modern identity in a country that is often labelled “Soviet,” but is perhaps more...
11 July 2014
The 21st issue of the Political Sphere journal considers the current intellectual situation in Belarus in the context of its authoritarian political regime, the structural problems of the development of the Belarusian state and nation, and the constantly changing regional and global environment.
Political Sphere is a leading Belarusian academic journal in the social sciences with a...
13 February 2014
On 24 January, CNN published a rating of the world’s ugliest monuments, causing an outrage in many post-Soviet countries, both officially and among the general public.
The channel described the Courage monument from the Brest Fortress memorial in Belarus as looking constipated, a strange characterisation from a professional media company.
The story provoked a...
09 December 2013
The regime of Aliaksandr Lukashenka rejected the ethno-national model of state suggested by his predecessors in the early 1990s.Instead, he restored a soviet style “statist nation” with a centralised bureaucratic machine at its core.
These are the conclusions reached in a new analytical paper "Belarusian...
03 July 2013
Today Belarus celebrates its Independence Day. Yesterday, the Square of the National flag opened next to the new building of Residency of President with great pomp.
Veterans of the WWII, famous Belarusian sportsmen, officials and youth swore allegiance to the national colours in the presence of 6,000 students and schoolchildren.
Despite financial difficulties the government...
20 February 2013
The official interpretation of history in Belarus has experienced a dramatic evolution since the USSR's collapse. At the first stage a Belarusian nationalist-oriented approach dominated in historiography. After Lukashenka came to power in 1994, a reversal to a Soviet driven narrative took place, which, however, included a number of additional elements.
On the one hand, Lukashenka...
19 February 2013
Few people from the West know that tens of thousands of Belarusians fought in Afghanistan.
The war has long been over, but its legacy remains. The Afghan war brought not only death, physical disabilities and material losses. It also made drug addiction a widespread occurrence in the former USSR.
On 15 February, the Belarusian warrior-internationalists celebrated their...
08 February 2013
If you ask a Belarusian about the most important national feature of Belarus, he will most probably mention tolerance.
This opinion seems to be deeply rooted in mass consciousness. Lukashenka's regime often uses it in ideological discourse to prove that Belarusians have been peaceful throughout their history and cannot stir up any conflicts, internal or external.
28 November 2012
Lukashenka and his entourage believe that their resistance to the wave of democratisation from the West is quite rational and well-reasoned.
They hope that sooner or later, if they remain tenacious and consistent, the West will let them alone and will accept their reasons. It will not criticise Lukashenka (or his autocratic successor) more than it criticises presidents of...
19 September 2012
Last month ended the trial against former leader of the Belarusian Republican Youth Union Leanid Kavalyou.
Police caught Kavalyou with a major bribe. The sentence was harsh – seven years of imprisonment in a maximum security colony with property confiscation. The criminal case represents a telling example of how good the "new governing elite" in Belarus...
03 September 2012
The 2012 Olympic Games brought little happiness to Belarus' team: not matching even half of their expectations and receiving the fewest medals ever.
This means trouble for Lukashenka’s plans to restore the image of Belarus’ overall prosperity thanks to athletics. Yet during the Games, the disappointed President promised tough showdowns for Belarusian sports state...