16 June 2017
Many in Belarus took the recent discovery of new oil fields in the country as a joke: president Alexander Lukashenka had demanded earlier that the government start searching for its own black gold. According to experts, however, these deposits were already known.
It was only the complexity of extraction that had prevented the mining of these deposits before. However, officials now claim...
24 May 2017
On 20-22 May, Minsk hosted Milex 2017, its eighth exhibition of arms and military equipment. This year, the exhibition hosted more than 140 official guests from Belarus, Ukraine, Russia, China, and Kazakhstan.
Military officials from more than 27 countries were in attendance. However, the exhibition's results remain somewhat mysterious. Manufacturers have repeatedly stated that they...
- 09 May 2017
09 February 2017
On 28 January 2017, the Minsk Tractor Works organised a rally called Paris-Mosar. The event was dedicated to the Day of Belarusian Science. Also this year, the Belarusian team Maz-SPORTauta for the first time ever placed 6th in the international rally Paris-Dakar-2016.
Belarus too has its own small Paris - a village in Pastavy district that shares a name with the French capital. Thus,...
07 July 2016
On 3 July, Belarus celebrated Independence Day. The holiday commemorates not only the country’s statehood, but also victory in the Second World War. On this day in 1944, the Soviet army liberated Minsk from German troops.
About 5,000 people participated in the event this year, which included military parades, concerts, and a massive fireworks display. Unlike previous years, many...
07 June 2016
On 30-31 May, some 150,000 Belarusians celebrated the conclusion of their secondary education. Graduation ceremonies, called the “last bell”, took place across the country. Students not only wore festive attire, as is common in Western Europe; they also gave flowers to their favourite teachers and recited poems, in a nod to the traditions Belarusians still associate with the...
24 April 2016
On 26 April 1986, an explosion at Charnobyl Nuclear Power Plant released huge amounts of radiation into the atmosphere contaminating large territories of Europe. Belarus ended up the most badly affected taking 70% of the fallout from the power plant.
The Soviet Union sought to cover up the accident. The news about the explosion came out only two days later, after Sweden registered an...
26 January 2016
In the Belarusian countryside, the religious holidays of Christmas and Epiphany are fused with pagan “Kalyady” rituals. From late December into January, groups of villagers dress up in costumes and go house-to-house singing traditional “kaliadki” songs, for which they are rewarded with treats.
The motley cast of Kalyady characters usually includes “Kaza...
01 December 2015
According to official statistics, 59 percent of Belarusian citizens are Orthodox Christians. Yet many Orthodox churches stand empty, and as few as 18 percent of Orthodox believers regularly attend religious services.
Due to such low levels of religious fervour among the general public, state support has...
11 October 2015
On 9 - 12 October, Belarus Digest provided live online coverage of the presidential elections in Belarus and international and domestic reactions to it.
Below, we feature a collection of stories from international and Belarusian media, videos, pictures, and comments from experts, which we have posted online during these days.
We thank our readers for your kind attention and...
28 August 2015
The billboards in Belarus tell an interesting story about the country. Before 1991, these advertisements were sponsored by the communist authorities and focused on both social and political propaganda.
Even today the majority of billboards throughout Belarusian cities promote healthy and safe lifestyles, or patriotic themes rather than sell products and services. It is therefore not...
03 August 2015
Since 1991, two opposing conceptions of Belarusian national identity have coexisted side by side. One glorifies Belarus’s Soviet past, cultural ties to Russia, and victory in the Second World War (WWII) as the nation's founding moment. Until recently, this has been the preferred identity narrative of the Lukashenka regime.
The alternative conception focuses on the country...